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nasopharyngeal carcinoma- metatasis to lungs

colan3
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013

My aunt, 55 years old, was diagnosis with nasopharyngeal carcinoma in 2011.  She finished her radiation & chemo treatments inn 2011 and still follows up with doctors but recently she  coughs more but no blood, the chest X-ray reveals 4cm mass (?), concluded: metatasis to lungs. The doctor suggests chemo again but stronger dose, more tests to come (bone scan...) With metatasis to lungs, the prognosis is not good right? side effects of chemo...? about the life expectancy is short, right 6 months or so...? I'd like to know what I can do to help her at this stage.  Please advise me, thanks!

 

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1837
Joined: Mar 2010

this certainly could be metastatic disease.   But it could be a primary lung cancer as well.  The onlly way they are going to know this for certain is to get a tissue diagnosis.  This mass should be biopsied. At its current size, an fna would likely be diagnostic.  This should be done before there is any end of life conversation.  Others on this board have been in exactly this situation.  You might read soccerfreaks bio as it is instructive.  He had a second lung primary, and is around to talk about it now.

 

best to you

 

Pat

colan3
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for your respond Pat!  I don't know how to view soccerfreaks bio or still have trouble post question in the specific cancer (head & neck) Where do I go to view the bio.  Thanks you very much

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

Unfortunately you can't view his BIO...

Joe dropped off of the board last year and his BIO was froze in Never Never Land...

Sorry,

John

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1837
Joined: Mar 2010

OK, that's too bad because it would have been illustrative.  Soccerfreaks had SCC of the throat, treated with chemo/rads.  He then, sometime later, got a single mass in the lung.  That mass turned out to be a second cancer, a primary lung cancer.  That was treated surgically, and possibly with radiation to the area.  And he lived.  It is too darned bad his bio isn't here any more.  But someone else just went through this, surely we can think of it.  And to the OP, the point still stands.  Your mass needs a tissue diagnosis.  It is improper to make the assumption that this is metastatic disease just bassed on Xray findings.  The Xray shows a mass, it does not establish a diagnosis.

 

John, who was this other person, from just a few months ago??????

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

I actually found Joe's Blog....

SoccerFreak's Blog

Hope this helps...,

John

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1837
Joined: Mar 2010

denistd  is someone who posts from time to time.  He had a second cancer, originating in the lung, last fall.   Here's a post from after his biopsy:  http://csn.cancer.org/node/248182     I think they just did a segmental resection, and that he was told he has a high chance of cure.

Ladylacy
Posts: 517
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband has two primary cancers.  One was laryngeal cancer (NED for 2 years) and the other is at the cervical of his esophagus.  He was treated again with radiation and chemo.  PET/CT scan in September and endoscopy in October everything was good.  Follow up PET/CT scan in January showed a small mass in his right lung and a large tumor again at the cervical of his esophagus again.  His specialist ordered a needle biopsy of the lung because it was in a hard place and a needle biopsy was the only way to go.  And it turned out to be cancer.   Due to the spread, surgery was out and only chemo was offered for which we were told it wouldn't cure only prolong and possibly hasten his demise.  He elected to forego any further treatment. 

Right now he is doing good.   Our doctors wouldn't give us any time span because they said they just don't know.  I agree with that because to me no one knows but the man upstairs.  The best thing you can do for your Aunt is to follow her wishes.  I would suggest that she get a biopsy done to make sure it is cancer.  Once they told us, because of a CT scan that my husband had terminal lung cancer and gave him a very short time.  Well a specialist went down and looked in his lungs and then came out and told me that it wasn't cancer but a severe lung infection.  He was in the hospital for a week on IV medication and then on medication for another 2 weeks when he came home.  That was 15 years ago.  So guess what I'm saying is that without a biopsy, no one can be sure.

Sharon

colan3
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you for sharing & giving us hope. We don't know if her diagnosis is true or not but still hope and hope...that is not "the one" She doesn't loose weight, loss appetite, or in pain, just cough more than normal but no blood. The problem is she lives  in VietNam and the healthcare systems in VN are really suck ( I mean the whole system- from the doctors to healthcare assistants). They don't have much care & treatment like us in US.  I'm really appreciated and thankful that I live in US.   Because it metatasize to lungs, they transfer her different department.  The doctor ordered CT scan head, neck & chest. When looking at the X-ray, the doctor said it's so obvious is lung CA & metatasize to lungs...no need to biopsy. To tell you the truth, I don't trust the Vietnamese doctors (especially in VN) I don't mean all of them are bad but few are exception...Beside the treatment is not convinience for the patients at all...lots of difficulties...Money MouthMoney Mouth We still wait for the result from the CT scan, but no blood tests are ordered at all.  We are so worried and really don't know what to do and expect... CryCry

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

 

Sometimes there is nothing you can do but to pray and put it all in Gods hand. I lost three good friends to C this year so far and way better people then myself. All you can do sometimes it to just let them know you love them and care about them. To me a big hug is better then a 1000 words and knowing someone is praying for me is better that any pill I take. Love is a great healer and caring for someone is a driving force that will keep them focus, I will keep you both in my prayers

 

Hondo

colan3
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you all for your replies.  She just started first dose of chemo, so far she is ok. I'd like to know what to expect and how long the side effects of chemo will occur? Is it normal for her or is it just the medication is not working very well...? how do you know the chemo is effective...They said having chemo one a month and around 6 months... Again, thank you very much, I will keep you all in my prayers.  

 

Colan3

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1409
Joined: Jul 2010

I was 20 months NED from SCC in tonsil and nodes in neck, and in August of 2012 that cancer decided to go to my Right lower lobe and nodes in my Mediastynum, NOT GOOD!

i finished a 24 week clinical trial, I had complete tumor resolution and must take chemo once weekly for the rest of my life. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week, am very active and living the way I choose while having cancer. Your loved one can too.

Mike

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