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how many people think surgery worked for them or chemo worked

nanaof7
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

I have read some of you got chemo and are in remission and some got surgery and chemo and are in remission I was wondering what the reason for those decissions were made and do you agree or would do something different

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Dear Nano,

Lung cancer may be a common disease as far as statistics go, but the medical research on curing it is still in the beginning stages as far as I can see. If you have very early stage (like stage 0 or stage 1-A)cancer, surgery alone sometimes results in a cure. Surgery plus chemo is recommended for folks with aggressive stage 1 disease and higher stages. Aggressive chemo (aggressive meaning hard on cancer, not necessarily harder on patients) regimes do work--for some people. The good thing about medical treatments these days is that the doctors do go by a medical model and test drugs for effectiveness on large populations of volunteers before they use them on patients. So they won't give you the option of chemo if they don't think it has a chance of helping. That said, chemo is not a magic wand that works to make cancer disappear in all cases. All doctors can do is give you the probabilities that the medicine will work and the likelihood of side effects. If you have a good match between the kind of chemo you have and the kind of cancer you have, there is a good chance that chemo will do a lot of good. It is not as effective as surgery at reducing tumor cells, but it has its place for sure. I have heard from several folks on this board that have used chemo while in stage 4 and reduced their tumor load to where surgery became possible and are now living a cancer-free life. So I know it is possible. Doctors are beginning to find tests that will help them match the right kinds of chemo with the different kinds of cancer we have. Unfortunately those tests are still in their infancy. So if your doctor recommends either treatment, take notes on the side effects as well as the positive effects and make the best decision for you.

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