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borderline for surgery

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

My lung function test was horrible. I can't get much air out. Two doctors told me I can't have surgery for my lung tumor because of it. Another very promminent doctor said he would operate even though it would be iffy, he thought he could pull me through it and it would be for a cure. I don't know what to do.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I think there might be another alternative, if they haven't mentioned it. I do not, of course, know WHY your lung function test was 'horrible' but if you HAVE the surgery they will most likely give you some toys to use to rebuild your breathing capacity. I wonder why you couldn't use them pre-surgery to get yourself in shape?

I am aware that it is not so simplistic as that, that it probably would not have an immediate effect, but between that sort of exercise, daily walks if possible, and cessation of smoking and/or drinking if they are part of your current regimen, maybe you could get there.

I cannot figure out from your post what the doctor meant when he said the surgery would be 'iffy'. I was told when I was going through pre-op instructions with my doc that there was a one in 100 chance that I would die and I thought THAT iffy, personally, until my wife advised that a previous surgery for head/neck cancer was MUCH more dangerous :).

This is a decision you must make, as you well know, based on the information that that last doc provided, the one offering some hope.

I tend to be aggressive when it comes to this disease and it has been good to me so far.

Thinking out loud while wishing you the best.

Take care,


Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

My lung function was very bad because of two of the tests I took. They were way below the desired levels because of my emphysema. I think I am going for the radiation or the Cyberknife done with the linear accelerator. It is only 5 large treatments. If my first doctor and oncologist both hadn't agreed that I am not a candidate for surgery, I might be leaning that way. I'm having a brain MRI Tuesday and hopefully it hasn't spread to there. Right now I only have the primary in the right chest wall, laying against a rib. I don't know how much time I will be given, but thank you for your best wishes. I wish the same for you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

Have you looked into CyberKnife ?

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, I am due have the simulation set up on Thursday. The reason my thoracic surgeon said I was not a candidate for surgery is because I have COPD really bad and my lung function test was very bad. I had a second opinion from the Univ. of Ca. in San Francisco and they said they would be willing to operate, but it would be iffy. My daughter, who is a nurse, said she thinks I could survive the surgery, but afterwards she is afraid I will have complications, and probably wouldn't make it. Have you had this type of radiation done?

Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2009

I also was told I could not have surgery. I was stage I and inoperable. I took chemo and radation and the doc said we would go for the cure and so far so good. My doc said the odds of cure and it returning made no difference whether I had surgery or not. The surgery docs said I could end up in a wheel chair, in bed for life or on a ventilator, so my choice was chemo and radation. They do have a radation therapy that is for small tumors it is called the cyber knife I think. Hope this helps

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