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nsclc at 37

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2004

I am 37 yrs old and was just diagnosed with a 2 cm upper lobe nsc lung tumor. A 2x3x4 in my neck on the same side (not biopsied) was also spotted on the mri. I was very positive with this until the pet results came in yesterday.
Looks like one lymph on the other side of the chest and 3 in the abdomen are showing positive. I don't meet back with my oncologist for 4 more days. Does this put me at stage IV since it's moved to other areas? With the short talk with the doc when the pet came in, I am aware that my treatment has now changed. He was elusive when I asked the tough longevity questions saying that he can not answer today, but we must wait until we see my chemo response. Any advise or experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2001

hi , I am mike and have small cell lung cancer andin remission two years last february. First I would get a list of questions to go over with the doctor, you can Call American Cancer Society , toll free and they can advise you and also give you valuable information. I would ask if he has more than one option for treatment , and what the differences are, I would ask if you decide to go with his treatment, when he will determine if it is working. I would ask if you are a candidate for Chemosensitivity Testing, they take a piece of solid tumor and check it to see which chemotherapy works best on you and it is less toxic to you and much better results. And I also would try to have someone you feel has a level head and is not emotional that can go with you to ask questions also , in case you get too upset yourself. I hope this helps some and may God be with you , Mike

Posts: 17
Joined: May 2004

My husband (Terry) was just diagnosed stage IV nsc Lung cancer. From what we have been told, stage IV is when the cancer has spread (metastisized) to a primary life organ - something necessary for life (ie heart, liver and in my husband's situation the brain). I am not sure if the lymph nodes are in that category.

Are you finding people curious about your diagnosis given that you are so young? Terry is 38. He smoked about 1/2 pack a day for 6 years. The cancer probably started 2-3 years ago so not from smoking. Do you know (as if any of us can know) where yours might have come from?

As for longevity, most peole with lung cancer are much older with other major health issues. 37 & 38 year olds usually don't fit into the doctors' equation. Attitude with treatment will be a better indicator for long term prognosis.

Keep us posted.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2003

I would agree with michaelcie chemosensitivity testing if you can get it, (try www.weisenthal.org for info) layne34 also correct stage IV not just lymph nodes although distant lymph nodes and neck probably make it 3A or B. I was diagnosed at 42, lifetime non-smoker stage IV, brain lesion, lymph nodes, had chemosensitivity and selected agressive non-standard chemo, 5 agents, gemzar, carboplatin, navelbine, high dose tamoxifen and iressa. In remission after chemo, no radiation done!
still good now after 6 months from finishing chemo, still on iressa.
Cant emphasize enough get the testing done! have a lymph node removed like me (from neck) for the test, saved my life, standard therapies all showed negative on my screen. would be dead if I'd tried to work my way through them, one at a time. Also dont worry too much about statistics your age health and attitude put you out of the statistical population you are fighting your disease not the general population's. Fight it with everything you have, good luck

Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2004

I agree with the others. Alway's check what your options are. I was diagnosed at 40, went through aggressive chemo and did radiation for my lung and stereotactic for my brain. I've been in remission for 4 years now. I think being young helps alot. You're able to withstand treatment better than the elderly.

I believe what helped me the most was when I accepted the fact that I had cancer and I have it or a reason. I then handed my life over to God, because I knew I couldn't do it alone. By me doing that freed me to be able to connect with my mind, body and soul. And for me that is where I got my strength and power to heal. I knew this was probably the most important journey of my life. I wanted to make the most of it. When I went for chemo I made sure I had fun there. I alway's brought a project, and a fun positive friend along. We alway's found something to laugh about... When you go through cancer you have to have a since of humor. After chemo treatment I knew when I was going to feel the worst, so I scheduled my fun time around that. During the time I felt bad is when I would meditate and connect with God the most.

Well, I think I've rambled on to long again. Good luck! Luann

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