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non-small cell lung cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2005

My mum has recently been diagnosed with the above and I am desperate for positive news on survivors. She has been told hers is inoperable. She is also a diabetic and the first 2 Chemo sessions have left her extremely weak and depressed. We are in the UK and understand that treatment in the USA is far more advanced and would consider travelling abroad to improve my mums chances. Any info on alternative drugs to chemo will be greatly appreciated.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi, I'm Ernie, a four year (almost) survivior of nsclc, stage 3b. In May 2001, at age 67, I was initially diagnosed inoperable/incurable. Four rounds of chemo (Cisplatin and Etoposide)concurrently with radiation (56 treatments)later, the tumor was reduced by 75% and I underwent surgery to have the upper 40% of my right lung removed. Post-surgery, I was given ten radiation treatments and twelve weekly chemotherapy treatments. I completed treatment in March, 2002. Since then, I have been cancer free. I will reach the magic five years in October 2006. My opinion is that treatment in the U.S. is far more advanced, and if it is possible, you should bring your mum here for treatment. Health insurance would likely be a problem for you/her in the U.S..

Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi there. I saw this message as I was scrolling down. My Dad is 67 and has been diagnosed with non small cell stage 3b lung cancer. I am scared to death about all of this. Did you have a pleural effusion? Was it malignant? Where were you treated? Anything would be helpful

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2008

Dear Ernie,
I've spoken to you before and can't tell you how much hope your blogs have given me and my partner and I'm sure many others. Thank you. I wanted to give you an update my partner tumors have shrunk after her first round of chemo and radiation now the doctors say its time to just monitor. They did not reccomend any surgury, chemo or radiation at this point. The tumor was located in the right upper lobe up by the clavicle and by the right main bronchus? We don't know if we should get a thoracic surgeon's opinion or not? We've heard from two oncologist's who have said it was inoperable. Do you have any advice? where was your tumors? I'm so happy for you.

Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 2004

Good news! people do survive lung cancer. Treatment and the right doctor is important. Also, staying informed of everything about the disease. I'm not sure the UK is less advanced in the fight against cancer but, If you can come to the U.S. for treatment, what are you waiting for. I'd recommend Sloan Ketting in NY or MD Anderson in Houston TX.
My mom had an inoperable 8cm (we were told that's huge!) lung tumor. Radiation treatments shrunk it to an operable size.Choosing treatment, doctors and hospitals is so important, so if you think she could receive better treatment here, get going! Add your mom to the list of LC survivors. Best wishes to you and your mom.

Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi - I'm Bill. I have been diagnosed with stage 3a non-small cell lung cancer in October 2004. I am 59 and also diabetic (take insulin). At first, my doctors told me that they were not going to operate. They treated me with 6 weeks of daily radiation and 7 weekly Chemo treatments. At the end of the treatments, they said I responded so well that they wanted to operate after all. They removed my entire left lung in Dec. 2004. I have had follow up tests and so far, there is no sign of the cancer returning. If you are looking for somewhere in the USA, I had my treatments and surgery done at the Dana Farber Cancer Instutite and Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, Ma. I highly recommend them.

Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2008

I was diagnosed on May 2,2008.I have stage IV non operable lung cancer (due to it's location). I had 2 weeks of radiation to shrink the tumor enough to allow earier breathing. I am still undergoing different types of chemo. I've had reactions to some, so different groups are being used. I've had complications which interfered with the consistant chemo regime.
I was recently hospitalized for pneumonia and a comparison CT scan was done. Unfortuantely, the radiologist did not measure the tumor. It was commented that it had shrunk a substantial amount. I was not admitted to a hospital that my oncologist had access to.
I'm happy with "substantial". I expect another PET scan will be done shortly.
I am unsure how the health care compares with the U.S. As was already satted, Sloan Kettering is 1 of the best that I know of should you decide to come to the U.S.
Have faith, that's half of the battle. The disease stinks, but there has to be something to look forward to.

Good luck to you and your family

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