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Surgery after chemo & radiation

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2006

My father was diagnosed with nsclc 4/06. The doctor said they were not sure what kind of non-small cell, but it didn't matter because treatment was the same for them all. He also has lymph node involvement. Pet scan showed increased activity of the nodes in left hilum, subcarinal region, AP window, mediastinum and extending into the base of the left neck. He has just finished 6 weeks of 5 day a week radiation. He has also been receiving weekly carboplatin. He received 1 dose of Taxol but had a reaction so he only received the carbo. from then on out. He is now going on a 2 week break from chemo before they start every 3 week Taxotere and Carboplatin. I have read about people having surgery after chemo and radiation. Oncologist said he would not be a candidate because of the lymph node spread to the base of the neck.
I'm wondering if anyone has every had surgery after treatments with this kind of lymph node involement?
Has anyone had any experience with Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis? Thinking of a second opinion from there.
Any responses would be appreciated and any stories of inspiration. Thanks for reading.

Bunis's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2006

So sorry to here about your father having to go thru this. My husband has stage iv lung cancer and he was going to have his lung removed but they found it in the lymp nodes also. So he didn't have his lung removed. He is going on 20 months now of fighting. He has had his chemo, radiation, secound round of chemo. He golf's whenever he can which is often. We did get secound opinions, which you should, and then get on with your treatments. All the while living strong. How old is your dad? My husband was 57 when he was diognoised. You just have to be very comfortable with your doctors, and ask questions. You can go to the american cancer on line at www.cnacer.gov, or call 1800.4 CANCER. society and request a PDQ which is a print out of your type of cancer and what the state of the art cancer treatments are. You should have your dad tellhis doctor that you need to know the stage, and the specific type of cancer.Get copy of all test and results, if you have a secound opinion you will have information.
Great sites that where very helpful www.blochcancer.org, Call there cancer hotline 1800-433-0464 and ask for their free books on fighting cancer, there are four small books very helpful, for Mr Bloch has gone thru all of this before us. Good luck and you and your family are in our prayers.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2006

My father just turned 55 and he is very healthy otherwise. Thanks for the information. You and your family will be in our prayers also.

Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2006

I just thought that i should let you know that my Dad had surgery to take his upper right lobe out. He had lymph node involvement. They removed many of these during surgery. His results then come back clear. I'm not sure why your Dad wouldn't be a candidate. My Dad had chemo before surgery also.
After 5 months of being in the 'all clear' we just found out that he had a brain tumor. This was operable and is now out. He is receiving 2 weeks of radio to combat anything else, starting next week.
Has your Dad had an M.R.I? I'm only asking you this because it may help you. They don't tend to do M.R.I's often, yet they are so important. We don't know how long Dad's brain tumor had been there for.
Anyway, keep positive. My Dad has pulled thru a lot of odds. I've just finished reading one of Lance Armstrong's books, which really helped. As well as the people on here.
Hope this helped a little and didn't confuse you too much.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2006

Thanks Holly3 for your response.

Did they know your dad had lymph node involvement before his surgery?

My dad did have an MRI of the brain which was all clear. I am working on getting a second opinion. If he's not a candidate for surgery I would just like to hear that from a surgeon. My dad has only seen his oncologist and radiation doc.

We will find out in a couple weeks if treatments are helping.

Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2006

Yes they knew my Dad had lymph node involvement before surgery.
I see it this way. The oncologists are specialists in chemo and radiation. The surgeons knows about surgery, and about what they can do. Our surgeon was fantastic and never mentioned that surgery wouldn't be done if there was lymph node involvement. They took many out during surgery also.
My Dad responded really well to chemo, so it really shrunk the tumor, which wasn't small.
I hope the treatments are really working and you receive some good news about your Dad.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

I'm a five year lung cancer survivor. I was diagnosed as inoperable/incurable, as presented, meaning my condition prior to treatment. In simple terms, I was sent to a thoracic surgeon, who ordered some tests, evaluated the tests, then told the oncologists what needed to be done to make me a candidate for surgery. The medical and radiation oncologists treated me, reduced the tumor, and sent me back to the thoracic surgeon for surgery. All was successful, and here I am.
Based on my experience, I think that you are correct in wanting the surgical decision made by a surgeon.
In another instance, years ago, I was in severe back pain. The orthopaedic physician told me that I had sciatica, and that I would have to learn to live with it. I then visited a neurosurgeon, who removed a disc from my lower back, surgically, thus solving the problem.
Again, my advice, - get the opinion from the specialist.

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