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decision time

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 534
Joined: Aug 2006

Some advise from the experienced people would help me. Basic background Stage 4 colon surgery in 9/06, chemo, pulmonary embolism 11/06, more chemo (Folfox)liver resection 2/07 chemo until 5/07. CT scan in Oct 07 discovered 2 spots on lung 3mm and 5mm. I spoke with the thoracic surgeon at Stanford today and he said:

After looking over the scans from June 07 to Oct 07 he feels the spots in the lung did grow (relatively rapidly) and are of concern. He believes that they are most likely mets and even if they turn out not to be cancer, any growth in the lungs is probably not a good thing...

He can do surgery on the spots and recommends it either Nov 9th or Nov 16th. It would be a lobectomy of the lower left lobe as one spot is deep in the interior.

I felt comfortable with him and we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of surgery at this time. I feel comfortable electing for surgery.

I do want to be as aggressive as possible and try for a cure as long as I can, and have pieces of organs left to take...

Do you see any problem with surgery immediately?

Respectfully,

Impactzone

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi: I will probably have to face the same decision, and I know what my answer will be, a resounding YES. My surgeon told me that the only way to a cure is surgery, so I agree with you that as long as it can be taken out, OUT it goes. Monica

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

If it was me..I would go for it ! They can take as much as possible....Good luck and God bless

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I was given a choice, since it wasn't clear that there was cancer left. My surgeon said "Can you deal with the stress of taking a risk, no matter how small?" I said "No, take it out!"
No regrets, even with a clear report after....

Hugs, kathi

Please take care of yourself extra-special!

83popsong's picture
83popsong
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2006

Impactzone - I think I would go ahead with the surgery, but I would be sure my Oncologist didn't have any serious reservations. If the lung spots are indeed mets, chemo will need to eliminate what caused the mets. I completely agree with the attitude that it takes surgery for a cure, but that is with regard to known lesions. Chemo needs to whack what can't be seen.

My guess is that your onc will say that statistically there is no difference in having surgery now or waiting until you see how the lesions react to chemo. Being a person and not a statistic, I would take issue with that and have the surgery, biopsy the lesions, recover and then hit chemo knowing there are only microscopic bits left to deal with. That being said, confirm with your surgeon that lesions of that size can be biopsied.

I will be thinking about you, please drop us a note about what you decide to do.

--Eben

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I faced a similar situation about a year ago. Had a small lung nodule. The nature of it couldn't be determined (couldn't be biopsied, for various reasons, and PET was equivocal). Sought several opinions and got mixed reactions. I decided to have it out. First, as you say, any new spot in the lung is suspicious -- and of course I am (we are) in a high risk category. I had it removed. It was a malignancy. It's hard to use the term "lucky" in these circumstances, but I did feel lucky that I was a surgical candidate -- and that it could be removed surgically. I have had lung surgery twice. The first time I had a lobectomy (left lower lobe removed. Like you, my tiny nodule was right in the middle of the lobe). The second time had a wedge resection. Lung surgery sounds scary but it was fine. I was walking around the track 8 days after surgery (not far, and not fast! but I was walking!). Good luck with your decision. By the way, my lung capacity is over 90% these days --even after two lung surgeries. I go hill walking at the weekends - no problem. Love,
Tara

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Surgery is the option that gives the best chance for cure in this disease. There is the chance that these spots may not be malignant but if they have grown I wouldn't take that risk. After you have healed from surgery I would expect that a course of chemotherapy will be recommended.

Dick

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

I've had lung surgery on both lungs to remove mets. Although I don't enjoy surgery if it is an option I will take it anytime. I feel better knowing that the cancer is out of my body and I'm doing something proactive in my treatment. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Jamie

sladich's picture
sladich
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

I too will be facing this decision. I have an appointment with the thoracic surgeon next week. I have a 7mm lesion in my upper left lung. I had my lower left lobe removed in 11/05. This informaiton is helpful to me as well. Thanks all!

Debbie

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -

I haven't faced your decision YET, because my liver mets went away with chemo. I wonder always what I will do if they come back - do chemo or go straight for surgery (if resectable). Not sure. If I were you, I would go for the surgery. If they can take it out while preserving essential lung function, it sounds like a good deal to jme.

I wish you the best in making your decision. There is good health ahead for you, I am sure.

Take care,
Betsy

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Impact,

If you have the opportunity to have surgery to take care of whatever is going on, I would really consider going for it. If they are mets, now is probably the best time to get it taken care of, while they are still small. You are in my prayers.

-Lee-

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

If they can remove it, remove it. If they followup with chemo, do it. Do whatever you can do and whatever your "gut" tells you to do. It will be the right decision. God Bless. Keeping you in my prayers.
Diane

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