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surgery after radiation anybody else?

Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2010

My dad has been diagnosed with NSCLC with Node involvement and has been through 7 weeks of radiation and chemo once a week. Then two rounds of taxol and carbo. Node has calcified and tumor has shrunk from 6cc. to 1.6 and now they are considering surgery. I thought that after you had radiation that they didn't like to do surgery because of recovery time. Anybody got any insight or been through this?

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I have never before heard that 'recovery time' had anything to do with why surgery after radiation would be ill-advised. We must hope that dad's doctors are sufficiently expert that they would consider the effects of his other treatments when scheduling the surgery.

In my own case, I was encouraged to have surgery before radiation for head/neck cancer (lung cancer came later) because the rads would make the tissue in the area to be operated on much more difficult to deal with.

That might apply, but in a lesser sense, in dad's case, since the area being considered is probably a larger mass (a lobe or a lung?).

I would say, personally, that any time they are interested in doing surgery this is a good thing. Optimally, of course, there is no cancer, but once we are certain there is cancer, particularly in the lung or another organ, I would think that we would be ecstatic when they suggest surgery.

There are so many folks on this board (and others) who WOULD BE ecstatic if their doctors offered surgery.

All of which is to say that dad should be very happy that the chemo and rads have had such a dramatically positive effect on his cancer that they are NOW considering a surgical measure in an attempt to eliminate the junk altogether!

Welcome to CSN, by the way: a crummy club due to 'membership requirements', but a joint comprised of a wonderful membership of kind, giving people with a myriad experiences to share, which they often do.

Take care,


Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

I went for a 2nd opinion and my surgeon said if i contuned my radiation he could not do surgery because it makes the lungs hard to work on

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