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Surgery or more chemo?

Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

My last scan in August showed mets in my lungs, both sides. I have been doing some research on the laser assisted lung resection initially offered in Germany by Dr. Rolle. it has pretty good ling term remission stsatisitcs if all mers, regardless of size and amount, can be removed. it is now also offered here at my hopsital in Toronto and has been for about a year. However, my thoracic surgeon here said that he doesn't recommend this surgery or any surgery at this point because my mets are small, difficult to find and a few are deep in my lungs which may result in missed spots and me being back in the same place later. I also wonder if because this is a new method for them here if they are a bit cautious. Also my hopsital does not have access to inter operational imaging of the lung at this time to assist in the surgery although they will be getting some in the future. My local surgeon also recommends some chemo first to stabelize things a bit before surgery shoukdnidecide to go the germany or to see if there is something they can do locally. Dr. Rolle in Germany has reviewd my scan and had advised that I am resectable, that the lobes can be saved and recommends the surgery. Part of me just wants the mets out, the other is worried about what is going on in my lungs and thinks chemo may be the way to go first. I'm opnot sure what to do. What would you do? Any thoughts? Of course the local care is 'free' where as the German procedure is about 18000 per lung.

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

That's a very tuff question to answer. I never had lung mets but have had liver mets on 3 possibly a 4th occassion. The first 3 times my surgeon and I agreed to cut them out before chemo. Up until recently I always wanted to get the cancer out of me as fast as possible (Surgery). A tiny spot showed up again on my liver in July on a CT scan. We did an MRI and the spot showed up again but not as clear so my surgeon and I agreed to wait 3 months and do another MRI.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

given the cost?

If it was me, I would go with the surgical approach (just because chemo has never worked for me, while surgery has been very successful), but that's a lot of money.  I noticed it's being offered in the UK too...any cheaper there?

I am a big fan of surgical intervention, but I think your decision will have to take finances into account.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide!  It's great that you have some options.


Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I can cover the cost and there is a chance, albeit slim, that my provincial medical coverage in Canada my cover the cost. Surprisingly the fist in the uk is a lot more....30000 pounds per lung!, which would be close to 100000. It's crazy considering Dr.Rolle seems to be the guy to go to. I think I am earning towards the surgery. I will speak with my oncologist tomorrow.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

i wish i could say something magical to help you with this decision.

i do not have lung mets, but many liver and now bone mets.

the liver mets have always been "numoruous" so everyone says "inoperable".

the chemo seems to be to hold cancer back (for awhile) and surgery seems to be the best option for so many to completely get RID of the cancer.  However, when you doc says things like that... you have to stop and think.

prayin' for you and for your docs... so you all can make an educated decision that is the very best for you.




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