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What to expect

daytona7
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2014

Hi all,

 I'm new here on this subject so I hope you can forgive my seeming dumb.  Let me start from the beginning.  In late September I visited my doctor about sleep problems.  Doctor had me get a CT scan since my last one was in 2012 where a small nodule was found lower right lobe.  Biopsy came back as benign then.  This CT scan showed a much larger nodule, maybe 5-6 times larger than 2012's.  Doc said it 'might' be a cancer, so he sent me for a PET scan.  Report from doctor;  This scan suggest that the right lower lobe nodule identified in previous scan, is 'likely' to be cancer.  There were several other areas (lymph nodes draining the right lung) which were 'mildly' abnormal.  Assuming that this is a cancer, this cancer has not spread to other body parts.  Lymph nodes in question could be biopsied surgically.  I am scheduled for a Pulmonary function test to make sure that I have sufficient lung volume to tolerate removal of lung tissue.

One of my questions for the lung doctor is, I suffer from COPD from over 50 years of smoking and use a Spiriva inhailer once a day to help my breathing.  I am almost positive that with my having COPD, I would not have sufficient lung volume for surgery.  If this is true, what other options are available?  Are they done as an out patient or admitted and if admitted, how long of a hospital stay?

When a biopsy is performed by passing a needle through the back and into the lungs, do they have a patholoigist there to check the results immediatly and start treatment right then?

I know I've got questions to ask the lung doctor but do not have a clue on what to ask.  H E L P!

So far the possibilty that I have lung cancer has not really hit me, yet.  Possibly because I already had my first cancer scare, prostate cancer, 15 years ago.

dennycee
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2011

If the biopsy confirms lung cancer there still an opportunity to use chemo and/or radiation.  How much and what type will depend on what type of cancer it is.  If it is small cell cancer they will rush treatment as that is an aggressive form of cancer.   The ACS has an excellent, comprehensive list of questions that address all phases of treatment  from pre diagnosis to long term survivorship.  

Print it out.  It has room to write the answers to your questions.  If you can, have someone come to the appointments with you to take notes.  Get copies of all reports and start a file.  If you don't understand something, remind them that you need answers in plain English.  

http://cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003285-pdf.pdf

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