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First Time Here...Wife has Stage 3b, nsclc

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2015

My wife was diagnosed a year ago. since thenm she's had 9 rounds of chemo, a lung resection and 6 weeks of radiation. Because of continuing pain and shortness of breath, some pleural fluid was drawn last week to relieve the pressure.


Oncologist called yesterday and said that the fluid showed the presence of cancer cells in the fluid which could be dead, live or a combination. After doing my own research (i'm not a physician, by the way), it seems that the presence of ANY cancer cells in the pleural fluid is not good. And, if they're live cells, the prognosis is quite bad.


So, my question...has anyone run into this kind of thing...live or dead cancer cells in the pleural fluid?


thanks very much.

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Patrick, I can't answer your question other than to say everything I have read says not good. I hope someone else can jump in with more info. I am praying for you both. Debbie

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Sorry I've not responded before but I've been a it fatigued from treatment to a new cancer.  In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lung with malignant pleural effusion.  At that time I underwent combined chemo and radiation.  The effusion stayed on and didn't become an issue for a year. At which time I experienced a pericardial effusion as well.  my surgeon did a procedure called a pericardial window to drain that and I had an attempted talc pleurodesis. 

My surgeon took a bit of the pleura for biopsy.  It revealed necrotic cancer cells.  There is no way to know if it was the chemo or the radiation that destroyed them.  What matters to me though is that my predicted life span with treatment was 10-15 months. I'm more than three years late for my own funeral (mom always said I would be).  

In the interim. I developed and discovered a stage 1 Brest Cancer.  The survival skills I learned from my stage 4 LC have taught me not to fear this one, I can live with it as a chronic disease.  Not a deadly one- that applies to both!!!!!!!

Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2015

Hi Dennycee! Your story is similar to my mom's. She too had adenocarcinoma, but stage 3a. And now she is battling stage 3 breast cancer. It has been 6.5 years from her lung cancer diagnosis. She had half of her lung removed. The surgery and recovery was rough. She said now the breast cancer surgery is a piece of cake compared to the other one, but neither is fun of course.

I am very happy you are fighting and staying strong! Your  and mom's stories help me with my own battle with cancer (thyroid and salivary gland). Wishing you health and strength!


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