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Cancer

Not Sure of Treatment Decision

02/18/2009

Question:

My mom had a left lower lobectomy about 10 yrs. ago. It was discovered recently that her remaining lung, left side,has collapsed. Bone scans, PET scans, initial biopsy were done. Adenocarcinoma and squamous cell (non small cell) were found, along with lymph node involvement in the chest. Went to see a thoracic surgeon. He recommends removing the 1cm lesion that is blocking her left main bronchus, using a scope, so that he can re-inflate her lung so she can breathe better. She actually is breathing fine with just the lung she has, right side. Photoablation will be done, along with a stent. He`s guessing Stage 3A or B. He says this is exploratory. To see exactly how much lymph node invovement there is, so that he can plan teatment. Should chemo be done before this? Will excising the tumor cause it to spread? Should the lymhphs be treated without going in 1st? If the lung has had a tumor there, surely it may have micrometeastisis, why keep it? I`m not quite sure what the best option is. My mom is 76 years old and in decent health. Thanks!

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your mother's condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with her history, physical exam, and test results.

Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University