My wife has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Small Cell Carcinoma. It is in one lung, lymph nodes and ribs. My research tells me this is not too hopeful. She is getting radiation and chemotherapy. What are her chances for survival? The statistics I see say 2% for five years.
You are correct. The survival of patients with lung cancer is still pretty dismal, and with such small figures, it is pretty hard to say who will be among the few.
On a positive note, if your wife is receiving both chemotherapy and radiation at the same time – this indicates that she is still pretty active compared with other patients. One thing to consider is the cancer stage. The other thing to consider is the patient's functionality, her independence with activities of daily living, as this relates to how much the disease is affecting her. Hence, a patient with stage 1 cancer in general should live longer than the stage 4, but if this same stage 1 case is moribund because of other diseases like diabetes or hypertension, then the stage 4 case may actually outperform the stage 1.
My father-in-law was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer the first week of June '08. We left our home and have been taking care of him the best we can. We too are also looking at how much time we might have left with him. He was having a really bad week this last week and we saw the doctor today. He has a 5 centimeter size tumor and all of the lymph nodes in the neck and chest area also have the cancer in them. He took very high doses of chemo all summer and the last petscan we did in sept. showed that the were no changes and it had actually spread to a couple of different places one being the scapulus. He has pretty much stopped eating and we can barely get any fluid in him. His biggest fear is having to go to the hospital and never coming home. They gave him an I.V. today for fluids and we were able to get him to eat some soup. Does anyone know if it goes straight down hill from here. It has been so hard. He is a very strong and private man but he is so grateful we are hear. Any advice would be grateful. The doctor recommended hospice. Any thoughts?
The progression of the disease while on chemotherapy may mean that the disease is difficult to treat. The difficulty with feeding likewise complicates the problem. Try to find out what the difficulty is attributed to, whether this is because of nausea, pain while swallowing, no appetite. If the problem is the appetite, try to take advantage of meals where there is interest in eating, you could also try to divert attention from the meal itself by watching television, and then you can break down the big meals into smeller but more frequent feeding. If the main problem was dehydration, try to monitor the amount of urine that he passes and try to deliver this volume plus another half litre. A hospice team may also be able to help identify some other problems. The best estimate for survival would be his doctor’s estimates. The presence of behavior changes (not attributed to known disease in the brain) and breathing difficulties (not attributed to lung disease, this is hard to discern for some patients with lung cancer) would herald an increased risk for death within the next 30 to 90 days.
My father is turning 83 Febuary 1st. about a year ago he had a tumor removed from his lung. (Adenocarcinoma Mucuos) I think that's right, he spelled it over the phone to me. It was in his left upper lung. He was a very heavy smoker his whole life. They thought that it was all gone, he never did radiation or chemo. Now they just found cancer in his lymph nodes under his armpits. At first they said it was a type of skin cancer (makrel?) Then he went to the oncologist and he isn't so sure, he was asking questions about the lung cancer. He is 83 and for the most part doing well and feeling well. Will they do chemo on him if it is the lung cancer spreading to the lymph nodes? If it is in both lymph nodes under both armpits then is it spread throughout his body? What is the outlook here? I'm flying down to Florida to go back to the oncologist with him and I would like to know what questions to ask. How bad is the process? I can't stay in Florida with him, I have 4 kids back home in NJ. How do I deal with this, he has no one else but me.
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