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Prognosis for stage IV NSCLC

Hello All,

Could somebody please ballpark a prognosis/life expectancy for my mother. She is 66 yrs. and has been diognosed with Poorly differentiatd adenocarcrnoma non small cell lung cancer that has spread to her brain. I have been to all her appointments but it is so hard to ask th "How Long" question in front of my mother. I also know that her cancer is not operable and I was hoping to find out her prognosis/ life expectancy. So many things i'd like to do in case her treatment runs her into the ground.

Thanks To All,
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First Helper khitt
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replied May 20th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Hello, gman66!
How is your mother treated at the moment?
Does she has single or multiple metastasis in the brain?
Is her primary cancer (lung cancer) symptomatic?
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replied May 20th, 2008
She is being treated "palliative". She has 15 radiation treatments. She will have 2 Chemo treatments scheduled about 3 weeks apart. She has multiple metastasis in the brain. Also can you tell which one is worse or which one will become her problem brain or lung. thanks so much
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replied May 26th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Radiation therapy has become a mainstream therapy for brain metastasis, especially, for patients with multiple lesions. With this treatment, median survival is 3-6 months (some data says 2-3 months) depending on number of lesions (patients with solitary lesions have a better prognosis), their radiosensitivity, and the status of systemic disease.
I found some information about case similar to your mum.
It's about a patient with stage IIIb non-small cell lung cancer and brain metastasis, who has received Gefitinib, a drug used in the treatment of certain types of cancer.
The patient experienced a dramatic clinical improvement within 1 week.
Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging of the brain 1 month later showed decreases in both the size and number of brain metastases and the patient remained well 9 months after initiation of gefitinib.
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replied November 7th, 2008
My mom
My mom was diagnosed in June with stage IIIB non small cell. The cancer has not spread past the chest wall. It is in her left lung and is around the heart sac. She had 4 rounds of chemo which has just about destroyed her body. Although the cancer hasn't spread the tumor has grown. The doctor pretty much said no more chemo. Mom has never smoked and that is in her favor. I'm so worried about her so I know how you feel. She is weak, has problems eating and cries alot. I don't know how to help her. Any ideas?
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replied January 13th, 2009
NSCLC - prognosis & complications
Hi all!

My Dad had an "early" diagnosis of NSCLC and had a good prognosis which led him to undergo surgery for complete removal of his left lung. Unfortunately the operaton did not proceed due to "cardiac wraparound" and proximity to his ribs. He had half of one course of palliative chemotherapy and developed a PE (blood clot) then rapidly had bone secondaries and brain metatases. He died 9 months from diagnosis. Although you feel helpless here are a few things you can do: be with them, support them, ensure they are pain-free (as far as you and they can tell) and when the inevitable end comes, celebrate their life and what they gave you - and get some support from the healthcare professionals and hospice care (for you and them). Its really OK to be sad and to take time to adapt after they pass away to a better pain-free place; its just a great shame that they cannot see how much you admired them for their courage and the selfless support they gave you when you didn't know they were.
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replied February 9th, 2009
Has lung cancer spread?
my father in law has stage 4 lung cancer in lower left lobe. the tumor spread to his brain but was removed with surgery in 11/08. He underwent 7 weeks of radiation on the brain and the tumors disappeared. The tumor in his lung has grown and they are unable to give him chemo b/c his platelet count is low and he has been receiving radiation for the past 4 weeks on the lung. He is now in ICU due to a stomach obstruction which the drs. are draining. He has Type 2 diabetes which has been out of whack due to loss of appetite etc.... what are the chances that the cancer hasn't spread to his stomach lining?
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replied February 9th, 2009
my 44 year old sister
Early in this month of January 2009 my sister had only back pain symptoms. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung cancer. She has one large tumor in her lung as well as a few small ones and one large one in the T-9 vertebre of her spine. The cancer has not spread to her brain or any other organs. She is expected to begin surgery this Thursday for her spine because of possible paralysis. Then she will undergo radiation and later chemo. What prognosis might she have and what risks are associated with this surgery?
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replied November 29th, 2010
Re: my 44 year old sister
dembry7 wrote:
Early in this month of January 2009 my sister had only back pain symptoms. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung cancer. She has one large tumor in her lung as well as a few small ones and one large one in the T-9 vertebre of her spine. The cancer has not spread to her brain or any other organs. She is expected to begin surgery this Thursday for her spine because of possible paralysis. Then she will undergo radiation and later chemo. What prognosis might she have and what risks are associated with this surgery?



Hello there. I found that IRCC is actively working with NovaRx to enroll patients in a research study of Lucanix, an investigational lung cancer vaccine for nsclc. Hopefully they can help answer your questions.
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replied September 10th, 2011
Non-Traditional Therapy
My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Non Small Celll Metastatic lung cancer. Pretty much the worst diagnosis you can get. The conventional Doctors gave her no hope and said that within 6 months she would be dead. They said with Chemotherapy she could last another 3 to 4 months but would be sick every day for the rest of her short remaining life. The Doctors were all VERY upset when she opted to fight her cancer with non traditional means. The result is that it has been a year since her diagnosis. Her latest scan showed a lessening of the main tumor in her lung. She is back to a normal weight (she was overweight) and looks the best she has ever looked. Her immune system is in top form and she is fighting the disease. What did she do? Changed her diet to 100% plant based diet, detoxed, cleansed and alkalized her body, hyperbaric therapy, chelation therapy, hyperthermia with very, very light Gemstar (chemo tested to be reactive to her body type with no side effects, various nutritional supplements, various non-toxic cancer and tumor suppressors. I encourage everyone that reads this to do your homework. Traditional medicine is not always the solution. I have learned so much in this process, I never knew there was another way. You can live with cancer and survive the cancer without harsh chemo, radiation and surgery. There are volumes of data on this by the most respected individuals in Medicine. Seek and you shall find!
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replied September 22nd, 2011
khitt: can you give some websites to visit regarding these therapies?
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replied February 14th, 2012
Thanks for the post, khitt

My mom has just been diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to her liver and adrenal gland. We are awaiting further details about the size, type and stage, etc., as she has a biopsy scheduled for Thursday. I have read a bit on alternative therapy, and though I definitely respect and acknowledge its efficacy, what bothers me is that so many resources seem sort of slapped together and presented without references. Could you please point me toward some of the best resources that you found on the latest alternative cancer therapies? I would truly appreciate it.
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replied May 19th, 2012
Non-traditional Treatment for lung cancer
Could you tell me where your mother received this treatment? My brother was just diagnose with lung cancer in St. Louis, MO area and would welcome alternatives as we are just now exploring his options for treatment. thanks you.
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replied July 13th, 2012
My father has Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer
My father has just been diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to a spot on his liver. Do you have any links to some of these kinds of alternative therapies.
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replied February 28th, 2012
hello, my father (53 years old) has been diagnosed with poorly differentiated small cell adenocarcinoma. this was on jan 31st, a few days later he went in for his biopsy and his lung collapsed. he has been in the hospital since, it has been 14 days now. the doctors figured since he was already admitted he might as well undergo surgery, lobectomy of the upper 1st lobe. he is doing very well but his lung still cant hold its own (pneumothorax). they also found a lesion in the middle of his brain which is now obviously the main focus. they want to zap the lesion with radiation and begin chemo for any cancerous floater cells. they will not allow me to give him any herbs to speed up the healing process of his lung, nor are they attempting to otherwise by inserting a suction tube. i wanted to send him to the burzynski clinic just to get him on the right path however he is not willing to pay a starting figure of $30,000. he is also a diabetic, and has smoked 3 packs a day for over 30 years. he quit smoking on new years 2012, and was diagnosed 31 days later. i do not believe a clinic would be the save-all, however i do believe cancer is caused by diet, environment, and genetics. i would like to administer hollistic IV treatments (i am licensed) i am hesitant about deciding treatment angles as i am doing this all on my own i would like some experienced advice on the subject altogether.
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replied November 21st, 2012
Crimsy, my husband is 82 and was diagnosed 2 years ago with NSCLC. He has been juicing, taking supplements, etc. all with very good effect. His tumor has not grown in these 2 years. I encourage you to keep learning and applying alternative treatments.
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replied March 23rd, 2012
85 yr old with stage 4 lung cancer
My mother is 85 and has stage 4 lung cancer. She is receiving chemo twice over a 3 week time frame. Her tumor is around th heart. She has a port now to drain the fluid buildup around the left lung. She complains of annoying shoulder pain that hse equates to a broken shoulder she had a few years back. She must be on oxygen at all times due to the shortness of breath. Doctor first had her scheduled for radiation but instean opted for the twice a week chemo treatments. Everything I read appears to say my mom is progressing rapidly based on her symptoms of late. based on the above info could anyone give me a ballpark on her life expectancy? I realize everyone is different but in her case things seem to be changing fairly quickly.
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replied May 10th, 2012
My 93 year old father was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with stage IV lung cancer with multiple metastasis in the brain and liver. The doctors say that it is very difficult to give a prognosis so after having been with him over the last 2 weeks I have returned to Spain where I live and work. He is having no specific treatment and is now on steroids for the brain tumours.Can anyone give me any indication of how long I can expect him to live for?
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