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small cell lung cancer

I have a family memeber that was just told she has small cell lung cancer.  It seems to be only in one lung bone scan, brain scan and all other test are clear.  She was told surgrey would not be an option.  My question is since it doesn't seem to have spread why can they not remove the mass and then treat with Chemo?  The mas is in her upper left lung.  Thanks for any info you can give..
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322973 tn?1239904438
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,
The biologic nature of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is such that it usually does not respond well to surgery. In other words, clinical studies have proven that if a patient with SCLC undergoes surgery, the cancer will usually recur. This is probably because SCLC is a systemic disease, with micro-metastases already spread (but not detectable with scans etc) at time of diagnosis. Thus local treatment (surgery) would not treat the distant spread, and these would continue to grow and appear on scans shortly after surgery. Hence a combination of local (radiation) and systemic (chemotherapy) therapy was tried and showed better results.
Studies have shown that a combination of chemotherapy (usually with a platinum and etoposide) and radiation therapy offers the best chances of remission.
Your family member has limited stage disease, with no spread yet to lymph nodes, bone, or brain. This limited stage disease should be treated early with chemo-radiation.
All the best, and God Bless.
Helpful - 2
322973 tn?1239904438
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,

There will be some chance of infection as a result of low blood (WBC) count about 7 to 10 days after her chemo, and counts are expected to go back to normal around day 14. This duration of low WBC can be reduced by giving growth factors like injection filgrastim. She should avoid raw foods (salads, fruits, yogurt etc) during this period.

At the time of radiation, she may complain of pain, skin discomfort and color change, low blood counts, cough and chest pain.

You can help by anticipating these problems and working with your oncologist to detect and address them. Many doctors advise a complete blood count on Day 8 to check the level of WBC.

All the Best!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank ypu for your replys and answers.  She just had her 1st 3 days of chemo and so far is feeling well.  The Dr. did tell us that she has a very small spot in her other lung, one in her liver and one spot in her brain.  The Dr. is still calling it limited.  When she goes back for chemo she will start radiation twice a day.  As a family member is there any advice on what to expect and anything we can do to help her through the radiation treatments? Im very worried about her because she seems to be in denial about how serious this is.  She beat thyroid cancer several years ago and she believes this will be as easy to beat as it was.  I have done alot of research like her Dr. told her to do on small cell but she doesn't seem to want to know any info on the type of cancer she has.  Thanks for any advice you you have.  God Bless
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas is currently studying the effects of Curcumin on lung cancer, with promising results.  If you google MD Anderson and curcumin, you should be able to research this on your own.  Best regards
Helpful - 0

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