What advances in treatments for Lung Cancer have you had?

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, May 13 8:39am

Way back in 1997, when I had my first NSCLC surgery, it did not include video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). During all of my pre-op tests, all the nurses kept saying that I would be very uncomfortable because incisions were made along the bra strap and would be very irritating. I don’t know if I was lucky because my incisions never irritated me but they aren’t hidden so they show in a bathing suit if I lift my arms. SO there was a trade-off!

Ten years later when my second lung cancer occurred an attempt to use VATS was successful for one lesion but there were 3 of them. My surgeon had to take the tubing out and surgically remove the other lesions because one of them had penetrated the pleura. The operation lasted 7 1/2 hours. I needed chemo after a month because there wasn’t yet any immunotherapy back then for multifocal cancer. My last two cancers were zapped with SBRT, a relatively new type of precision radiation because it saved tissue that probably would have been lost in my lung during surgery.

There have been so many changes in lung cancer treatments from CT screening technologies, immunotherapy, SBRT, new surgical methods, and equipment. All of these shorten hospital stays and recuperation lengths. They also help patients survive lung cancer or give a person a longer life.

Cure Today recently covered this subject:
https://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2020/lung-1-2020/precision-through-incision-advances-in-surgical-techniques-to-treat-lung-cancer?

What kind of treatments have you had with newer techniques or approaches? Were they very uncomfortable?

My NSCLC treatment plan has taken me away from the traditional treatments of surgery, chemo, radiation. Having tested positive for the ALK gene mutation, I’ve started an oral targeted therapy which has done wonders for the way I feel each day. While no one wants to hear that they have stage IV lung cancer, so far, I have been fortunate to avoid surgery and the recovery that goes along with that.
The researchers that work with the targeted therapies are making strides and great progress, giving many patients hope, and many good-days.
Exciting news for those with the RET gene mutation, as they now have a targeted therapy option:
https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-therapy-patients-lung-and-thyroid-cancers-certain-genetic-mutation-or-fusion

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@lls8000

My NSCLC treatment plan has taken me away from the traditional treatments of surgery, chemo, radiation. Having tested positive for the ALK gene mutation, I’ve started an oral targeted therapy which has done wonders for the way I feel each day. While no one wants to hear that they have stage IV lung cancer, so far, I have been fortunate to avoid surgery and the recovery that goes along with that.
The researchers that work with the targeted therapies are making strides and great progress, giving many patients hope, and many good-days.
Exciting news for those with the RET gene mutation, as they now have a targeted therapy option:
https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-therapy-patients-lung-and-thyroid-cancers-certain-genetic-mutation-or-fusion

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@lls8000– I was stunned when I was told that I had stage 4 lung cancer. I don't think that there is a target for multifocal yet but if I have to have 2 places that are suspect killed in late June I might have to settle for SBRT again. I live in a rural seaside town and I might have to stay in Boston if this happens. We have so few cases of Sars-CoV2 and If I have to stay in Boston then I will be more exposed. YIKES! I agree that lung cancer research and its scientists have been on their toes! Have you had to go to the hospital for anything during this pandemic?

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The science behind all types amazes me more and more as I learn more! I have been to the hospital for scans, labs, and an oncology appointment. I’ve been screened at the door, and always wear a mask. I’ve been lucky that my care has all occurred within just two miles of my house, so I haven’t had to travel.

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@lls8000

The science behind all types amazes me more and more as I learn more! I have been to the hospital for scans, labs, and an oncology appointment. I’ve been screened at the door, and always wear a mask. I’ve been lucky that my care has all occurred within just two miles of my house, so I haven’t had to travel.

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@lls8000– That is lucky! My hospital is an hour train ride but to the best Hospital in New England! Having lung cancer introduces you to a new entire language! I love to read articles about science. What kinds of protection have you used when you have needed to go to the hospital?

Liked by bluelagoon

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I’m fortunate to be able to be so close, and to not have to take public transportation. Once I’m at the hospital, I feel safe. There are staff walking around spraying/wiping everything down. Temperatures are taken at the door. I’ll wait for the screening area to be somewhat clear of other patients before I step inside. If I go any where right now, I’m of course wearing a mask, and I have a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a travel sized pack of WetOnes. Armed and ready! Or as ready as I can be.
Wishing you the best in June!!

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