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Nov 10, 2017 · Video Q&A about Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening in Lung Health

You will find statistics on smoking and mortality if you do your own research, but you won’t find an answer to your question. I’ve been reading a lot of statistical data on survival rates for Stage 3-4 lung cancer. My mother was diagnosed with this in August. But I don’t have an answer, and the doctors can’t provide one either, as far as how long she will live. I do know that she quit smoking 40 years ago after 20 years of smoking. And every time I walk past someone who is smoking, I want to stop and ask them why they would risk their health, and the health of others, in this way? The fact that you’re asking your question on this forum suggests to me that you’re worried. Why not minimize the risk as much as possible and quit today?

Oct 23, 2017 · My Mother’s Daughter - When Lung Cancer Hits Home in Lung Cancer

Hi Linda – I feel the hugs and I’ll pass one on to my Mom today.

I think that your push to increase lung cancer awareness has been remarkable. Why do we hear so little about it when it takes more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined? It must be stigma, as you’ve explained.

There’s huge opportunity to bring ‘Running Lungs’ events to more centres, and to Canadian cities as well. I wish that I could be at Mayo Rochester on November 2nd. There’s an amazing day of events planned.

Oct 23, 2017 · My Mother’s Daughter - When Lung Cancer Hits Home in Lung Cancer

Hi @colleenyoung – Thank-you for the welcome. I’ve been meaning to get in touch, again with the encouragement of @llwortman. What a bright light she is to all who battle serious health challenges… and she and her husband have become wonderful new friends to our family.

To answer your question about my Mother’s present treatment regimen:

With confirmation from the Mayo thoracic surgeon that we met with that my Mom is not a surgical candidate, she returned home to start her chemo-radiation program. The doc at Mayo will review repeat-imaging taken through the course of her treatment to determine whether there’s any sort of surgical opportunity afterwards. I understand that the window for surgery post-treatment is quite narrow which means the assessment will fall into a tight timeline at the 4 week mark after radiation concludes.

She is starting week 2 of concurrent treatment today. It’s chemo and radiation today, and daily radiation through the rest of the week. She has 6 cycles of this, and then optional chemo in weeks 9 and 12.

My mother’s case is challenging because it’s ‘locally-advanced’ in the area of her upper right lung. Mayo is currently undertaking genomic and immuno ‘checkpoint inhibitor’ testing of biopsy sample to look for targetable mutations or proteins such as PD-L1. The Mayo medical oncologist who we met with believes that there is a reasonable shot in finding a mutation, as my Mom has a ‘remote smoking history… she quit 40 years ago.

So, we all await the results of the testing and hope that it will offer another avenue of treatment approach down the road. I’d be interested in hearing from others who have received targeted drug therapies. It certainly seems to be a very promising area of treatment. In fact, there is a paradigm shift underway between the traditional standard first-line IV chemo approach and new ‘smart’ oral drugs that seek out target-positive tumour sites. This is really exciting stuff.

Oct 22, 2017 · My Mother’s Daughter - When Lung Cancer Hits Home in Lung Cancer

My mother was diagnosed with Stage 3A lung cancer on August 29th of this year. I am a Canadian, and while I don’t live in the same city as my parents, I have become their primary support person, their main spokesperson with doctors, and their researcher of the latest and best practices in treating lung cancer. I’m removed ever so slightly from the immediate fallout zone. The shock of the diagnosis was terrible, but once it sunk in, I became the person within our family who asks the questions. And, I continue to ask a lot of them.

I’ve met Mentor Linda personally, and with her amazing energy and persistence, I was able to bring my Mom (and Dad) to Mayo Rochester this month to seek a second opinion on both surgical opportunity and the planned chemo-radiation treatment proposed by local doctors. From the moment my parents and I walked into the atrium of the Gonda building, I felt that we were in an incredible place of healing and understanding. The doctors that we consulted with at Mayo have become team members with my Mom’s local doctors. They willingly and directly reach out to us when we have questions, and they remain available to us even though my mother’s wish is to undertake at least the preliminary stage of her cancer treatment at home.

There are many things that are beyond the control of anyone diagnosed with a serious illness. And, family members can feel particularly helpless. However, the peace of mind that is gained in seeking out a second opinion on the diagnosis can last a lifetime. I know, and my family know… we’ll always know, that we are doing everything that we can to provide my mother with the best possible outcome.

I feel blessed to be touched directly by Mayo. And, I know that there are many others, as witnessed by this forum, who seek answers to their questions and reassurance that their treatment approach is the best one possible for them. Sharing information and participating in dialogue around cancer offers a sense of control to all of us. At the end of each day, it’s really about knowing that everything that can be done, is being done.