• Good news today but still questions

    Asked by Blackmama on Saturday, June 8, 2013

    Good news today but still questions

    Hi to all,
    I have set my surgery date for 10 days away. I like this new surgeon. He will do lobectomy only, not full removal. He says I am in stage 1 but oncologist says stage 3a. I have two nodules on right lobe and 5cm nodule on hilius. He says if all cancerous, that is stage 3a. However, I did not understand why my prognosis is not any higher since both nodules on right lobe are coming out! If anyone can explain this, that would help. Also, he wants me to do a brain MRI to make sure it has not migrated to my brain. Guess I'll worry about that until I get that done. Blackmama

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Although I knew my cancer would be either stage III or IV, they would not actually stage it until after surgery. That way they could ship everything off to pathology first for determination

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Scans can only tell doctors so much. As BuckeyeShelby said, until they perform surgery on the suspicious growth and get back the pathology results, stage and grade are an educated guess.

      Best of luck with your surgery, I'm so glad you found a surgeon you like and trust.

      over 7 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      This is one of the most frustrating thing about cancer, you can't get a sure answer until after they have gone in. Glad you are feeling better about your surgeon.

      over 7 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Kudos to you to finding the right surgeon! The last thing you want to have to do is to mess around when you're sick, doing research etc. to find the right doc. But in the long run the right one will serve you well. Good luck on your upcoming surgery.

      over 7 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I have never really understood the staging system though I have seen several examples on line. I am so happy that you found someone who is less extreme than what you were saying earlier! I was lucky to have not been told how bad my cancer was in high school until many years later when my oncologist told me that he only took terminal cases. By then I had already exceeded the original expectations. So personally I would not be too worried about the Stage but about taking one day at a time. Please take care and know that we are all pulling for you! Tracy

      over 7 years ago
    • Journey's Avatar

      Hi Blackmama,
      I am glad you found a surgeon that you like and trust. The staging is confusing. They first stage you before surgery to see if you are a candidate and that the surgery would be beneficial for you. Once you have your surgery, they will check lymph nodes and other things to see if they were infected with the cancer. All these samples and tumors will go to the pathologist for a closer look. You will then get an new staging. See this link for more information: [http://www.cancerstaging.org/staging/posters/lung8.5x11.pdf]
      I also had a brain scan before my surgery to see if the cancer had spread there. Good luck!

      over 7 years ago
    • Journey's Avatar

      Oh, I forgot...The brain MRI is really not that bad; but if you do get clostrophobia but a scarf over your eyes. It will be noisy, (they will give you ear plugs) and try to relax.

      over 7 years ago
    • CherylS@StF's Avatar

      So glad you have a surgeon that you are confident in. Staging is tricky even for those of us that work in oncology. The stages that the physicians are giving you are based on what is called "clinical staging". That is the staging that in your case is completed prior to your surgery. Once the surgery has been done and all of the tumor and lymph node sampling sent to pathology then the "pathological stage" will be completed by the pathologist. This is the most accurate staging, because the surgeon has actually viewed the cancer, sees its location and how close it may be to other areas within the lung such as the bronchus or other lobes. The lymph node sampling is done for even further staging. You may have had a PET/CT that showed uptake in 1 or more lymph nodes. That PET/CT may have been accurate or had a false/positive. It may have had uptake due to inflammation or other reasons that were not cancerous. By the surgeon going in and getting a sampling of all the lymph nodes in the surrounding tumor site that allows for more accurate staging to be done by the pathologist. Brain MRI's are standard of care for patients that have been staged as "Stage II" or higher. This is for you protection. If the cancer has traveled to the brain then surgery would be ruled out due to that traveling and other treatment options will be explored. I would not worry, especially if you are not symptomatic, meaing, are not falling, frequent dizziness, head aches, ect... Hope this helps and wish you the best in your upcoming surgery.

      over 7 years ago

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