• How Long before surgery

    Asked by Blackmama on Thursday, May 30, 2013

    How Long before surgery

    Hi again,
    If diagnosed with Non-small cell, wonder how quick one needs to move on the surgery? Would I need to have the surgery "immediately" or would I have a month to find a good surgeon. I don't plan on waiting around too long, but just wondering. Any thoughts? I will ask my surgeon as well.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      There is a program here in Florida that pushes to have people diagnosed with lung cancer get treatment as quickly as possible, because they recognized how important it is to move fast to have better outcomes. My dad started his experience with his first stage 2b non-small-cell lung cancer in December 2009 with a chest x-ray. He had a stay in the hospital with pneumonia that may have delayed his surgery plans. But even with that, he had his surgery in February 2010, a little less than two months after his first chest x-ray.

      I wouldn't spend months searching for sure. As soon as possible is a good idea so you can start to heal up and get into adjuvant chemotherapy, but your surgeon would know best. Dad had a very good outcome with that first cancer, and resumed normal activities for two years.

      Maybe you could check with organizations devoted to lung cancers to see if they maintain any lists of thoracic surgeons with the most experience in this type of operation in your area, for a second opinion.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      If it makes you feel any better, I didn't know what to make of dad's surgeon until I got into the waiting room and people started telling me about their families' good experiences with the doctor. Then when I saw him in action, I could see how caring and attentive he was. In between visits, he also had a nurse practitioner working with him. After the experience, I was confident that he received the best possible care.

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      FreeBird is correct that you don't want to spend months researching surgeons as sooner is better for outcomes. Also the best surgeons will have waits for openings. When you schedule a consultation with a surgeon you may want to ask about the wait and even reserve a surgery date even if you decide to cancel it later. When looking for a surgeon you want one that is confident and reassuring and one that will take the time to explain the surgery he recommends, the other options and goes over how he plans to make sure you don't have complications. I saw your post about the concerns you had with the first surgeon and his hospital and I understand and agree with them. You need to have confidence in your surgeon, your putting your life in his hands. You also need to know that the hospital can handle any problems that mighty arise. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • Journey's Avatar

      Hi Blackmama,

      It took me about 5 months to get from the chest Xray with the 'shadow' to the lobectomy surgery, and I was busy the whole time. You want to move as fast as you can to start treatment. Just to know that you are doing something positive will make you feel better mentally, even if the treatment is difficult. It is important that you feel good about your doctors and all your cancer team members. You must rely on their expertise in so many ways. Stay strong and be positive. Good luck.

      20 May 2010: X-ray that showed a 'shadow' in the lung.
      21 May 2010: CT scan which showed that it was a tumor.
      25 May 2010: I saw the pulmologist.
      8 Jun 2010: Lung Biopsy. Results: Lung Cancer, Adenocarcinoma, suggestive of bronchioalveolar type.
      15 Jun 2010: PET scan to look for any other tumors in my body. Results: Possible metastatic disease in my bones. Appointment to see surgeon was cancelled. (Surgeon will not do surgery if cancer is not localized.)
      18 June 2010: Pulmonary Function Test. Results: OK.
      25 June 2010: MRI of Cervial neck and Pelvic areas. Results: Lots of degenerative changes and some places worrisome for metastatic disease.
      2 July 2010: Saw Oncologist. Told my cancer generally goes to liver, brain and bones. Scans showed my liver is OK.
      15 July 2010: MRI of brain. Results: OK.
      20 July 2010: Bone Scan. Results: Possible metastatic disease.
      2 Aug 2010: Told I have stage 4. Oncologist thought she could reduce the tumor by 50%. Asked what surgeon says, what radiology oncologist says? What Next? Get into trial? Tumor Board?
      10 Aug 2010: Surgeon said I was good candidate for surgery, - never smoked, lean, and in good health. Does not think I have metastatic lung cancer. He said it goes to the liver or brain first before going to the bones.
      11 Aug 2010: Radiology oncologist said he can not used radiation to get rid of my tumor because of its location. If the bone pain become worse then radiation can be used to releive the pain.
      13 Aug 2010: Medi Port was put in for chemo.
      13 Aug 2010: Bone Biopsy. Results: negative for cancer.
      16 Aug 2010: Started Zometa infusions - Bone strengthening medicine.
      20 Aug 2010: Tumor Board - the doctors were equally divided as to if there was cancer in my bones.
      8 Sep 2010: Lobectomy - right lower lobe. Pathology: pT2a No Mo. Hospital Stay: 5 days.
      25 Oct 2010: Start chemo.

      over 3 years ago
    • mleuther's Avatar

      first ct scan showed "spot", 2nd scan 6 months later showed sized increase, 2 days later broncoscopy found adenocarcinoma, lobectomy done 2 days later... it is close to 5 years now and no re- occurrence. I went to a place that does lung surgery several times a week, so they have the expertise.

      over 3 years ago

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