• I read about many people on this site with lung cancer reporting they had surgery. My Dr. says it's inoperable because I am Stage IV. Anyone with Stage IV who have been offered surgery as an option?

    Asked by mykidshavepaws on Thursday, March 22, 2012

    I read about many people on this site with lung cancer reporting they had surgery. My Dr. says it's inoperable because I am Stage IV. Anyone with Stage IV who have been offered surgery as an option?

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    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • shauna0915's Avatar
      shauna0915 (Best Answer!)

      Everyone's cancer is different. Stage IV is the highest the stages go. Having brain mets means it has already spread from your lungs to your brain. Some stage IV patients can have surgery because of where the tumors are located, others can not. It is determined case by case, person by person. Get a second opinion. You are totally within your rights to get all the opinions you want. Take a notebook or recorder with you so you can write down the answers. Make sure you write all of your questions down as you think of them. If you can, it's best to have someone go to the appointments with you to help keep track of all the information. Ask your doctor to show you the pictures of your tumors (CT scan and/or MRI images) and explain to you what is what and where it is. The more you know, the more you will understand. My dad's doctors were both happy and a little nervous when they saw me coming because I'd block the door and ask questions repeatedly in different ways to make sure the answers were the same and that my dad understood what the doctor was saying.

      I wish you well in your journey. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about anything. (BTW - my kids have paws, too!)

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      My mother was told the same thing, inoperable, because of the tumor being intertwined around vessels and other things in her lung. I had someone else look at the scan, they agreed. She didn't have any surgery or treatment.

      over 4 years ago
    • mykidshavepaws' Avatar

      Thank you for your responses, every experience of others and their suggestions are helpful to me. I'm in the process of looking for a physician to obtain a second opinion. In fact, I'm looking for a different center for my care but my options are limited due to my Medicare Adavantage HMO. My current oncologist said they couldn't show me my CT scan, among other things that I find totally unacceptable. This center doesn't have a team that includes thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, etc., which I have seen is available at some cancer treatment centers such as Siteman in St. Louis where I live. I think it's important to have more than one physician and specialist consult about my situation. My current oncologist also does not specialize in lung cancer and there are physicians locally who do, however, they are not listed as providers in my HMO. The neurosurgeon could not be absolutely certain that the brain lesion, which was very small is definitely cancer. Nonetheless, it was treated with radiation and I was totally in agreement with that. So, my biggest obstacle right now is locating care at a site approved by my HMO. I'll be contacting them tomorrow to discuss this. I'm learning very quickly that I need to be much more assertive with my current oncologist in obtaining the information I need. He is always in a big rush so that can be a problem. Shauna, I like the idea of standing at the door so they can't escape ;-). I do usually bring someone with me to visits but need to be sure it's the right person next time.

      over 4 years ago
    • collinsb01's Avatar

      Hello. As Shauna mentioned above, everyone has different cancers. I have adenocarcinoma of the lungs with no primary tumor. My cancer was found in the fluid round my lungs and I got staged at four. They determined this to be an inoperable cancer. While I didn't go to see another oncologist, I did check with oncology nurses that I was referred to. I was assured that my onc's diagnosis appeared to be correct according to my reports, and I was thorough with my info. They also said the treatment one one that would be followed by their office. Habing neither insurance nor resources to see another onc, I went with what my oncs recommended. So far with God's help, things are going well. I have decided to get the most info I can. I ask ahead of time what may happen next time and look it up on the internet so I can determine whether or not to agree with treatment, then place it in God's hands. So far so good.

      over 4 years ago

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