• Living with one lung

    Asked by Blackmama on Monday, June 3, 2013

    Living with one lung

    Hi to all,
    Well, I have had a second opinion. It varies ALOT from my first surgeon's views. Now I am hearing that I may (50-50chance) have to have my entire right lung removed due to the enlarged lymph node close by. First of all, my first surgeon did not mention this at all. He said it would be biopsied and if showed to have cancer, would treat with chemo. This second surgeon says that chemo will not cure me. Will only slow the cancer down and should remove the entire rt. lung if the node is cancerous. So, how does one live without a rt. lung? Thanks, Blackmama

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I can't answer the lung question, but I am glad you got a second opinion. Its important to remember that Dr.s are people so the differing opinions are not that much of a surprise. You might consider a third. At this point, I would think its upmost important that you settle on a Dr and plan that you are happy with. Do some research on your Dr, his history, etc and go into this at peace with your decision.

      over 3 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      Don't ever be afraid to get as many doctors opinions as you need until you find the one that you trust. I would not be throwing in my hat with someone who wants to take the whole lung before knowing if it is cancer, that seems a bit extreme. Do your research and find out who has the most experience in your area, then talk to them. Please take care and don't panic, Tracy

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      You have five lung lobes. Three in the right lung and tow in the left all about the same capacity. I am told that loosing one is only noticeable to elite athletes. Loosing the whole right lung would result in a significant limitation to your lung capacity. Right now I have a blockage in my trachea leading to my left lung and I can definitely notice it. So you can live with just one lung.

      There are several treatment options beyond surgery and chemo for the lymph nodes. You should ask each surgeon to explain in detail what they recommend. Why does the second one what to remove the whole lung? Can he not get to the lymph nodes without removing the lung? If you have just the one lobe removed can radiation be used on the lymph nodes? Chemo has been known in some cases to kill a tumor completely but it does not always do so. You should also seek out and see other cancer specialists, an oncologist and a radiation oncologist at least. You might what to find a treatment center that uses a tumor board where al of the cancer specialists get together and discuss the cases to get the broadest spectrum of opinions. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      The first thing I will say is; You are taking way to long to get a conclusion on if this is cancer.
      With LC you cannot fool around. Without a biopsy you do not know that you have small cell.
      Typically small cell does not have surgery as a treatment plan.

      Without mutation testing you do not know if chemo should be your first line of treatment.

      I really don't know if you are just getting really bad information or are you concluding a great deal.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I can't comment on what the right treatment is for you, but I will tell you that I have an acquaintance who is in her mid 80s who had one lung removed almost 30 years ago. She worked and lived an active life up until a couple years ago.

      over 3 years ago
    • LuvinSis' Avatar


      The above Herlong is a link to a recent article you may find useful.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs, I am glad you went for a 2nd opinion. You may want to get a 3rd. How confident do you feel about the new doctor, he sounds like he really reviewed your files before the consultation, something that the first surgeon did not do. Most people with LC have surgery and then have chemo

      over 3 years ago
    • gerann's Avatar

      I have had one lung since 2007. I only notice being short of breath upon walking up a hill or climbing stairs. I just stop for a minute and continue on. No biggie! Day to day, I don't notice any difference. Good luck with your decision.

      over 3 years ago

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