CT scan show 1-3cm mass in center of lung. Smoke 2 packs a day. Practitioner & oncologist both say cancer?

  • 3
69, male shortness of breath, shoulder pain, pain in chest, dizzy. Pain meds inhailer

3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

Your symptoms may be caused by lung cancer. If you are dizzy, you need to check the brain CT scan to exclude the metastasis caused by lung cancer. If you have early lung cancer, surgery is needed as soon as possible. Your most important thing now is to quit smoking.

He already has cancer, what's the difference now quit smoking? The cancer won't go away.
A large number of clinical evidences show that whether the cancer is related to smoking or not, the treatment results of continuing smokers after diagnosis of cancer are significantly worse than those of quitters. This conclusion is suitable for many different types of cancer patients. Smoking affects the surgical effect in the following aspects:    
•    Nicotine can affect blood flow by constricting blood vessels, and smoking can increase the concentration of carbon monoxide in the circulation, which will reduce wound healing and increase the chance of infection in the operation site;            
•    Smoking also increases the risk of serious pulmonary complications, including bronchospasm during and after surgery;            
•    There is more mucus in the lungs of smokers, which will increase the complications of general anesthesia.            
As a result, many surgeons insist that patients stop smoking for at least two weeks before surgery, and possibly longer if allowed.

Dear Bob,

Hope you are doing well. I think the next step is see a thoracic surgeon to see if there is still chance of surgery, since surgical resection is still the most effective treatment for lung cancer.

You and your doctor choose a cancer treatment plan based on a number of factors, such as your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.

In some cases, you may choose not to undergo treatment. For instance, you may feel that the side effects of treatment will outweigh the potential benefits. When that's the case, your doctor may suggest comfort care to treat only the symptoms the cancer is causing, such as pain or shortness of breath.

Surgery

During surgery your surgeon works to remove the lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. Procedures to remove lung cancer include:

  • Wedge resection to remove a small section of lung that contains the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue
  • Segmental resection to remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe
  • Lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung
  • Pneumonectomy to remove an entire lung

If you undergo surgery, your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from your chest in order to check them for signs of cancer.

Surgery may be an option if your cancer is confined to the lungs. If you have a larger lung cancer, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy before surgery in order to shrink the cancer. If there's a risk that cancer cells were left behind after surgery or that your cancer may recur, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around you, directing radiation to precise points on your body.

For people with locally advanced lung cancer, radiation may be used before surgery or after surgery. It's often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery isn't an option, combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be your primary treatment.

For advanced lung cancers and those that have spread to other areas of the body, radiation therapy may help relieve symptoms, such as pain.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. One or more chemotherapy drugs may be given through a vein in your arm (intravenously) or taken orally. A combination of drugs usually is given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between so that you can recover.

Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may remain. It can be used alone or combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may also be used before surgery to shrink cancers and make them easier to remove.

In people with advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy can be used to relieve pain and other symptoms.

Radiosurgery

Stereotactic body radiotherapy, also known as radiosurgery, is an intense radiation treatment that aims many beams of radiation from many angles at the cancer. Stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment is typically completed in one or a few treatments.

Radiosurgery may be an option for people with small lung cancers who can't undergo surgery. It may also be used to treat lung cancer that spreads to other parts of the body, including the brain.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die.

Many targeted therapy drugs are used to treat lung cancer, though most are reserved for people with advanced or recurrent cancer.

Some targeted therapies only work in people whose cancer cells have certain genetic mutations. Your cancer cells may be tested in a laboratory to see if these drugs might help you.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body's disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that blind the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.

Immunotherapy treatments are generally reserved for people with advanced lung cancer

...