Stage IV Lung Cancer now in brain

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Stage IV Lung Cancer now in brain

by Jayara1029 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 09:27 AM

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Hi- first post here. Back in early December, my Uncle was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. This came as a huge surprise to everyone since he only had a cough, and was incredibly active and overall healthy. For quite some time, he was in and out of the hospital for guild build up in his lungs and once for around his heart. He now has a drain in. He was put on targeted therapy pills (has tried two different ones) but the cancer has continued to spread. To my knowledge, it is in his Left Lung, Right Kidney, Pevlis, Spine and spreading, Liver and spreading, and now his Brain. They are now using the Targeted Therapy, Radiation, and Chemo. My Uncle is so incredibly important to me and I see him as a second father to me. He was 52 when diagnosed, which to me seems so young (ish). I was just wondering if anyone has an idea of prognosis or if this is a last effort to try and slow the spread of his cancer. Unfortunately he is not very open with me about this issue. I am going fr nursing and he is not the first person in my family to have cancer. (Though he is the first one on my dads side to have cancer). He hardly talks to anyone about this or updates us on his PET scans. We usually have to kinda push him to tell us but even at that he's not usually very detailed. My family and I are not used to this as anyone else who was sick was still very self less (like my grandma would go out of her way to want to know how YOURE doing and dealing with her illness) and open about their illnesses. My Uncle is not that like at all. He is very private and there is only so much we can say to him without him shutting down. Please if anyone has any advice, we could surely use it. Not to sound selfish, but it will absolutely kill me if he passes and our relationship is still strained and awkward as it has been.

RE: Stage IV Lung Cancer now in brain

by Chucksan on Sat Sep 09, 2017 06:51 AM

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Please check out my posts here and read about my wife being in remission for 9 months after 5 years of stage 4 lung cancer. You need to get your Uncle to the best local cancer center, many times a large hospital or university hospital in the closest large metropolitan city.  See an oncologist who specializes in lung cancer.  You usually have to ask the staff as many oncologists are mostly described and listed as general oncologists.  Lung cancer is very different from most other cancers.  You need their lung cancer expert. Ask the nurses who give the cancer drug infusions, they know and are usually happy to help.

The most suceesful drugs over the last 5 years have been the new and now FDA approved immunolgy cancer drugs.  They are also called "check point inhibitors".  They attack the cancer by defeating the cancer inhbitors and letting the bodies own immune sytem get thru to kill the cancer (very simple explanation for now).

Google search for  Opdivo(Nivolumab) from BMS (Brystol-Meyers Squibb),Keyruda(Pembrolizumab) from Merck and alsoTecentriq(Atezolizumab) from Genetech (Roche).  Which drug used will depend on the oncoligsts choice and what "biomarkers" your uncle has.  Sometimes they use one or more of the above drugs if one doesn't work so well.  These are the leading current drugs for many stage 4 patients and usually more effective and with less side effects than the commonly used chemo drugs.  The first two were first developed for skin cancer (melonoma) and are now aprroved for lung and other cancers.  Radiation is usually not very helpful against stage 4.  These drugs (including Opdivo for my wife), only help a minority of patients (up to about 40%), but those who respond often do extremely well and much better than chemo drugs for most..

There is hope!

Chuck

RE: Stage IV Lung Cancer now in brain

by tweety74 on Thu Oct 12, 2017 07:15 PM

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Jayara1029  I hope your uncle is doing OK. I just lost my dad to stage 4 lung cancer in  August. If I can offer you any advice just make things right with your uncle and by now hopefully you have. No matter how awkward or strained your relationship is you can make it right. My father and I were kind of estranged and had our ups and downs and before his diagnosis we hit heads and had some difficult times. After I learned of his diagnosis everything changed. We didn't hold grudges or sweat the small, petty stuff that life brings on. I  spent as much time as I could with with my dad.  The weekend before he passed I took him out for his birthday he died on Thursday about 5 days after I had dinner with him. I had no idea he would go so quickly and I got lucky to be with him that last weekend. I am so thankful that I got to spend that time with him and tell him how much I love him watch him smile for the very last time as he blew out his birthday candles because that was the last time I got to see him alert and with it. By the time he was in the hospital he was on the decline and was not 100% coherent. I hope you can read this message and get inspired to spend time with your uncle and put your differences behind you. You are not selfish in any way and I am sure your uncle will not even look at the relationship as strained and he will just cherish his time with you. I also hope that your uncle wins the battle and you have a better outcome than I do however, there are no guarantees and I have learned a lot from loosing my father that life is short and you never know when it's your time so if you love someone the time to let them know is now.   Don't worry if it's awkward in the end all the small stuff doesn't matter! 

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