Some background info...My father was diagnosed with NSCLC Stage 3b in August (cancer cells in the lower lung and pleural effusion). He had six rounds of cisplatin and was given a 3 month break from treatment in December when a PET scan showed no active cancer cells. He started getting sick in early February (what we thought was a flu...fever, chills, cough, fatigued, etc.) After a CAT scan showed fluid in the lungs, the doc ordered another PET scan, which showed cancer cells in the upper lobe of the lung, more fluid and mets to the bone and lymph nodes. He had one round of treatment (cisplatin and alimta) but then was hospitalized due to the fevers, which were spiking high (up to 102.9). He was given several tests to rule out an infection and the docs determined that the fevers are being caused by the cancer and therefore he will begin treatment this week. They also put a pig-tail in his lungs to drain the fluid and attempted to do the antibiotic/talc procedure (sorry, not sure of the medical word for it). We are waiting to find out if that worked or not.
My question is...the doc said that it appears his cancer is "aggressive" and that he will have continuous chemo from now on (no more 3 month breaks). What does "aggressive" mean? If the mets to the bone were not there in December and showed up in March, how "aggressive" is that? How quickly does non-aggressive cancer spread? I'm trying to remind myself that the only thing that matters is how my dad is feeling, not what the tests show but the word aggressive scares me. Will the chemo be able to be as aggressive? (they will continue with cisplatin and alimta) He responded really well to the cisplatin the first time but I'm not even sure if that matters.
Thanks so much for your help.