I have been reading this wonderful sight since April 14th, the day that my dad told me that a mass was found in his lung, and I am finally ready to post.
My 78 year old dad, a long time smoker, went to the ER on April 13th for pain in his midsection and hip area (later determined to be bone mets). A CT scan found a 4 x 5 cm mass in his right lung. A needle biopsy confirmed it and a PET scan showed spreading to his shoulder joint, pelvis and ribs. Stage IV, NSCLC
He has had two visits with oncologists and we have unanimously chosen one, just this past week. He offered the following 2 treatment options to my dad (along with the possibility of radiation for pain relief):
1) the "2009 Gold Standard" treatment of Carboplatin andTaxol +/- Avastin by IV, once every 3 weeks for 3-4 cycles.
2)Clinical trial of Sutent pill, for patients over 70 years of age. My Dad had prostate cancer within the 5 year limit that the study states but his PSA is so negligible that he was accepted into the study regardless.
The oncologist that we selected sent him for a brain scan two days ago to check for brain mets. I was wondering why on earth neither his pulmonologist nor the first oncologist he met with never mentioned it. I hate all of of this time wasting as I feel that time is ticking away. No results from the brain scan yet.
So, now decisions have to be made. How on earth do we know what to do??? My dad is not in the best of shape and is in alot of pain for his bone mets. Obviously, the trial, with its pill administration and older population, is enticing but it is hard to turn away from a treatment referred to as the 'gold standard'.
I am grateful that he was accepted into this trial as it provides him with choices, but then again, having to decide is so, so hard. I feel that time is against us (his dr. would only say that he guesstimates 3-6 months survival time without treatment; with treatment, he said that it is too variable to speculate and that the first 3 months of treatment are vital). So, any advice for a daughter whose head is spinning???