NSCLC - new life expectancy stats

My husband, age 54, has Stage IV, NSCLC -adenocarcinoma. Upper left lobe, mets to left adrenal gland and right lymph node in neck (which was removed.) He has had 2 of 6 chemo treatments of carbo/taxol/avastin. He feels great and looks good.

I had read a post where patients/family members were sending in their stage IV survival stats, but these had been submitted in 2005. It was extremely interestng and encouraging reading.

It seems that now that we are in 2008, survival rates may be increasing and I would be interested in reading these stories. Even if you post just the date diagnosed, type of lung cancer and mets, and how you are doing (or if a family member can tell us when passed.)

Thank you for sharing.
God Bless you and keep you healthy.

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Hi, I was diagnosed stage iv in 3/03, all tumors and mets went silent by 8/04 (17 months continual treatment of several modalities), and I remain stable remission to date. I have another scan in a couple of days, so we keep hoping. Here's to Life! Best wishes, SharonS

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dx stage 2B in October 07 - surgery (right lung removed) and chemo adjunctively - NED sine Jone 08!

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hi there, my husband was diagnosed last june with nsciv to lung with mets to brain, radiotheraphy, chemo given last year and on general pallatative care, high dose steroids did most of the damage, to legs arms skin moral,but has just started tarceva one and half months ago, and now coming off steroids slowly, feeling pretty god, building furniture and getting out and about, we have employed a o.t. to carry out exercise plan to strengthen legs and arms as we slowly decrease the remaining steroids. fingers crossed....

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I am responding to this discussion because I scour the site looking for positive outcomes to keep my spirits up. I never wanted to sound like I was bragging because I am not. I hope other IIIB's and IV's find some hope in my experience so far.

Dx's NSCLC May 07 IIIB inoperable adenocarcinoma, very large tumor in RL, 1 node, no mets, large pleural effusion. Had thorocentesis with removal of 2 liters of the fluid, lung tore and bled. Pulmonologist was pessimistic about my prognosis. Started Carbo/Taxol/ Avastin June 07, 3 weeks apart. After 2 treatments CT scan showed effusion stable, no change otherwise. After 4 treatments, "no disease detected" but lots of scar tissue and some unreabsorbed fluid. Am in Avastin/Tarceva clinical study. Lots of unpleasant side effects but tolerable. I asked the oncologist how long I would need chemo and she said, "Until it stops working." Last CT scans were the same and effusion is gone. My mantra is, "I'll put up with any pain and show up for every appointment."

Thanks to all those who do post their successes. It helps neutralize the negativity of others who, when told you have LC, recite names of all the people they know who have died of it!

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I was diagnosed in Oct 07 with a locally advanced NSCLC in my upper right posterior lung. The tumor was 9 cm in size (as big as a baseball) when it was discovered. I was treated with radiation and concurrent chemo (cisplatin and taxol). I had 16 weeks of consolidation treatment (cisplatin and navelbine) and as a preventative I had PCI (whole brain radiation). I am currently stable with no evidence of disease and have enrolled in a clinical trial for Stimuvax, a maintenance therapy. I expect to be good for at least the next year...if not forever. My philosophy is fight with everything that is available...and so far it has worked. Stay positive. This disease CAN be beaten.

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My husband was diagnosed Sept 19, 2007 w/ 3B NSCLC. Non-operable w/ 3 tumors and lymph nodes involved. Chemo followed by radiation at MD Anderson and as of May he was NED. Tumors are virtually gone, lymph nodes no longer active.

Still going strong. Has gained weight, his hair is back, feels pretty good most of the time. Trys to walk about a mile a day. We refused to let anyone tell us how

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My father was diagnosed with NSCLC in May 2002. At that time, he had his entire left lung removed. It returned in the other lung August 2003. He received chemo and radiation and after treatment there was no sign of cancer. He lived a full three years before it returned in October 2006. He passed away in May 2007. He prayed for at least five years, and by a miracle, that is what he got.

Best of luck to all of the others still fighting!

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Dx IIIB NSCLC adenocarcinoma, inoperable, coughing up blood, 3/99. 7x8 cm tumor upper left lung, couple of suspicious lymph nodes. Had chemo and radiation. NED 4/00 and ever since, thanks be to God! 9+ years and counting!

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I was diagnosed stage IV in early Nov 2007, tumors in right lung with metastasis to nodes. Had 6 cycles of taxol and carboplatin and avastin followed by avastin alone for almost 6 months. I had good response to the chemo and good results with avastin till last scan. Will start alimta and possibly sorafenib (clinical trial) on Sept 2. Feel good except more tired but working full time. There is always hope, but this disease is not for wimps. Sometimes it is hard to remain positive but it's just important to try and enjoy each day as it comes.

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Hi,

I had radiation abnd cheno for a total of 10 months. the cancer went into remission and my Scans showed cancer free for what would be 3 years this month, After a PET on the 15th he will decide what we will do. Sounds like Tarceva will be the route we take. He wants to wait until it actually shows color on the scan .

Take care
Sandy

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Hello there.I was diagnosed on August 1st 2008.Stage 2A ademocarcinoma of the right lung(cancer was found only in one lymph node a 4 cm mass) They removed 2 lobes of right lung and im now recieving chemo as a precaution only.They say im now cancer free.

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Maybe these posts give hope.

My father went through chemo {the taxol blend] this spring and is on maintenance with avastin but his CEA went up and is now 300. PET scan 2 months ago was clear but we are waiting for one done last week. His original dx, stage I was Feb 07 and they thought they got it all but the recurrence was, in fact, lung cancer.

He has no symptoms other than he is a bit sore from where he had the surgery on his lungs - but he insistes on helping care for my mother and I get sore in the same place from moving her around [she had massive stroke 1 week after his lung surgery - needless to say they both moved in with us]

I have no idea of what happens next and if this is "the end" or there are other steps we can take or where to go or anything.

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I was diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma in 2002
Have had resection of a lobe of left lung; radiation and chemo in 2003; 3 Gamma Knife to brain over next couple years, several different chemos since 2005...currently on Navelbine and several tumors in both lungs getting a bit smaller...Keep exercising, positive thinking, try to eat ( that's hard!) meditate...At first all I thought about was funeral arrangements...now I think about what am I doing today, tomorrow, next month?? Blessings, Mary

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My brother was dx in june 07. He has a tumor if I can remember 6.8 cm. Had some results with Cisplatine/Isotopin, radiation.They tried taxitere but he had a reaction from it. He is now on Tarceva 150mg, and with the exception of his Calcium levels that went up he is handling that pretty well. After getting the Calcium under controls he feels alot better. Good luck with your research.

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These posts are so uplifting and wonderful to read! Sadly, my Mom was not one of the lucky ones. She was diagnosed with NSCLC 8/27/07 and passed away 12/08/07. Not everyone has such a great outcome - BUT - look at all of the incredible survivors on this website! Many people DO have a good outcome. So far, I like your research MUCH better than the "official" stats we all read... As we always say on this site, don't pay attention to statistics. Every lung cancer patient is different and unique!
:)

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Hi - good to read these stories. My dx was Dec. 26, 2005 Stage IV NSCLC in the right lung (countless small spots) possible rib involvement, fluid in pleural space malignant. I have had carbo/taxol/avastin, then tarceva 8 months, and then 2nd round of carbo/taxol (it actually worked 4 months). Now am on Alimta. There is less cancer than at dx and it hasn't left the right lung. (the possible rib involvement never reappeared on later scans). My doctor and I consider that a success and I am hoping to stay on the Alimta a long time, despite the side effects. Living with cancer, one day at a time,
Marcia

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Debs --
Yes, survival is possible. I am at 20 months right now, diagnosed Feb. 07 with stage IV in the right bronchus, spine and spleen. It spread to liver, more spine, pelvis, collarbone, lymph nodes and brain. Then, my own personal wonder drug, Alimta, knocked out my mets and sent it back to just being in my bronchus. Now, it's spreading again, and the search is on for another drug to work.
But... I hiked a rocky, hilly three miles this morning, and also kayak and bike. So, anything's possible. I say exercise as much as you can and keep your mind healthy and positive!
Kim

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My Mother was diagnosed on October 5th 2007 with Stage 3a NSCLC adenocarcinoma went through two rounds of chemo then radiation and had one clear PET after was put on Tarceva and the three months later almost a year of intial dx was told that the PET showed met to liver and "shadows on her right lung" she just took her chemo Friday GEMZAR-ALITMA-AVASTIN and she is willing to give it another fight. She was told that if her next PET was clear that she may be a canidate for surgery to remove the tumor in her liver but the doctor has to wait until the chemo (2 rounds) are completed and another PET scan comes in. They are also monitoring her CA-125 levels and if they also come down while treatment then he feels her cancer is being killed off which is a good sign. They took her off the TARCEVA as it was not working for her...bad sign. But we are very positive and take it day by day which is really all you can do. Good luck~

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Liver cancer secondary to Alpha one Anti trypsin. Found tumor 01/01/04. Transplanted 10/03/2004. Cancer return in both legs, dx 12/30/2006. I am still here, with shrinkage. No spread beyond lungs as of now. So that makes me, what, four years out.

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Diagnosed with nsclc adenocarcinoma 3/2/07. On 4/09/07, removal of lower left lobe staged Ib. August 2007 diagnosed with another primary tumor in my right upper lobe with possible lymph node involvement. On 9/10/07, removal of right upper lobe and multiple lymph nodes, staged IIIb. Had adjuvant chemo carbo/tax, four treatments 3 weeks apart. Last chest CT showed NED (9/2008).

I have reached my 1 year of cancer free - hooray - 19 months since dx. I still fear it will return but try to remain active and upbeat. Prayer helps.

Good luck with your research.

Pat

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