Stage 1b NSCLC

After two years of monitoring a lung nodule that had shown no sign of change, I went for my CT scan this year and it had grown. My dr then ordered a PET scan and brain MRI to determine possible cancer. It was so I had a lobectomy 2 weeks ago of upper left lobe. Thankfully no metastis anywhere else and no spreading to lymph nodes. The nodule was less than 3 cm but he said that my stage was 1b. I probably would have retained the reason for that but after hearing about the 70% survival ratemy thoughts were somewhat blurred. I admit my knowledge of lung cancer is almost nil. He said that I currently have no cancer cells remaining in my body so I dont understand the survivor rate unless its expected to recur. I go back next month for another xray and then six months after that so the recurrence factor is what makes sense to me. Anyone else staged at 1b?I am so scared that it will return but trying to stay positive and become stronger both physically and spiritually. I am so grateful to have found this site as I dont want to pass on my cared feelings to my husband and daughter. Thank you all so much!

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they staged me at 1b after they removed my LLL.
that was one month ago.
they have me on chemo for two years. it is to help prevent a recurrence. the reason for two years is because i am in Japan and that is how they do it. you might go on chemo for 6 months.
there is a 30 or 35 percent chance that the cancer will return and the chemo helps reduce that by around 5%.
so with chemo around a 25 to 30 percent chance of a recurrence.
wish you the best.

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my sister had a right upper lobectomy March 17 - no lymph node involvement -went to pulmonary dr. recently he is ordering a cat scan and setting up appointment with oncoligist now. She was told by surgeon she wouldnt need further treatment appointments in later July will keep you posted Your case sounds similar she has/had adenocarcinoma

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November 2011 I was diagnosed with stage 1b in my right lung and stage 1 in my left lung. I had biopsies in both lungs. Than I had lobectomies of both lungs. I received 16 weeks of chemo and was cancer free until I went in for my annual screening this may. My cancer is back in my right lung. I don't understand the survival rate as well. I also don't know how often reoccurrence happens but I was told if I did all the surgeries and chemo my chance for reoccurrence would be very slim. Keep your faith and take one day at a time. I was a none smoker so this really was a socking diagnosis.

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Please go to a lung cancer specialist for another opinion. I was staged 1b. I had adenocarcinoma. I had a right lower lobectomy in Oct 11. I then had 4 infusions of cisplatin-alimta. Most of us 1b' s do have adjuvant chemo. I remain NED. (no evidence of disease). You must be monitored more often than you mention with CT scans, not xrays. You need to run as quick as you can to a better onc. Your first chance is your best.


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I'm 1b also, URL last December '12. I had chemoradiation before surgery. Yes the 5-year survival rate sucks but if you make it the 5-years you are good. I feel that you can improve your outlook by taking better care of yourself, exercising, eating right, regular doctor visits, etc.

I'm having follow up CTs every 3 months. Sounds like it will be every 6 months after the next one.

Good luck - think about post op chemo

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Gina, I can only echo what the others have already said. Get to another dr! Stage 1b usually requires adjuvant chemo & follow-up monitoring MUST be by CT scan. Chest X-ray cannot show anything smaller than 1cm & sometimes even larger masses can be missed on X-ray due to their location.
The good news is that the LC was caught early. But LC is a very tricky disease & recurrence is always a possibility. The chance of recurrence is highest for the first 2 yrs after diagnosis. Unfortunately, you will have to be monitored for at least 5 yrs.
Your dr was very careless to say you have no more cancer cells in your one can possibly know that. Even small nodules can slough off cancer cells which can travel to other parts of the body. I'm not trying to frighten you, but you need to be aware of how cancer behaves. Obviously, the recurrence rate would be zero if there were no cancer cells left after surgery.


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go to a lung cancer specialist for another opinion. I have had 3 operations since 2010.
2 were VATS and one was a larger incession.
In 2010 I was staged 1b. I had adenocarcinoma. I had a lower left lobectomy. I then had 4 infusions of cisplatin-alimta. in 2011ct scan detected a new primary in right lung. Had to wait for it to grow so surgeon could make sure he could reach and remove. in 2013 another ct scan and another primary which was removed.
With short recovery times after each surgery and a slightly longer recovery after the Chemo. I am able to work and do all the activities I was doing before surgeries. I am 68 and walk, bike ride and snow ski
5 years is an average, and you can be in the 50 % who survive well past the 5 years. Have a positive attitude, eat well and get up and exercise as much as you can.
laugh as much as you can and tell your family and friends you love them.

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incision misspelled in prior post

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If this is the only doctor you've seen, then run and get a second opinion. Go to a major cancer center that has lung cancer only onc. There are many that are one size fits all. Find where you want to go and call. Sign a medical records release form. They will forward all your records, scans and slides for you. The other doctor's office will contact you after they've done their review and most likely set up an appt. for you to go in and discuss options, if there are any. I think the confusing part is why he said stage IB if the tumor was under 3cm and no other involvement. So you could actually be IA. Wishing you the best. Take care, Judy

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Duke in Durham, NC is rated one of the best by NCCN.
Take care, Judy

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I can only echo what my fellow Inspire members have written. I had an URL in 1/07 and was dxd as IB. I received no adjuvent chemo. The following year they found it in a mediastinal lymph node and I was restaged as IIIA/B.

Most dxs of IB are given chemo as protocol. I strongly suggest that you get that second opinion from a lung specialist and mop up those possible stray cells floating around.


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Gina, If you like and trust your doctor, ask more questions. Sometimes we cannot travel to a cancer center due to finances. Please keep us posted, Lee

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Hi Gina:

I was diagnosed Stage 1b adenocarcinoma back in 2010 (5 cm. tumour) . I had a lobectomy (ULL) by VATS and then had 3 rounds of adjuvant chemo (cisplatin/vinorelbine). My last scan still came up NED.

I'd be a little concerned, as others have mentioned, about only being followed up on with just chest x-rays. The CAT scan is far more sensitive. Three years later I am still getting a chest x-ray and a CAT scan once a year (six months apart).

I know it's hard to do but try not to worry too much. You may find it helpful to write down all you questions before you see your doctor the next time and then write down all the answers you're given when you do.

Best of luck,


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I was staged 1B and had a lower right lobectomy in August 2010, vats was not possible so a full thoracotomy. I had no further treatment, 3 then 6 month x rays and annual CT with an extra one when I had a bad chest infection. So far so good but an x ray only follow up doesn't sound right. My nodule never showed up on an x ray. Nodule was just over 2cm but encroached a little to next lobe so went from1A to 1B with no other involvement.

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Mr. JW was staged similarly. They can't know that there are *no* cancer cells left in the body -- only that there are none big enough to see yet. Only time will tell. A certain number of people do relapse after a complete resection -- 30%, apparently, in your situation.

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Please get a second opinion. These boards have so many patients whose doctors did not order adjuvant chemo only to discover later that they had metastatic cancer. Someone suggested Duke, if they are accessible do consider them. If they recommend adjuvant chemo you can still do it at the hospital near your home.

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I was also staged at 1 a or 1 b, not sure until the surgeon did his thing.

Before surgery, my surgeon wanted me to have 4 rounds of chemo to shrink the tumor. That way he could get clearer margins. I did very well and did not have any ajuvent chemo, however, 6 months after my surgery, I had a PET CT scan that showed my cancer came back in 4 places. It was a false positive because I was sick with bronchitis.

My Oncologist at the time insisted that I take Tarceva and was on it for too long. I finally got fed up with him and had my biopsy tested and found a new Onc. New Onc said stop taking the Tarceva, you were sick and you simply got better. You don't have any EGFR mutations that Tarceva would help.

I am doing great !! June 21, 2013 was SIX years since my surgery. I still have CT scans every 6 months but am cancer free.

Got to agree with Judy and others, you really should get another opinion and be followed more closely than your current Oncologist wants to follow you.
Wishing you great success and I know you will do well :-)

Marylou ♥

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My friend was diagnosed with 1b 6 yr. ago. I was diagnosed 2a 9 yr. ago. There's a lot of hope for all of us. I still get scared when I go for my annual CT.

Best wishes, Joyce

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Thanks everyone. I called the drs office today and told the receptionist to change my appointment for 6 aug to a CT scan instead of xray. I am also going to request the adjuvant chemo at my appt. This was a shocker to me too as I have never smoked and never realized that nonsmokers suffered from LC. This is a wonderful site. I appreciate all of you. Will keep you posted and in my prayers. Please do the same for me.

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I meant to share that I am in Seoul Korea working for DoD so I am being treated at a local hospital. I have 15-18 months left on this assignment and then back to tha states - hoping for NC. Again thanks!

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