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Doctor insights on: Is It Unusual For A Lung Cancer Patient To Have Surgery With No Radiation

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Is it unusual for a lung cancer patient to have surgery with no radiation?

Is it unusual for a lung cancer patient to have surgery with no radiation?

No: Ideally we woul like to do surgery on lung cancer which means the cancer was resectable. In these cases the disease will be early stage and not require further therapy. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,369 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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When is it normal to have surgery for lung cancer followed y radiation but no chemo?

When is it normal to have surgery for lung cancer followed y radiation but no chemo?

Positive margin: If a patient had early stage cancer that surgery would be the definitive treatment, but after pathology comes back showing a positive margin then radiation would be used without chemotherapy. However more adverse findings such as nodes would mean chemotherapy is necessary. ...Read more

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Is it reasonable to have a mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer and not have chemo or radiation?

Is it reasonable to have a mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer and not have chemo or radiation?

It Depends: A mastectomy does not guarantee you won't need chemo or radiation. The tumor's "personality" determines that. After a mastectomy, you might need chemo if the tumor is aggressive. Chemo treats your whole body to kill cancer that may have traveled. You might need radiation if you have positive lymph nodes, or if cancer was near the incision site. Ask your oncologist. It's complicated! ...Read more

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Is it ever possible to treat cancer with just radiation and no surgery or chemo?

Yes, in some cases: In certain situations, such as early disease (stage 1 indolent lymphoma) , less aggressive cancers (grade 1 brain cancers), cancers requiring organ preservation (early head and neck cancers)radiation alone can be effective and curative. Newer radiation approaches (e.g. Cyberknife) hold the promise for increased benefit when used alone. ...Read more

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Oncologist--Radiation and chemo does very little for pancreatic cancer due to desmoplasia. Is there a way to deal with this fibrotic issue? Thanks.

Oncologist--Radiation and chemo does very little for pancreatic cancer due to desmoplasia. Is there a way to deal with this fibrotic issue? Thanks.

You are partly right: Yes, Pancreatic cancers tend to create Desmoplasia....that is the explanation given for the limited benefit from chemotherapy. Yet there are now 3-4 drugs which have good penetration into the tumor and have produced moderate degree of beenfit for some pateints. i would advise you to ask your oncologist to treat you with the current best chemotherapy drugs of which there are 2 well known regimens. ...Read more

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Is it possible for someone with stage 4 bone cancer to have a clear pet scan?

Is it possible for someone with stage 4 bone cancer to have a clear pet scan?

Yes: No scan or test is 100% accurate so it is possible. One of my patients had a very hot lung mass on pet and yet none of his metastasis showed on the test. ...Read more

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General question. What is the 5 year. Survival of non-metastasised breast cancer if you only had a double mastectomy and no chemo and no radiation?

General question. What is the 5 year. Survival of non-metastasised breast cancer if you only had a double mastectomy and no chemo and  no radiation?

Depends: Not enough information. Depends on tnm staging. Treatment decisions based on that as well as biomarkers - er, pr, her2/neu. The absolute risk reduction provided by chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy can then be individualized. On useful online tool is adjuvant! online. That assumes adequate local control - eg surgery +/- radiation. ...Read more

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What does it mean if a patient is to be treated with radical radiotherapy for a tumour of the oropharynx?

What does it mean if a patient is to be treated with radical radiotherapy for a tumour of the oropharynx?

Primary tumor: Well defined lesions of the oropharynx are not uncommon. These range from primary squamous ca of the posterior oropharynx behind the cricoid of the larynx to minor salivary gland tumorss to squamous ca of the tonsillar area. The minor salivary lesions as well as well defined ulcerating ca can be approached by a transhyoid pif laharyngoteomy. If large then rt is employed. ...Read more

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Why is it that some women have to have mastectomy for dcis if it's a non invasive cancer?

Why is it that some women have to have mastectomy for dcis if it's a non invasive cancer?

You are right: Ordinarily, mastectomy is not necessary for precisely the reasons you have mentioned. So the standard treatment is excision of the dcis followed by radiotherapy to the affected breast. The only exception may be, if there are multiple dcis lesions in one breast....So unless you have this type of dcis, you do not need a mastectomy. ...Read more

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Is it possible for a person to be born with lung cancer?

Is it possible for a person to be born with lung cancer?

Highly unusual...: ...But not unheard of. There are a select few reports of fetuses who developed exceedingly rare lung tumors during gestation. Practically speaking, the overwhelming majority of lung cancers occur in adults and have genetic, environmental, and other causes, many of which only present themselves much later in life. ...Read more

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Is radiation treatment always necessary? As in, after a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

Is radiation treatment always necessary? As in, after a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

Yes: A lumpectomy alone is insufficient rx for invasive breast cancer; radiation therapy is always necessary to lower the risk of local recurrence, except under unusual circumstances (ie, elderly pt w/small tumor& very poor health). Dcis (stage 0) may sometimes be treated by lumpectomy alone, depending on unique patient & tumor characteristics. ...Read more

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Is it common to have muscle/joint problems after having radiotherapy for breast cancer?

Is it common to have muscle/joint problems after having radiotherapy for breast cancer?

No. : Most of the effects of breast irradiation are limited to the breast +/- the chest wall; less so, the chest cavity. The most common systemic side effect is transient lethargy.(tiredness) muscle/joint aches are uncommon; check with your oncologist or internist for other causes. ...Read more

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Is it unusual for the radiation therapy for lung cancer to make someone lose his voice?

Is it unusual for the radiation therapy for lung cancer to make someone lose his voice?

Yes: Loosing voice can be due to direct invasion of the larynx (far from lung) or laryngeal nerve compression or damage ( recurrent laryngeal nerve in the chest). Advanced cancer can be pressing on this nerve and cause voice loss. If there is no voice loss to start with, it is unusual for radiation to damage the nerve in typical dose fractionation. ...Read more

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Is it possible for a cancer patient receiving chemo/ rad to develop cancer in an unrelated area? My 64 yr old father has esophageal cancer. In preparing for surgery he had a CT scan done and a 'spot' on his lung has been detected. Biopsy is scheduled, but

Is it possible for a cancer patient receiving chemo/ rad to develop cancer in an unrelated area? My 64 yr old father has esophageal cancer. In preparing for surgery he had a CT scan done and a 'spot' on his lung has been detected. Biopsy is scheduled, but

I : I hope your father is recovering well from his treatment and that the lung spot is nothing as many of us will have spots on ct scans. Unfortunately, however, esophageal cancer often travels (e.g. Metastasizes) to the lung. Sometimes we can help determine the need for a biopsy with a pet/ct scan which is usually part of the standard pre-surgery or pre-chemo/radiation work up for patients with esophagus cancer. The way you describe things, it sounds like the spot in the lung was found before surgery and that his doctors decided to do chemotherapy and radiation either instead of surgery or before it to try to shrink the tumor before they do an operation. If the esophagus cancer has spread to the lung, chemotherapy by itself is the best treatment. Surgery to remove the esophagus cancer is not helpful and radiation to the esophageal tumor should probably only be done if the tumor is causing symptoms that the chemotherapy is unlikely to make better on its own. In this case a short course of radiation over about 2-3 weeks would be given to try to shrink the tumor and relieve the symptoms it is causing. This is because the cancer has spread and trying to remove it from the esophagus or kill every last cell in the esophagus tumor with high-dose radiation will probably not help the patient live longer nor help him/her have a better quality of life. Therefore, if a suspicious 'spot' is found in the lung before surgery or chemotherapy and radiation, we usually biopsy it before starting treatment to make sure we don't give someone too aggressive a treatment that is unlikely to help them much. Very, very rarely, an otherwise healthy patient with esophageal cancer might have what we call "oligometastatic" disease. This means that the cancer has spread to only a few (usually 1-3) other organs or spots in the body. In this rare case, it might be reasonable to give a full course of chemotherapy and radiation to the esophagus tumor as long as the lung spot could be treated with a full dose of radiation at the same time. I've also seen patients who have unfortunately had a tumor that started in the lung (lung cancer) and one that started in the esophagus (esophageal cancer) diagnosed at the same time. In this rare case, if neither of the tumors have spread to other parts of the body, it might be reasonable to treat them both with the goal of a cure. ...Read more

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If the breast tumor is shrinking with chemotherapy is there a need for surgery?

If the breast tumor is shrinking with chemotherapy is there a need for surgery?

Yes-absolutely: Congratulations for responding to chemotherapy! this will make it easier for your surgeon to get clear margins. It is important to get the entire tumor removed. If not, once the chemo is stopped the tumor may grow back and become more aggressive (i.e. Spread to other parts of body). For the best outcome (i.e. Avoid death), please adhere to the treatment by your breast cancer team. ...Read more

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If he has metastasis cancer possibly from colon would that be stage 4 and if so what is a prognosis with no treatment?

If he has metastasis cancer possibly from colon would that be stage 4 and if so what is a prognosis with no treatment?

Very poor: Metastatic cancer to bone portends a fatal outcome unless it is one of those uncommon cancers that is curable with chemotherapy. However, the time frame is famously unpredictable. Local radiation to the bone lesions may help. ...Read more

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Would the presence of cachexia in a patient who's completed chemo/rad, always suggest active cancer? Is it possible to have even when cancer is gone?

Would the presence of cachexia in a patient who's completed chemo/rad, always suggest active cancer? Is it possible to have even when cancer is gone?

See below: If the tumor is entirely gone, the patient should gain weight. If the person remains cachectic the cause should be investigated. Damage from the treatment, e.g., radiation damage to the intestine may prevent weight gain even if there is no tumor. ...Read more

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Why is it that some patients who are in stage 1 dcis have to have a partial mastectomy followed by radiation?

Stage 0 breast ca: DCIS is a stage 0 breast cancer. A lumpectomy is only comparable to a mastectomy when the lumpectomy is followed by radiation. Otherwise the risk of the cancer recurring in the same breast is higher. For some older patients (over 70) radiation may be optional after a lumpectomy. ...Read more

Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. David Cooke
867 doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells ...Read more