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Have a chemo question if anyone can help?

(12 Posts)
TheFoosa Sat 01-Oct-11 18:04:43

I have a friend of a friend, has had lots of tests for asbestos related lung cancer

biopsies taken, first lot inconclusive, waiting on 2nd lot

shadow on x-ray

The hospital are saying it probably isn't lung cancer but want to start chemo 'just in case'

Really?! How likely is this? Chemotherapy is a very aggressive treatment for something that they say isn't cancer.

Any expert opinions greatly appreciated

catsareevil Sat 01-Oct-11 18:10:42

Are you sure that you have the correct information from the friend of a friend?

TheFoosa Sat 01-Oct-11 18:13:26

yes, I told her it didn't sound right

catsareevil Sat 01-Oct-11 18:56:00

It sounds a bit unusual, but its the kind of situation where people dont always want to tell the exact truth.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 01-Oct-11 18:57:58

Mmmmm, well it depends what else they think the other option may be. If they think its either lung cancer or X it could be that X is also treated by chemo.

My dad has regular chemo courses but has never had cancer or luekemia. It is used to treat other things as well.

topsyturner Sat 01-Oct-11 19:02:49

I am undergoing chemo myself at the moment for breast cancer .
When I went to meet my Oncologist for my 1st pre chemo blood tests she told me that my last CT scan had unfortunately shown spots on my lungs .
She said that she wasn't sure if they were cancerous or not , but they were going to treat them as if they were .
I was having chemo for the breast cancer anyway , so not sure if my cocktail would be any different if you see what I mean ?

So it could be that your friend of a friend is having chemo , it is all so very individual for each case though so it's hard to say .

TheFoosa Sat 01-Oct-11 19:15:38

Thanks for the replies, it could be that it isn't cancer
Good luck to everyone undergoing similar treatment

Iamseeingstars Sun 02-Oct-11 09:42:51

Another chemo question if I may? If you are going to be having chemo for a particular cancer treatment, but feel there is something else wrong that the doctor keeps ignoring, would the chemo kill off other cancer cells at the same time?

I know I will be having a weeks course of extremely aggressive chemo that will kill off everything, but would it kill off other potential cancers at the same time?

topsyturner Sun 02-Oct-11 10:47:29

Morning stars

What is it that you feel the docs are ignoring ? Sometimes you need to be very upfront with them and say "I have this symptom , I am extremely worried , I want you to do something about it" .

As for will the chemo you are scheduled to have kill off any cancer cells , I am really not sure . Common sense tells me it should , but if in doubt , ask questions of your medical staff .

If you feel that you are being ignored by the medical staff , is there someone who can come with you to your next appointment ? A more forceful friend or relative ? My sister is brill at this kind of thing , is always happy to sound like a pushy mare . Where I am much more of a people pleaser .
She gets the job done for me !

Ilovedaintynuts Sun 02-Oct-11 13:15:38

It is very, very rare to give chemotherapy (for cancer) until you have a conclusive diagnosis. This is based on the fact that the type of chemotherapy chosen is very specific to the cancer cell it needs to kill.

Also it is very unlikely the chemotherapy you were taking for one condition would treat another. For example if you were having breast cancer chemotherapy, it would not treat a brain tumour, malignant melanoma or lung cancer. Different cancer cells need different treatments.

I have given chemotherapy in rare cases where you are almost certain it is a type of cancer but for what ever reason cannot obtain the required histology (cell appearance under the microscope). Also in very life-threatening situations where someone would die if they had to wait for a histology result, it would be appropriate to treat blind.

HTH

madamy Sun 02-Oct-11 13:23:01

Asbestos related lung cancer is actually called mesothelioma and although it's most common site is the lining of the lung, it isn't actually lung cancer. So prehaps thats what they mean by "it probably isn't lung cancer".

However as a previous poster said, it's very rare to give chemo 'just in case', so I think maybe there has been a misunderstanding somewhere along the line.

methodsandmaterials Sun 02-Oct-11 13:38:38

As well meaning as all the advice on the thread is, none of us are well placed to give clinical opinions on this. I'm sorry she's not getting the answers she needs; please ask her to call the CancerHelp UK nurses on 0808 800 4040. They are hugely knowledgable and are lovely. I wish her all the best.

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