A website for discussions about any type of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and others
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Stage 4a NSCLC

  1. #1
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50

    Stage 4a NSCLC

    Stage 4a NSCLC. Any thoughts on different treatments? My mom is currently on gemcitabin and carboplatin and even though these are showing signs of working I was wondering if anyone else has had any greater success with other treatments?

  2. #2
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4
    My mother has this also. What does the 'a' mean? Dr hasn't said anything about that.
    Dr told her that Xalkori works better than chemo. She couldn't handle chemo. The xalkori didn't have side effects for about 3 weeks. Now the side effects are worse than the chemo. She has been taking it for 2 months and yesterday dr. said she has 30 to 40 % improvement. He told her to stop taking it for 2 weeks, and if any of the side effects don't stop, that means there are other problems. But I think it's dangerous to stop it for 2 weeks? This will make the cancer worse I think. Does the meds your mother is taking causing any side effects?

  3. #3
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50
    In stage 4 there are two mini stages stage 4a which is bad in itself and 4b which is pretty much terminal by my understanding. And I wouldnt stop taking it...Im not sure its dangerous to stop it for two weeks but I would ask your doctor.
    Mom diagnosed November 2011 with Stage 4a NSCLC
    Treatment Dec 2011 Gemcitabin, Carboplatin
    Radiation soon to start
    Tumors shrinking March 2012
    Blood Clots found in Right Leg and Lungs March 2012
    Loss of mobility, motor control, speech and movement February 24, 2012
    Leptomeningeal Mestatic Deposits found April 11, 2012
    Radiation Assessment April 18, 2012
    Confirmed cancer cells are shrinking April 9, 2012

  4. #4
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    Hi. I cannot find an online medical reference to there being in lung cancer either Stage IVa or IVb (although a/b is in other stages of lung cancer). This site gives basic staging info: http://www.livestrong.com/article/11...s-lung-cancer/.

    Can someone give more info on Lung Stage IV a/b? I don't think there is that staging option, but I've learned that there is so much more for me to learn!

  5. #5
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,066
    HI Shelbywi, For the most part Stage VI is Stage VI, the differences to the patient and the caregiver are nothing. I started on the same treatment but it only worked for a couple months. I switched to Alimta and that has worked ever sense. You don't want to try every chemo in the book, stick to what works and be happy.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  6. #6
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by dano View Post
    HI Shelbywi, For the most part Stage VI is Stage VI, the differences to the patient and the caregiver are nothing. I started on the same treatment but it only worked for a couple months. I switched to Alimta and that has worked ever sense. You don't want to try every chemo in the book, stick to what works and be happy.
    God Bless
    Dan
    I was told by my moms oncologist stage4 has two seperate stages. hmmm.....thanks though lol
    Mom diagnosed November 2011 with Stage 4a NSCLC
    Treatment Dec 2011 Gemcitabin, Carboplatin
    Radiation soon to start
    Tumors shrinking March 2012
    Blood Clots found in Right Leg and Lungs March 2012
    Loss of mobility, motor control, speech and movement February 24, 2012
    Leptomeningeal Mestatic Deposits found April 11, 2012
    Radiation Assessment April 18, 2012
    Confirmed cancer cells are shrinking April 9, 2012

  7. #7
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbywi View Post
    I was told by my moms oncologist stage4 has two seperate stages. hmmm.....thanks though lol
    Buttttt, as I mentioned earlier, I cannot find any online info that says lung cancer has an a/b component. Maybe the oncologist was not being clear in what s/he was trying to explain? I think stage IV lung cancer is sadly just that .... stage IV.

    It might be helpful to get this figured out so that you can have an understanding of the disease progression and treatment options. Good luck and keep hopeful.

  8. #8
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50
    I called my moms oncologist and was infact told it was stage 4a. So I dont know if she has a different way of analyzing the last stage or what. Oh well. Its still stage 4 no matter what. and stage 4 is well...stage 4
    Mom diagnosed November 2011 with Stage 4a NSCLC
    Treatment Dec 2011 Gemcitabin, Carboplatin
    Radiation soon to start
    Tumors shrinking March 2012
    Blood Clots found in Right Leg and Lungs March 2012
    Loss of mobility, motor control, speech and movement February 24, 2012
    Leptomeningeal Mestatic Deposits found April 11, 2012
    Radiation Assessment April 18, 2012
    Confirmed cancer cells are shrinking April 9, 2012

  9. #9
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    The lung cancer 4a/4b staging has me searching the internet for info. I'll start a new thread asking about it, so I can hopefully learn more.
    Last edited by Spouse; 04-15-2012 at 09:28 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,066
    Hi, There are technical differences between 4a and 4b,but what I was saying it doesn't matter to the end user here. In fact there is little difference with 3a, 3b or 4, it only matters to technical sources, not the end user. Either can go bad quickly or go very well, the best thing is being non-small cell over small cell.
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  11. #11
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    I've got my mind stuck on trying to learn what is the technical differences between 4a and 4b lung cancer. Anyone know a source? "Too technical" for the patient/family doesn't work well with me. ;L Thanks.

  12. #12
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Spouse View Post
    I've got my mind stuck on trying to learn what is the technical differences between 4a and 4b lung cancer. Anyone know a source? "Too technical" for the patient/family doesn't work well with me. ;L Thanks.
    Agreed, Ill be asking more this thursday when we go for treatment. Funny I never thought it would bug me this much. lmao
    Mom diagnosed November 2011 with Stage 4a NSCLC
    Treatment Dec 2011 Gemcitabin, Carboplatin
    Radiation soon to start
    Tumors shrinking March 2012
    Blood Clots found in Right Leg and Lungs March 2012
    Loss of mobility, motor control, speech and movement February 24, 2012
    Leptomeningeal Mestatic Deposits found April 11, 2012
    Radiation Assessment April 18, 2012
    Confirmed cancer cells are shrinking April 9, 2012

  13. #13
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    I think my "need to know" is because without a full understanding of the situation, there is a fear that an opportunity for a treatment option might be passed up because I did not know enough to ask about it.

  14. #14
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,066
    Hi all, I have looked ed it up in the past, and the oncologist I have that is a straight shooter, said that there is no treatment difference between 4a or 4b or even stage III. The biggest deal is has the cancer left the initial landing site such as the lungs where they feel they can control cancer better. But it is common for the doctors to go in remove lobes and say no more cancer and months later you have it again. I personally feel better knowing I'm in a long war being aided by doctors that know it and we fight it to the end.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  15. #15
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    470
    I am in agreement with dano. Once you get to Stage 4, the differences are immaterial to the person who has cancer. Treatments can vary based on certain markers, but these are not included in the Staging.

    I am also a type A personality and understand your "need to know", but what you might consider is that you are better off taking care of the person and not the disease. I am relatively certain that all the expertise in the world comes nowhere near being as helpful as a hug or a shoulder. Your family member doesn't need yet another doctor. They need YOU. The fact that they have C A N C E R is more than sufficient reason to be scared, and the fact that they are still alive is enough to do what you need to do...love, support, comfort and listen.

    Believe me, I understand the initial frenzy to have all the answers, but you are wasting your time. Time that could be better spent on the here and now. You can NEVER have all the answers and the doctors won't either. They just have their best guesses. Let them deal with that. You have more important things to do.

    Hugs and hope,

    Lori

    PS - if I sound like I am being a bossy boots, please understand that I am speaking from experience. Let go of the "know" - you can't count on it anyway.

  16. #16
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,066
    Bossy Boots?? I can see Loves and Kisses, But not Bossy!. . What a great friend you are Lori. I think the biggest thing that happened with whole 4A and 4B thing is the doctors that came up with the concept may have gotten a write up in the American Medical Journal and were quite impressed with themselves really.
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,547
    Lori, you expressed this cancer journey with a loved one so well. Stage 4a or 4b....still stage 4 with all its ramifications. If you trust in your medical team...it frees you up to just love and support the person with cancer. I too spent alot of time researching and trying to find the answers. I used to do it all when my Dad was sleeping so I wouldn't be taking time away from him. In the end all I did was exhaust myself and all my research didn't change a thing. I found more helpful information right here on the forum than I did with any research...practical advice I could use to better take care of my Dad and keep him comfortable. Advice on how to take care of myself so I wouldn't burnout in the process and most of all I found hope and inspiration here on days that I felt I couldn't go on much longer. So thanks Lori for getting right to the heart of the matter and talking about what's really important on this journey. God Bless.
    Irish
    Irish,
    Caregiver to my Dad, who was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 1V NSCLC with single met to brain,
    He sadly lost his battle in August 2010 and we miss his smiling Irish blue eyes terribly.
    My Dad's story:
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...th-how-he-died.

  18. #18
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    789
    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieliz View Post
    I am also a type A personality and understand your "need to know", but what you might consider is that you are better off taking care of the person and not the disease.
    I am able to do both, really, entertain my "need to know" and take care of the person. We weren't even three months into this when I found that having exacting details was what got our foot in the door regarding a possible trial. Of course, all the while, I try to keep in mind:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.


    Peace and Health to all.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,547
    Ahhhh....the Serenity Prayer, you'll never know how many times I used it to get through.
    Irish
    Irish,
    Caregiver to my Dad, who was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 1V NSCLC with single met to brain,
    He sadly lost his battle in August 2010 and we miss his smiling Irish blue eyes terribly.
    My Dad's story:
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...th-how-he-died.

  20. #20
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    50
    I find the more i know the more i can help my mom. I dont think its at all overwhelming at some points in my life but there are days when knowing all of this is harmful because i know i want to help but i cant. gahh. I love the serenity prayer.
    Mom diagnosed November 2011 with Stage 4a NSCLC
    Treatment Dec 2011 Gemcitabin, Carboplatin
    Radiation soon to start
    Tumors shrinking March 2012
    Blood Clots found in Right Leg and Lungs March 2012
    Loss of mobility, motor control, speech and movement February 24, 2012
    Leptomeningeal Mestatic Deposits found April 11, 2012
    Radiation Assessment April 18, 2012
    Confirmed cancer cells are shrinking April 9, 2012

 
+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. 73 yr old Mom with stage IV NSCLC
    By thinkpink in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 94
    Last Post: 02-21-2013, 05:55 PM
  2. Mom in End Stage from Stage IV NSCLC with Metastasis
    By Tera in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-11-2008, 01:16 AM
  3. stage IV nsclc
    By Lisa9897 in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-20-2007, 03:05 AM
  4. Mom w/NSCLC stage IV
    By autransin in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-16-2006, 07:09 PM
  5. NSCLC - 2 Stage IA's or 1 Stage IB - Do Chemo or Not?
    By Margie50 in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-17-2005, 02:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts