My 66 year old mother was diagnosed with Limited Small Cell Lung Cancer last Thanksgiving. She is a former smoker, but had quit a year and a half before her diagnosis. She had a bit of COPD and was being followed for that when her PCP mentioned that she should get a CT scan as recommended by the government. She put it off until October 2015 and that is when they saw "something." She went for a Bronchoscopy the day before Thanksgiving and it was confirmed.
This turned my whole world upside down. Immediately I started doing research on the types of treatment available and found there is NOT a lot of research put into Small Cell Lung Cancer. I think this is because a majority of patients with Small Cell are smokers and that there is a stigma that they somehow "deserve" what they got. Yes, she did smoke and yes, she knew the dangers. However, I feel the tobacco industry plays a huge part in that (Story for another day).
Anyhow, she went for both radiation and chemo as well as PCI radiation. She finished her treatment in mid-June. To date, she is still very fatigued and not able to do all the things she liked to do (gardening etc.). She does make an effort to try and keep things as normal as possible but, I know this is very hard on her (and depressing). Her next scan is next week and she has her doctor's appointment on 11/16 to get results.
I would love to see a bigger push for research into Small Cell Lung Cancer to try and develop more treatment options (some not as harsh as chemo and radiation). I understand the main mode of prevention is to not smoke, however, I feel like people who have been smoking for 30 - 40 years have a harder time quitting due to the addiction to the nicotine (not an excuse).
Thank you for letting me share my mom's story.
First Published: November 3, 2016
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