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Cancer: Lung Message Board


Cancer: Lung Board Index


Conan,

I agree about the immune system as I believe that our bodies were made with the ability to heal themselves if provided the right nutrients. I read the book Beating cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin and don't understand why most doctors seem to ignore the nutrition part of treatment.To me it seems to be just as important as the chemo. I also lean toward the holistic methods as I know with my experience with animals that holistic methods have often worked better then conventional medicine.

I have to tell you since your wife's name is Patsy my mom's is Pat!

My mom belongs to a Kaiser a big HMO so she had no problem with them covering the Tarceva. After finishing her 1st line chemo they gave her a break she was very weak and instead of getting better she got worse and could not walk far so we were using a wheelchair, She also was very short of breath. We went to see her oncologist and she had a low grade fever . He wanted to just write everything off to cancer progression butI made him order a urine culture and wanted an Xray especially when he said he thought she had another pleural effusion but despite her gasping with any movement he refused saying it wasn't that bad yet and it was probably due to cancer progression. We went around him which is not easy in the HMO world and got the pulmonologist to order an Xray. It turned out her whole right lung was whited out as she had an obstructive pneumonia as the cancer was progressing. She also had a bladder infection. With those two infections she was probably a day or two away from sepsis and that would probably have killed her. They put her on Irressa and antibiotics.

She got home and took her antibiotics and her irressa and by the next morning she was feeling better and each day we saw major improvement and she was soon walking without feeling short of breath and saying she was feeling better then she had in years. After that first month she was switched from Iressa to Tarceva as Tarceva had just been approved 2 months prior and Iressa was being taken off the market. Anyway she was soon to the point where you would not know she had ever been sick. CT showed major shrinkage in the lung tumor and in the liver mets as well.
About 7 months ( Aug 2005) after starting the Tarceva the CT showed the liver mets were progressing some but her lungs had no eveidence of cancer except a scar where the tumor had been. The lungs have remained that way so she has not suffered all the lung problems most do and has had no shortness of breath so was able to live a pretty normal life until now.

She did get a rash with the Tarceva but hers did not itch and looked like teenage acne. Her skin was dry and flaked off and her finger tips cracked and she did have mild constipation but she has never been one to drink enough fluids. She felt great while on the Tarceva and even had more energy then she had had in years. Those few side effects she had were well worth what the Tarceva did for her.We will always be thankful for the Iressa and Tarceva as her reults were quick and dramatic.There was no doubt in our minds that it was working before we got the first CT.

I think Tarceva has proved itself over and over in people that respond to it so I can't see insurance companies refusing to pay for it now especailly in someone as young as Patsy . When it works it often does more then chemo ever will. I have met people that were on Irresssa and are now 4-5 years cancer free and others on Tarceva that have been cancer free since being on it so it is all an individual responce which is where having a built up immune system should be a huge benefit. I hope I answered your questions. Feel free to ask more if I have not.

Godbless you and Patsy. I want more then anything to see someone on this board win this battle against lung cancer.;) JanMarie





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