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British Lung Foundation
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My Mum has Small Cell Lung Cancer

Hi all. My Mum (aged 66) has recently been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. Surgery isn't an option but perhaps Radiotherapy or Chemo will be. She sees the Oncoligist on Sept 26th. Thing is she is in pretty bad health anyway. Her lungs are both damaged, she has heart problems and has an ICD fitted. Any treatment would be to prolong her life I know. I'm thinking that she probably won't be able to have radiotherapy due to the ICD and wonder if she will even be able to have chemo due to the bad state of her heart and her general bad health. Am I being overly negative or do you think I'm right? I'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible so I can get my head around it and be there for my Mum and all our family.

Thank you for reading x

11 Replies

Hi Panface, my best advice is to not jump to any conclusions prior to meeting with the oncologist. While it is human nature to want to know NOW, it is only prudent to wait for your review with the oncologist. Best Wishes, judg69


Thank you. I'm just so scared. I need to be strong for everyone but it's hard. I can't stop reading up on it and think about little else.

Kind regards and thanks again

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Hello panface, I was diagnosed with Small cell carcinoma last year, couldn't have surgery but had Ablasive Stereotactic radiotherapy ( not a cure ) but does prolong.

Pending on where you live " Clatterbridge' cancer hospital in Liverpool is the place I would go to again.

I will remember your Mum in my prayers,and yourself keep strong panface,and you will get tremendous support on here.

Love and hugs 🦋🌈🦋. Etch xx


Hi I also suffer with copd and I am on oxygen 24/7 I was diagnosed with lung cancer and an operation was not an option so I had radiotherapy it was painless and fortunately I had no side effects . I am feeling very well at the moment so I hope your mum gets the correct treatment for her I'm sure she will. Please keep us posted

Very best wishes

Sue x


Thank you all for your replies, I'm so touched you've took the time to reply. I don't know if my Mum will be able to have radiotherapy due to the ICD she has fitted to her heart but I hope so. If I can have my Mum for longer and she can be comfortable I would be so happy. They said without treatment we're talking about months rather than years even though at present the cancer is quite small and hasn't spread.

Best wishes to you all

Ange xx


I agree with judg69 , until you see the oncologist there is no point in speculation. Worry is a different matter, nothing will stop you thingking about your mum's diagnosis and potential conscequences, it's only natural.

What I understand from your post, is that your mum is already very sick and that this is an additional diagnosis to strain an already weakened body. Your mum appears to be already living on the edge of a sword therefore does this new diagnosis really change matters? My advice would be to continue to make her life as comfortable as possible, spent as much time with her as you can and treat everyday as precious.

I will keep your family in my thoughts.


Thank you. Yes she's had mental health problems and alcoholism for years so hasn't looked after herself. Shame is now she is sober and the mental health problems are so much better ...at last I have my Mum back but it looks like not for long.

Any time we have together though will be precious as you say and at least now it will be more quality time. Thanks and best wishes to you xx


Alcoholism is a terrible illness which affects not only the sufferer but also family and friends. It destroys families and robs people of their very existence. I am so glad to hear that your mum has started to reclaim her life and that you are building a meaninful relationship again. Don't look at time frames, just enjoy the moment and if you can find it in your heart ... forgive her.


So true, it really has been hell but I've never given up on her and she has been an amazing Mum to me for more years than she hasn't ....if you know what I mean. To me there's nothing to forgive.

Thank you for your reply and understanding xx


You really care and that shines through. Whatever lies ahead for your mum, you'll walk that road together. You are very lucky to have each other.

Please let me know what the oncologist says.

Thinking of you


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Hi, just thought I'd post an update on my Mum. She has been offered radiotherapy...Cyber Knife (why oh why do these things have some horrible scary names? Lol) . They will have to have a cardiac team there as her ICD will have to be stopped while the radiotherapy session goes on . This does pose risks as her heart could go dangerously out of rhythm and potentially could stop however that's a fairly small risk.

They are going to give Mum 3 x 1hr sessions over Mon, Tue and Wed. Anyone know how long after that we'd know if it has made a difference?

They've ruled out any chemo. Apparently the cancer measures 2cm at the moment and is in her left lung,

Have to say that the speed in which all the scans and appointments have been done is incredible. So far very impressed with Mount Vernon Hospital and King Edward....not as impressed with Wexham Park hospital though as that's my Mums closest hospital and they have a habit of making cock ups. Latest being that they didn't let the other two hospitals know that Mum had an ICD.

Hope you are all doing well xxx


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