My mum has been diagnosed with lung cancer,symptoms like pancoast cancer with also 1 brain lesion.Incurable.Having a biopsy asap.How long?

Does anyone have any knowledge of life expectancy? She will be give treatment after biopsy. Mum is 56 and has head and shoulder blade pain but with pain killers she looks so well and we all, including mum, had no idea until an xray for suspected muscle strain. I am so sad.

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13 Replies

  • Nicky

    I am sorry to hear the situation you find yourself and your mum in, it is a lot to take in. It sounds as though it has come as quite a shock for both of you.

    It sounds as though your mum is in the diagnosis process and further information will be taken from her biopsy. Hopefully the clinical team will be able to identify her tumour type and what treatment is best to manage her pain and symptoms. Life expectancy cannot be given precisely for any individual. Once the team are able to work out a treatment plan, it will be depend on how your mum responds. Although your mum has been told her cancer is not curable it may be possible to manage both her brain lesion (sometimes called metastatic or secondary tumour) and her lung tumour with radiotherapy or chemotherapy or a combination of treatment. You describe your mum as young and relatively well which should stand her in good stead for any appropriate treatment.

    If you have not yet had an appointment it is worth arranging to speak to the Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist who may be able to talk through the specifics for you and your mum.

    Meanwhile you may find our Answering Your Questions booklet useful, the link is below:

    I appreciate this is an upsetting, emotional time for you and the family and making sense of this situation is not easy for you or your mum. Hopefully some of the experiences of our other forum members might be helpful.

    If we can help further please look at the website or call our free helpline on 0333 323 7200 option 2

    best wishes


    on behalf of the Information & Support Team

  • This has helped a lot Lorraine thank you very much x

  • So sorry to read about your mum I just hope she can be helped my partner went into hospital on April 17 th 2013 he had a headache they found 2 masses on his brain which they said was prob secondary it was discovered it was secondary for lung cancer he had 6 lots of chemo and then 2 lots of radio on the brain his quality of life did not improve from the day he was diagnosed he stopped smoking butbecame breathless when doing anything apart from sitting still the steroids made his muscles weak ( but. Stopped the brain swelling) he fought and definitely had a lot to live for he was 59 unfortunately he passed away 17th of dec this time last year we were packing to go away for a winter break life is so cruel please enjoy your time with your mum people said this to me but I ws so mad and frustrated with the illness and although if read the internet tried to be positive cos he was they say everyone is different so here's hoping your mum is sorry it's not good news if there's anything else you want to ask me and if I can help in any way I will cos I know the early days are so hard just seem to bre waiting xxxxxxx

  • Thank you for your help and sorry for your loss x

  • No probs wish I cd help more xx

  • It does help to see things from all angles. Thanks again x

  • Hi Nicky, my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer in July having never smoked and was always at Zumba this was a complete shock to us all and as my mum is only 63 (and still working full time ) I myself found it very difficult to accept . At the time she was given only 6 weeks as she was so ill. She is strong and determined and has defied what she was told. she has had 4 rounds of chemo which she took in her stride. Scans have shown that the secondary cancer in her liver has shrunk as have the bone mets, her lung cancer has reduced in size slightly . She is now on a maintaining dose of chemo which she is tolerating well. Mum knows her cancer is terminal and her consultant say that an average time in his experience is 9-12 months from diagnosis for my mums diagnosis but everyone different and my mum still runs the house running after everyone .Please keep a positive attitude because you just don't know. My mum insisted on making dinner for 15 at Christmas, dancing round the table! Make sure that yon get support for yourself which I have found very helpful.

    This is just my experience and you need to get all the info from your mums doctors.

    Thinking of you all x

  • Thanks madalyn. I know that things are not great and all people are different but I hope my mum can keep hold of the positivity and strength your mum is showing too. All the best x

  • Hi Nicky,

    As people here say everyone is different and responds differently to treatments. It also depends what the biopsy shows as there are so many targeted treatments these days ( I had one called Iressa) My Cancer is inoperable and terminal although they do not say how long. I was diagnosed 18 months ago after a persistent cough. I have been lucky in continuing to feel well and am still at work a few days a week. I know that this can't go on for ever and so far have had 3 different chemo regimes. Just be positive and make the most of whatever time you have. Keep believing remission can last a number of years. If you are on Facebook there is a good group like this one called "I am a face of lung cancer".

    All the best

    Sue xx

  • Thank you so much sue . I know that each story is different and not always great but stories like yours keep me going enough to keep mum going. All the very best with your own mission xx

  • Hi Sue. Just looked at Facebook and it appears the Group has closed. That's a shame. Thanks anyway. Alison

  • Hi Alison,

    The group on Facebook is still open and is very active with over 300 members. It is what is called a "Closed Group" which means that only members of the group can see postings and not everyone else on Facebook. It doesn't mean that the group is actually closed. If you search 'I am a Face of Lung Cancer' and in the top right you will see a button which says 'Join Group'. If you click on this it will send a request to Lyn who is the Group Administrator and then she will confirm your request and you can join in the regular chats and updates. I find it very useful as people exchange their experiences of different treatments as they do on here. Look forward to seeing you there soon!!

    Sue xx

  • Thanks a lot Sue, I will go and join now. Alison xx

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