Mum is likely to have lung cancer

Hi, my world has been blown apart in recent days by the news that my mum probably has lung cancer. I lost my dad 4 years ago and its taken my mum a long time to get back on her feet and now this - its so cruel. My mum doesn't smoke, drink and is very active, goes to keep fit and walks a lot and had a cough that has lasted a while and went for xray which showed up a shadow - CT scan showed a sausage shaped abnormality in top of right lung. Chest specialist suspects its cancer and now has to go for biopsy to have it confirmed. Just dont know how to cope with this and having researched lung cancer am terrified by the low survival stats. Was clinging to the hope that could be something like TB or that it's benign but from what ive read it doesnt sound like it - cant face losing mum as well as dad.

6 Replies

  • Hi Rob,

    What a horrible shock, I really do feel for you and your mum. Those stats are not all correct and until you get a proper diagnosis with staging etc you can't have any idea of your mums survival chance. I was diagnosed stage 1 last year, it had spread to 2 lymph nodes so they couldn't operate but with chemo and radiotherapy I am still here and at the moment have no evidence of disease.

    So you really need to be a strong support for mum right now and you can't fall apart. Try to put the fears out of your mind and concentrate on getting mum through the next few weeks and months. Might sound hard but it's much much harder for mum.

    I'm thinking of you and you can pm me anytime.


  • thanks for your feedback, just so scared at moment and can barely find the strength to keep myself going - let alone my mum. Having done the research my heart and hope have sunk knowing that im probably not going to have my mum in years to come. Struggling to come to terms with it and cant see any hope.

  • Hang in there. Cancer diagnosis is very frightening for you both. It isn't all doom and gloom and she may well have a very good outcome. Try not to look too far into the future. Lung cancer stats can be a bit depressing but they represent everyone and some people are very poorly when they are diagnosed - your mum is fit and active and that will help her a lot. She may be able to have surgery that will give her the chance of a good recovery and if not there are other curative treatments available. She will need all your support through tests and treatment - it's not a bundle of laughs but by just being there and sharing the journey you will be doing a fantastic job. I was diagnosed 9 months ago and am still here to tell the tale. The support of family and friends has really kept me going. Good luck with the results.

  • Hi ,perhaps they have caught it early and it is more treatable it is difficult to understand why you have such an awful cancer when you have tried to have a healthy lifestyle ,things are not straight forward .

    I have lung cancer just as my Mum did but she managed 4 reasonable years before it really got her ,the difference was she smoked like a train when younger l did not smoke at all ,perhaps passively as a child and when clubbing as a teenager.

    At least your Mum is healthy at the beginning so that's a positive she will be in a strong place to receive treatment . But you have my sympathy finding that your mum is ill in this way is traumatic for both of you and life is cruel at times .Try not to be too defeated from the outset with treatment she may do well and she might come up as one of the winners in the stastic game .l have found the local MacMillan unit attached to my local hospital a good support unit for me and my family as they are non judgemental and always supportive with a few extras thrown in .Hope all goes well .

  • Rob

    Sorry that you and your mum are facing this situation. It sounds like a hard 4 years grieving for you dad. Some people say that the period of uncertainty is one of the hardest when it comes to cancer. You need to be looking after yourself and trying to be as prepared as you can to support your mum.

    I think from the feedback from Tilson, Diane and Jen you will have got a message not to get too pessimistic too soon. Survival statistics for lung cancer are not great but the data is based on the majority having late stage diagnosis and what treatments have been available 2-5 years ago. Things are improving and being hopeful, but well informed, will help you support your mum.

    If it is of interest we have a useful starting guide: "Lung Cancer; Answering your Questions." which we can send out to you if you call our free helpline on 0333 323 7200 option 2, or if you prefer look at the website

    Your mum should be assigned a lung cancer nurse specialist and you can share your concerns and worries with him/her. There are lots of good sources of support and if you can prepare yourself then that may help,

    do give us a call as we are always happy to listen and offer support,

    best wishes


    on behalf of the Information & Support team

  • Hi Rob,

    Try not to run ahead of yourself. First you need a proper diagnosis. If indeed it is LC then you will be given a plan of action. It may have been caught so early that the prognosis is a good as it gets. But all this is speculation as she has not been diagnosed with it yet. When does she see her consultant? It would be helpful if you have jotted down your questions in advance (I assume you'll accompany her) so that you can get proper answers, in this way you can be the best support to your mum at that time.

    Your role now is to support her as best you can - you can't do that if you're in bits.

    Good luck,


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