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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Tumour growth

Hi my dad is 77 and was diagnosed with lung cancer after his gallbladder was removed, even though he has never smoked in his life, he lost a lot of weight from the operation and he could only have radiotherapy as he was too weak and lost a lot of weight from the gallbladder op to have chemo, he had his scan results through and the tumour has strunk, the Dr said it may grow back or somewhere else, silly question but is there a time limit when it may start growing again ?

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Just wondered if your dad has been tested for mutations eg EGFR, ALK, ROS1 etc these are often found in non smokers and can affect the treatment that he is given? Roy Castle do a booklet about the mutations and targetted Therapies. It worth a look. Wishing you all the best Xx

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Thanku for your reply I will look into this xx

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Dear jules589,

I am very sorry to hear about your dads diagnosis.

As regards your question about tumour regrowth,only the oncologist managing your dads care would be in a position to advise you about his individual care.This is because there are many factors that affect this for example,the site and stage of his cancer.

Bow-19 mentioned mutation testing. Here the doctors are looking for specific characteristics that are different in some NSCLC cancer cells, and show up in the genes within the cells. These are called mutations. There are various different types of targeted therapy that work for different mutations.

I have attached a link for some of our publications including targeted therapy which you can access online.After you have read the booklets you may have some questions you may wish to ask the doctor at the next clinic visit.It's a good idea to write down any questions you may have.


Please don't hesitate to call the nurse led Helpline ;Freephone 0800 358 7200 if you would like to speak to someone.

Kind regards,

All the team at the Roy Castle Helpline.

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Hello Jules589, sorry to learn about your dad. Lots of us have never smoked and the lack of awareness/publicity that many never smokers do develop lung cancer is why the diagnosis comes as such a shock. The truth is that anyone can develop lung cancer irrespective of smoking status. It's not a silly question about potential regrowth after shrinkage or recurrence - one thing about lung cancer is the variability of different biomarkers/tumour mutation which can only be determined through pathology/testing of your dad's particular tumour. Ask his oncologist or lung nurse for the answers specifically relating to his condition. It can be difficult to remember all the stuff that clinicians tell us (as we're still usually reeling from the diagnosis) so best to write down any questions and their responses to refer to later. There is a lot of really helpful information available on the Roy Castle website explaining about the condition and its various treatments as well as symptoms such as breathlessness. good luck.

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