Looking for some advice Type 1 diabet... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Looking for some advice Type 1 diabetic fighting stage 4 lung cancer


My mum has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which she has secondary cancer masses in her ,adrenal glands spine and iliac bone. She is a type 1 diabetic and has a over active thyroid as well. I am just posting on this forum to see if anyone has been successful treatment with underlying health conditions . Any response would be greatly appreciated .

13 Replies

Hi Steve, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma NSCLC in September.His cancer is in his right lung, ribs, spine, hip and femur and adrenal gland.

My dad has had Emphysema COPD for over 20 years and has had Atrial Fibrillation (a heart condition) for 4.5 years.

He’s had 4 cycles of chemotherapy Carboplatin and Paclitaxel and immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and Denosumab Bisphosphonate and now is on a maintenance treatment plan of just immunotherapy and the Denosumab which helps protect and strengthen the bones.

My dad has been on medication for the Emphysema and Atrial Fibrillation for years.

Has your mom had a biopsy yet?

Sending prayers for your mom and big hugs to you both. It’s a huge shock when you get this diagnosis whether it be you or a loved one xxx

in reply to simlut

Wow! wonderful news so glad you get you more years with him. They took a biopsy from her spine last week they said that was best place to take it as its on the nerve of the spine and on the outside if that makes sense . No compression on thr spinal cord yet which they are really happy with .So we are back next week to decide a course of action . Yes its a massive shock and especially when you read things on the internet regarding type 1 diabetics fight stage 4 lung cancer. Hope all goes well with your dad and he has many more sunrises with him x how long has your dad being fighting stage 4 forif dont mind me asking

simlut profile image
simlut in reply to

We are praying for more years with him. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and never knowing what’s going to happen next.He was diagnosed last September 2020.

Your mom may have mutations that make her a candidate for targeted therapy or immunotherapy.

I know people with diabetes do have treatment but you just need to be more careful with the steroids they give you with chemotherapy causing an increased sugar level.

I see it that my dads already being treated for Atrial Fibrillation so is on medication to stop that being an issue and he’s already on blood thinners so it’s protection from blood clots which treatment sometimes causes.

I hope your mom gets a treatment plan soon and can stop the cancer xx

in reply to simlut

Hi , my mum got her results last week shr has adenocarcinoma . She has beeb a bit up and down she received 5 days of radiotherapy on the mass on her spine . We go back tuesday to see the consultant to see what else can be done . Recently she has lost mobility in her left arm which is a bit concerning . How is your dad doing ?

simlut profile image
simlut in reply to

Hi Steve, that is concerning about your moms arm is it pain that’s causing lack of mobility or numbness? Hopefully on Tuesday your mom will get a treatment plan that she can start very soon.

My dads doing ok thank you for asking (touchwood). He had a double dose of Immunotherapy Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) on the 5th February and he’s got his next one 6 weeks afterwards.

He’s feeling well and eating well which is a blessing xxx

in reply to simlut

We are not too sure my mum being mum just kind of brushes it off. Oh thats good keeping their appetite up sometimes is a challenge. So happy things are working for your dad

simlut profile image
simlut in reply to

It could be the nerves being aggravated after the radiotherapy.Hopefully it’s temporary but definitely mention it at her appointment.

I hope your mom gets to start more treatment very soon.

We take each day at a time but we are so thankful my dads not feeling poorly and is able to eat well still xxx

Thanks for posting - sorry to read about your mum's diagnosis which can be very scary. Many many lung cancer patients have other health conditions including diabetes, COPD, asthma and others so it's quite common and treatments can be adapted for a patient's existing medication regime or to counter known side effects that may contra-indicate with existing medication. Some of the treatments like immunotherapy exclude some pre-existing immune related conditions like lupus, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis although due to the pandemic some people are now having these treatments and they're being closely monitored. hope she's able to start treatment soon...

in reply to JanetteR57

JanetteR57 thanks so much for the information i really hope that she can start soon so we can get a few more years i hear that people with stage 4 metastasis in bone can live up to 4 years with new treatment i am just trying to cling on to any hope we can for now

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JanetteR57 in reply to

Some studies still monitoring patients over time with advanced disease are showing longer. I've met several who have way exceeded that - some a few years ago who took part in clinical trials for treatments now commonplace (or superseded) and others who had chemotherapy/radiotherapy. non small cell lung cancer stage iv like all other stages has survivors - the difficulty with newer treatments especially immunotherapy is not being able to predict who will respond better to treatments. Keep on hoping and in the meantime, live yours and her best life and make memories to treasure if you can. Having lost my 33 year old niece to a sudden catastrophic bleed on her brain with no warning (18 years after losing her mother at 40) in June 2019 taught me that none of us know how long we will live (cancer diagnosis or not) so making the most of our time whether long short is something we can aim for. good luck...

in reply to JanetteR57

Thanks very much for the support ❤

Dear Steve153929

Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your Mum and how difficult this must for you all.

There are many people on treatments who also have underlying health conditions, which is taken into account prior to any treatment and are managed accordingly.

It may be that her Diabetic specialist will be providing shared management/observation along with her specialist. Her diabetes will be well monitored and adjusted according to what drugs may be needed or changed.

Hope you will know the result from her biopsy soon and start some treatment.

You may find this link from Cancer research UK of use for those with managing their diabetes with cancer: macmillan.org.uk/cancer-inf...

There are many inspiring and encouraging stories from those with stage 4 lung cancer on our website, which you can find in this link: roycastle.org/campaigns/

You may have seen already that we have a range of booklets on all the different treatments used and can be found on this link: roycastle.org/help-and-supp...

If you are looking for information on the internet, there can be a lot of misinformation and inaccurate data out there, it would be advisable to only look at evidence based approved websites such as:




If there is anything you would like to discuss you can either email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our free phone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

Small update : met mum met her consultant today and she is having 4 courses of chemotherapy which consist of pemetrexed and carboplatin . Sadly Her PDL1 is only between 2-3 % which he says rules her out of immunotherapy . He said that my mum at this time he feel that if he was to try this with chemotherapy that my mums body in the state she is just now would be overwhelmed , Although alot to take in we are all trying to be positive for my mum . Thanks again for all the support from you guys been so nice and hope everyone is keeping as well as they can be and keep fighting ❤

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