Stage 3 Lung Cancer : Hi everyone, I’ve... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Stage 3 Lung Cancer

HopefulAnnie101 profile image

Hi everyone,

I’ve spent the last couple of months looking through various forums online and finally plucked up the courage to post today. My dad turned 60 this year and has recently been diagnosed last month with stage 3 lung cancer. It’s one tumour on the right side of his lung and his lymph nodes in the centre of the chest are affected. He hasn’t shown any symptoms apart from a cough and the doctors picked this up when he went for a CT scan for his stomach (unrelated). He was referred to the lungs team from then.

We saw the oncologist this week for the first time and she was lovely. She confirmed to my dad that he will be receiving chemo and radiotherapy together for 1 month with a view of curing the cancer. She seemed fairly confident and didn’t give my dad a prognosis which put us at ease.

We’re hoping this works and fingers crossed it cures him. Whilst I’ve read online that stage 3 isn’t curable it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Also it’s case specific too so as my dad is fit and healthy I see no reason why treatment would not work.

He also tested negative for PDL1 which means he will not be eligible for immunotherapy which was a shame but I’m hoping there are other treatments available.

I’m just feeling incredibly anxious and not too hopeful at the same time but also positive. All kinds of emotions. I want my dads to live a long life - see me and my sister get married and watch my brother graduate from uni.

15 Replies

Welcome to the forum, where you will find lots of support from people in similar circumstances to you and your dad. It’s great news that the oncologist has told you that they are aiming to cure you dad’s lung cancer. It’s also good that he is fit and well which will stand him in good stead for his forthcoming treatment.

I have attached links for our publications ‘Living with lung cancer’ available at:

roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

and also chemotherapy and radiotherapy booklets:

roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

If you have any questions please email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our freephone nurse led Helpline: on 0800 358 7200 Mon-Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm Friday 9.00am-4.00pm

Kind regards,

The Roy Castle Helpline Support Team

Hiya!I can’t give much reassurance I’m afraid but I can say I understand. I am in a very similar place with my 65 yo dad (left lung, rather than right) He’s just into his second week of chemo radiation and is doing great so far. The aim to cure confuses me too as it conflicts with everything you read about stage 3 so I swing with being hopeful and then being suspicious we’ve not been told the truth! Sounds great that your dad is fit and healthy though. Happy to chat if you need to xx

Hi! I’m sorry to hear about your dad too. I’m glad that he’s doing well so far on treatment and I’ve got everything crossed for him! Yes this is where my confusion came in too. I didn’t question it too much because statistics online are generalised and it person specific. I guess the oncologists experience and my dads current health would hopefully mean a more curative treatment. Thank you so much! I will definitely keep in touch xxx

Hi Annie,It’s great news they are talking about curing your dad and it’s so important to stay positive.

My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma NSCLC last September. His cancer unfortunately had already spread so it’s in his right lung, ribs, spine, hip and femur and adrenal gland.

His PDL1 was less than 1% but he’s had 4 cycles of chemotherapy Carboplatin and Paclitaxel and immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and is now on just immunotherapy until something changes.

The Oncologist told my dad that the immunotherapy given with chemotherapy has shown to increase chances of surviving a year by an extra 20% in some people so he let him have it.

It’s worth asking your dads Oncologist about.

Sending lots of prayers that your dads treatment is successful xxx

Hi, I’m so sorry to hear about your dads diagnosis. I’ll pray that his treatment continues to work! I’m finding more stage 4 survivors are increasing which is all thanks to the advancement in medicine! I did ask our oncologist and she said immunotherapy would not work on my dad as there are not enough protein cells? It’s a shame but I think there are lots of other treatments available.

Thank you so much for your reply and support it really does mean a lot! Xxxx

My dad hasn’t got enough protein cells either but NICE changed treatment options in the last year because of Covid so it became an option for my dad as it’s proven to increase chances by 20% even with a low PDL1.Thank you for your best wishes for my dad ❤️

I really hope your dad can do well with treatment xxx

Hi Annie

Whilst I am sorry to hear your dad has lung cancer, I am glad they have found it and have a treatment plan in place for him.

I was also diagnosed stage 3b, aged 43, and was fit and healthy at the time (so I thought anyway!). I was originally told my cancer was inoperable, incurable and terminal. However after chemo (4 sessions) followed by radiotherapy I became eligible for surgery. Like your dad I had a tumour in right lung and the mediastinal nodes in centre of chest - also the supraclavicular nodes by collar bone on both sides of neck. I had a lobectomy to remove the tumour and some lymph nodes in chest as the radiotherapy had sorted out other nodal activity. I then had clear scans for 3 years. A node in my neck showed up again then and I had neck surgery to remove it and this was followed by radiotherapy course. Again I have had clear scans since. My original diagnosis was in 2014 and apart from the above I have not been on any other treatments. I feel fit and well and am still out running regularly. I don’t like to tempt fate with ‘curative’ but each clear scan I get I feel a bit more secure.

I hope this gives you some hope and reassurance and I hope your dad’s treatment all goes smoothly.

Best wishes

Jane x

Hi Jane, I’m honestly so happy reading your story and it’s given me even more hope. We can’t predict what will happen but we can only trust the doctors. I think our oncologist said that surgery will depend on how well my dad reacts to the radiotherapy. He may not need it if the radio does it’s job. I pray your scans continue to come clear! Thank you so much for your lovely message xxx

I am glad that my message helped. Treatments are moving forward fast for lung cancer and stats you may see are often a bit outdated. Your dad’s fitness will help him too. I am sure his team will work out the most appropriate treatments for him - as you say, you can’t predict how things will go. It is great they are starting his treatment with curative intent - keep optimistic and let us know how he gets on xx

I have been in the same boat stage 3b a cough then pain. Tumour in the top right hand side and in a lymph node.

Had chemo/ radio treatment

Still here two years later in remission.

Stay positive x

That’s amazing. I’m praying you stay in remission! I really hope I’m able to give the same news for my dad. We’re keeping hopeful x

Sorry to hear about your dad - and hope others comments have reassured you. Welcome to the forum. I was diagnosed in Jan 2011 after having the upper half of my left lung removed and a 7cm tumour. I've been involved in lung cancer research community since late 2013 and there have been an amazing number of changes in treatment in that time. I regularly attend lung cancer committees and conferences with clinical experts and know that stage 3 is the stage that opinions vary about with clinicians - and only a few months before lockdown attended an event at Royal Marsden where a debate discussed whether there was a place for surgery in stage 3 LC. Oncologists argued that with chemo/radiotherapy and immunotherapy, surgery could be avoided but the debate was 'won' by the surgeons and oncologists in the end agreeing that there is a role for surgery in some cases. I don't know where you've been looking as not all forums are 'moderated' with clinical/researcher input. Please be aware that online information is often outdated and inaccurate and unless studies/papers refer to treatments in recent years (no older than 3 years I'd suggest and even then be cautious) don't accept them as the current situation. Things change so rapidly that even charities like Roy Castle lung cancer foundation who regularly update literature is unable to keep up with everything as new agents or doses are changed but the general baseline with their information can be trusted... I was 52 when diagnosed and have met patients who have lived many years. The majority of UK patients are detected at an inoperable stage. As all stages are usually amalgamated on websites, it's too easy to assume that everyone no matter what their stage or fitness has the same outcome - as with one size clothing rarely fitting anyone, these statistics need teasing out. None of us is 'average' and people respond differently to the treatments which is why 'predicting' lifespan is so fraught with inaccuracy. In the UK treatment pathways changed regarding immunotherapy as a result of the pandemic so some people are having it irrespective of their PDL1 status but I'm unsure which country you're in. There are survivors in every stage but most of when we hear 'lung cancer' fear the worst - unaware of the many treatments now available. good luck to you and your dad. roycastle.org/about-lung-ca...

Hi Janette, thank you for your message it was really helpful and informative. You are right that we shouldn’t see what we see on Dr Google as hard facts. The current facts are that my dad is fit and healthy which will help him in his treatment. No one can predict what will happen but it’s so encouraging to read so many stories of survivors including yourself. Xx

Hi Annie,Sorry to hear of your dad’s cancer diagnosis. It’s a scary time, but it will get better as his treatment progresses.

I like several others was diagnosed with stage3A lung cancer in October 2019. I started chemo radiation treatments in December 2019. My tumor in left upper lung was shrunk and I found a thorastic surgeon who removed it in March 2020 just before Covid got bad.

In June of 2020 more chemo. It was a long battle but now i’m feeling great and enjoying my life again. I always wanted to hear the word Cured, but that may never be, but we survivors take a day at a time and are very thankful.

My advice, stay hopeful, encourage your dad and have him stay active as possible.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both. You can do this. God Bless

Thank you for your lovely message. I’m praying you stay fit and healthy for many more years to come! It’s wonderful hearing so many survivor stories and it’s helped me a lot with coming to terms with my dads diagnosis. I will keep you all posted. Hopefully good news soon xx

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