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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Tumour shrinkage but what now


My Dad was Dx with nsclc stage 3b in feb 2012. The tumour is inoperable due to size and location. My dad received chemo and radio and finished treatment in June 2012.

First ct scan in sep 2012 revealed the tumour had shrunk by about 80%, my dad had results of his dec 2012 ct scan today and the tumour has shrunk a little more.

But what now? He has another scan in 3 months, but surely the tumour will not carry on shrinking as treatment was a while ago? I have lost hope of it disappearing and oncologist still don't want to operate as the location of the tumour means it could cause more problems.

I have been searching the Internet for what will happen now but have failed in finding any good info. So can you help xxx

5 Replies

Hi there.

Don't have an answer, I'm afraid. However, seems like your dad has something the same as I had. I had a large, inoperable tumour. It was treated with chemotherapy and when it had shrunk enough after about 4 or 5 months, I had radiotherapy. After about ten months from diagnosis, it had gone. My diagnosis was nearly 13 years ago!

No two people have an identical diagnosis or prognosis. I think your best bet is to speak with your dad's CNS for advice.

Never lose hope!

Best wishes,



Hi Knic,

I too was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer July 2012. As I had never smoked and my test for EGFR came back positive I was given Iressa. I had my results from my first scan and the largest tumour had shrunk by 3cm. And all the others had all showed significant shrinkage. I can't answer your question but as Bill said Speak to your cancer nurse. Keep positive! Keep the Faith! X


Hello Knic,

I was diagnosed the same month and year as you dad with Stage 4 non operable cancer. I was put on chemotherapy, the tumour responded and has shrunk a little. I have never smoked and was tested for EGFR, however, unfortunately the test came back negative. Since then my oncologist has put me on a maintenance programme of chemotherapy (Avasin and Premetrexed). I go into hospital one day every three weeks for treatment and this is stopping the tumour from growing back. Scans have shown that it is not shrinking any further, but on the positive side it is not growing either. As Bill so rightly said, we are all individual and no two people suffering from cancer are the same. However, it might be worth talking to the oncologist about a maintenance programme. Its really not too bad. Continuous chemo is a bit of a pain but life is so precious I feel its worth trying everything. Good luck and please let us all know how things go x


Knic, you have to change your mind set with this, stop thinking along the lines of 'cure' start thinking of it as a chronic illness that is treatable. Even if the tumour cannot be eradicated completely, as long as it is stable and not growing/spreading then there is a chance of many many years of life and survival. I think as a carer it is hard to think think of it like this, but beleive me as a 'patient' I would take this news any day. Hope that helps.

Lyn x


Hi Knic, I too was diagnosed with nsclc stage 3b in operable in october 2007 and understand how you feel, I too am monitored by CT scans normally every 3 months although I think some of the doctors would prefer it to be 6 monthly! but I find I can cope better knowing if anything changes then it will be caught early. I had combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I too would have liked surgery following my treatment and went to London for a second opinion with no luck! however I just have the outlook that its there, I know its there and its better than not knowing. I know we all go on about being positive and at the beginning it is really hard but it will get easier to deal with as time goes on. I wish you and your dad well, Michele x


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