non small cell cancer

scientific info on non small cell cancer of the lung and lymph nodes…
does anyone know of new treatments, besides the standard chemo, I am looking for web sites, (preferably stuff in laymans terms) any info on alternative therapies, any thing you might have is all welcome.
subject is 5o year old female smoker for 30+ years no history of cancer in the family, outlook is poor: one possibly two years, with heavy chemo, most practical out look is 10 months to a year of ‘good’ time, then a fast decline is expected.
thanks in advance for your help.

All I can say, without coming off as too preachy, is to beware of the “alternative therapies.” The web is a great source of information, but it’s also a great source of misinformation – and a great way for con artists to expand their potential victims and fatten their own wallets.

Kelli, have they considered radiation therapy? I know that’s not really alternative; maybe the doctors feel its too systemic for radiation.
Try this link: to the Lung Association in Canada. They have a section in there they call Unconventional Therapies. Hope it helps!!

Also, I went to and entered the question: Where can I find information on alternative cancer treatments? It pulled up quite a list of things. Give it a shot too.

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

great start…thx
david, you are not a bit preachy, but we have literally NOTHING to loose with the alternative therapies.
Bunny, yeah, its too systemic.they are hopeful about the chemo though (for stopping the spread) She has finished her first course, and she didnt get sick, and she (so far) still has her hair, it just made her tired, I’ll check those sites.

(Trying again not to be preachy, since I apparently succeeded the first time. :slight_smile: )

I understand that you feel you have nothing to lose, and in the same situation I can’t say that I’d feel any differently. But if the docs give chemo any chance at all of working, I’d probably take it (of course, I’m saying this as one who has never been thru chemo, but my father was and I understand that it is not a pleasant experience). Also, I’ve often seen people who have nothing to lose end up losing whatever little money they had in persuing quack therapies. Just another word of warning and of hope that things work out for the best for you.

I follow, and not to worry, my mom is the last person to be conned…and chemo is already underway…I think that by persuing alternative therapies as well, maybe she can keep up the illusion of recovery.

Just remember that every person who was ever conned probably thought that. If they didn’t, con-men couldn’t be successful. :slight_smile:

Well, I will say that many alternative practitioners do spend more time with their patients, which is one reason many people feel more comfortable with them. If she does decide to use any of these, please make sure she tells her doctor. I know many people are afraid to tell their docs because the doc won’t approve, but it’s worse for her to do something that might interfere with her chemo or cause a bad reaction than it is to get a disapproving look from a doctor. And even though I don’t believe in luck, I wish you both the best of it.

I know that this isn’t what you mean, but there are many established “Alternative” therapies that can improve the quality of life, though they pose no claims for a cure.

Some examples are aromatherapy, pain reduction through biofeedback and acupuncture.

a friend of mine has debilitating migraines and found biofeedback to be the only thing that helped control them – and some insurance co.s will pay for it if referred by a doctor (my friend was referred to biofeedback by his neurologist, for example)

As others have said, best of luck.

kellibelli - sorry to hear about your mom.

Go to the psychology self-help section of your book store. There should be several books on illness & the healing power of the mind. Many studies have shown that the mind has a much greater impact on health & healing than we really give it credit for.

Kelli, first of all, let me say that I’m sorry that you & someone you care about are having to go through this.

:: opening up a can of worms::

Here is the reason why many cancer consciously decide to eschew traditional chemotherapy, and pursue alternative treatments - for too many diseases, chemotherapy sucks.

Let’s pretend docs were perfect prognosticators & perfectly honest, too. Patient A has cancer. Life expectancy is 12 months. With chemotherapy, life expectancy is 18 months. Sound good?

What if we factor in “good time” (how long will (s)he be able to travel, go fly a kite with some kids, eat at a restaurant without having to ask for the table closest to the toilet, just in case). Maybe the total evens out to 6 months of good time followed by 6 months of bad time w/o chemo and 12 months of 2 weeks good time alternating with 2 weeks badtime, followed by 6 months of continual bad time w/ chemo. But in 6 months continual good time, you could take a cruise without worrying about low blood counts.

Alternative medicine is not an either-or decision. There are various nontraditional treatments designed to slow the progression of cancer. Some are touted as reversing or even curing cancer; I would be very skeptical about these. There are also many herbal, nutritional, and acupuncture regimens specifically intended to alleviate the side effects of chemo- or radiation therapy. Your oncologist may or may not know anything about these options.

Your mom (if I understand the situation correctly) needs to ask her oncologist some very tough questions - is the chemo he’s proposing intended to be curative? (there is some chance of curing the cancer, or getting it into remission) or palliative(slows down the progression)? Are there any studies for which she is eligible? What’s the real impact on good time/bad time. How much of the time between treatments will she feel good? Can she leave the immediate area?

Then she needs to ask herself some hard questions about what she wants to do with the time she has left. She is the only one who can answer the quantity vs. quality of life question.

Then, if she is leaning that way, she needs to talk with someone who is knowledgeable in both traditional & non-traditional therapies. 20 years from now, I think that will be easy. Now, it is very difficult. The best place to look is probably in on-line support groups for patients with similar tumors. Take any web sites you & she encounter with a very large grain of salt. No one out there is checking these sites for truth-in-advertising.

Another source of information on various treatments is your local hospice society. They have people who have acquired a lot of -well-being-maintaining know-how that docs don’t learn in med school.

{{{{{{{{Kellibelli}}}}}}}}} I hope this helps. I wish I knew more specifics about nontraditional treatments, but I don’t. Good luck to you & your family.

Sue from El Paso

[[I follow, and not to worry, my mom is the last person to be conned…and chemo is already underway…I think that by persuing alternative therapies as well, maybe she can keep up the illusion of recovery.]]

A better term than “alternative therapies” in this case is “complementary therapies.” “Alternative” implies that she is not using standard, proven medical therapies, which it appears she is.

good point jillcat, she has successfully completed the first round of chemo, and is doing alot of reading about spiritual stuff, positive thinking , nutrition etc…
good vs bad time…that was my problem at first too, but since she did the chemo, and she tolerated it great, I dont worry so much about the treatment now, but if she has no treatment, she will be full of cancer within a few months, great pain, and death not lonf after…there is no chance of remission, it is inoperable, but they hope to halt the spread for as long as they can (until the cancer becomes resistant) and they want to try to shrink the tumor to make the end (god thats hard to type) less painful.If she (the cancer) responds well to the chemo, we might get a year or more of good time…my mom has always wanted to visit nashville, and my folks already had a trip planned when mom got the news, the trip is in sept, and her doctor says that he’ll work treatment around the trip, she went back to work yesterday, and they will go camping as soon as they get her meds regulated…if she refused the chemo,(or doesnt respond to it) from what I understand, she would be in bad shape by fall.She has a sixth grandbaby due in january, and the oldest (mine is only 8years old…we need to keep her around longer so they will remember hercant type anymore

Oooh, Kelli, honey, you’re making me get all teary here at work! I’m thinkin’ and prayin’ for you!

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

I’m ok now…some stuff gets me wound up…smokers in general make me nuts now…on the brighter side, my dad started Zyban(sp)to begin the process of quitting…we (my brotherand I)could never seem to reach him before, but now, well he doesnt want us to be alone.
Love my dad for that.
thanks for your thoughts Bunn, the power of positive thinking and all that… :slight_smile:

xo kellibelli
“if nobody’s sick, and nobody’s dyin’, nothing else matters.”…my Mom

Here are two really good sites. (National Cancer Institute) & (John Hopkins University). Good luck.

I wanted to write something to help you but I don’t have anything usefull :frowning:

Just know that there are ALOT of people here who will have your mom in their hearts and in their prayers. I haven’t been here very long but there are some great and caring people here and we all wish you and your family the best of luck.

E-mail me if you want a total stranger to unload on. (sometimes friends don’t understand)

no matter where you go…there you are

I’m somewhat hesitant to post this, because of all the emotion involved, but, well, I’m going to anyway.

It is a website devoted to stamping out quackery. This particular link goes to their index on quack cancer “cures.” The intro to this page states:

It contains info on some of the most dangerous of these methods, so if you want to make sure your mom isn’t just getting told a load of hooey, you might want to look up any suggestions she gets here for the other side of the story. Of course, you’re also free to ignore it, if you choose. But since I knew about it, I felt a bit of moral imperative to at least tell you so you could make the call. Here it is:

My sister is a doctor and when we found out my father had lung cancer she was hoping for small cell. Although it is much faster spreading it is also more receptive to treatment.
The kemo did more harm than good. Complications arose.
Also he had quit smoking a year before he got sick.
That’s why I think if you smoke stick by your guns. Quitting shows weakness and the cancer takes advantage of you.
But good luck. Really.


That’s one of the weird things about cancer. The fast growing, ultra-aggressive ones are also the most likely to respond to chemo and/or radiation…

There’s a fairly simple explanation for that. The fundamental basis for most chemo & radiation therapy is the differential effect upon rapidly graowing/dividing cells & noraml static cells. That is why GI (GastroIntestinal) effects & hair loss are so common with these treatments - in a normal body, these are some of the most rapidly replicating cells. Since the rapid cell division in stomach & intestinal mucosa (lining) & hair folicles makes them more susceptible to damage to the chemo, you get nausea, diarrhea, & hair loss in addition to cancer cell death. The faster the cancer cells are growing, the more vulnerable they are to chemo, and the higher the chances of curing the cancer. Not that anyone gets to choose, but would you rather have a fast-growing cancer with a 50% cure rate, but death within 6 months if it doesn’t respond, or a slow-growing cancer with a 100% mortality rate in 3 years, but an average life expectancy of 18 months? Pretty grim choice, huh?

Sue from El Paso

cancer sucks.
thanks for the quackery site, it is important to weed out anything dangerous.I really dont think we’ll have her for longer with ‘alternative treatments’ but I want her to stay positive…so if she reads that mangoes fight cancer, and she eats lots of mangoes, even if it does nothing in reality, it may have a placebo effect, and encourage her body to keep fighting…and mangoes wont hurt her. JMSaSU, sorry to hear about your dad, and thanks to everyone for your info & support…sometimes its hard to talk about this with my friends and family.My Grammy started to cry the other night on the phone, and I have no words to comfort her…we are all reeling.( its a really big family…my grandparents, their 8 children, their spouses, 15 grandchildren, 6 great grandkids…no sickness, miscarriages, no deaths, no serious injuries…we have been charmed a long time)…and my friends get uncomfortable sometimes, so this really helps.
so if you read this thread, make a call to your folks tonihgt, or go visit, or make peace with someone…life is DAMN short.
kisses, kell