[ Inglês] Is Lung Cancer Frequently Misdiagnosed?

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Andrew Schorr and Carol Preston speak with Dr. Scott Antonia and Dr. David Carbone about the misdiagnoses of lung cancer as well as the promising effects of immunotherapy. They discuss how the recurrence of lung cancer is caused by cells that escape and travel to other organs. The detection of cancer is only seen through billions of cells, whereas one cell is not detectable. It is those cells that continue to mask themselves and metastasize in the body. Immunotherapy is used as an adjuvant therapy and administered after standard chemotherapy and radiation to prevent the recurrence of the cancer. Tune in to hear more from the experts.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.           

Richard:

My name is Richard, and I’m asking a question for my wife. A year ago, she had a stroke, and we took her immediately to the hospital where an X-ray showed that she had pneumonia and lung cancer.  She had a lobectomy. And everything seemed to be under control.

But when we went into the final discussion with the surgeon, he indicated that you needed an oncologist because the recurrence of lung cancer may be as high as 40 percent.  She underwent chemo, four treatments. Is this recurrence a de novo recurrence?  Or is this a missed spot that was elsewhere? Do you have any statistics on that? Thank you.

Dr. Antonia:        

No. The recurrence is because some tumor cells escaped from the primary tumor while it was still in the body and traveled and seeded some other organ. But you can’t see a single cell with a CAT scan. You can only see billions of cells. So by the time you go from one cell, it may go to two cells, and then four cells, and then you go to eight cells. You’ve got to double each time.

It takes a long time before you can see that one cell turn into a cancer that you can see on a CAT scan, which needs to be several millimeters in size.  So no, if there is a recurrence after resection, it is because cells have come out of that tumor before the resection, and they were missed. It’s just that they weren’t apparent. We don’t have a test that sends them enough to detect them.

Dr. Carbone:       

With surgery for lung cancer, unfortunately, even with stage I or II lung cancers, there is about a 40 or 50 percent chance or more that your cancer will come back because of these microscopic spots of cancer that you can’t see on scans.

And that’s the purpose of chemotherapy. But it is more likely to come back than say a 1 centimeter breast cancer would be highly unlikely to come back. A 1 centimeter lung cancer may have a 50 percent chance of coming back.

So we try to prevent that with chemo. But also, it could be a second. If you see a spot in a year, it could be a second primary tumor as well.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on November 7, 2015