You are here:

Oncology (General Cancer)/Squamus Cell Carcinoma lung cancer stage 4

Advertisement


Question
My husband has SCCLC-stage 4. His white blood cell count is 0.97
He has been thru Chemo, Radation, and is currently in another round of Chemo. I would like to know where he is in his battle. I know he isn't getting better. Every day seems to be "a bad day" for him. Can you help me/

Answer
In my practice, I would only go on with more chemotherapy in a patient with stage IV disease if a) the tumor was shrinking AND b) the patient was feeling close to well.  If the condition is deteriorating, even if the tumor is responding, I"d hold off treatment until things got better.  You can't cure stage IV, and at best can buy a few months, but quality of life is what you are after.  You and your husband should have a frank talk with the doctor about why he continues with chemotherapy.  He may have a reason you could agree with, but find out why.  Many times a chemotherapist will order two or three "cycles" of treatment and expect the nurse or the patient to call attention to deteriorating conditions.  In our practice, the physician assessed the patient before each cycle was given, keeping in mind the general strategy of treatment (cure, prolongation of survival by a few months, relief of symptoms).  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.