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Immunotherapy questions and comments:

I was diagnosed with Squamous cell lung cancer on 2/26/2018 with a prognosis of 6 to 18 months to live. I had dropped from an athletic 165-170 lbs down to the 120's at that time. I told my family and the doctors that I didn't feel strong enough to handle treatment at that time. That decision was met some skepticism at the time, but 3 years and 30 pounds of healthy weight gain later, everyone including my Oncologist agrees that I made the right call. So I have stuck with the "process" as I believe God has guided me through, and have begun an immunotherapy plan that includes Keytruda (if brand names aren't allowed on this site I apologize. I give permission to block that part out). The first 4 rounds lasted 5-6 hours each, with 1 round every 3 weeks. I am scheduled for 8 additional treatments of Keytruda only which will last about 1 hour each, every 3 weeks. I will have my first full scan (mid thigh to base of skull) before my next treatment. One question I have is should I follow the extended treatment plan if I feel better at some point and if all signs of the tumor are gone. I have read extensively about the good and the bad regarding this treatment. One particular piece of information that is concerning is that these negative side effects can occur/reoccur at any time during treatments. Some of these side effects are life threatening and many are permanent. So at what point does risk outweigh reward? That's a decision I will make on my own, but if anyone has had to make this decision I would welcome your experiences, good and bad. Again, I will make my own decisions, aided by the influence God provides. Thanks for reading and any input you share. God bless ad keep the Faith.

  1. Hi . Absolutely, treatment decisions belong to you. I can't speak personally to the experience of what to do if you achieve what is referred to as no evidence of disease (hopefully others will chime in with their experiences), but I want to share with you this page from the American Cancer Society on living as a lung cancer survivor solely for the purpose of enabling you to collect as much information as possible: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/after-treatment/follow-up.html. Know that this community is here for you and please feel free to keep us updated on how you are doing. Best, Richard (LungCancer.net Team)

    1. Hi, I can understand your concern and the decision is absolutely up to you, but I respectfully suggest checking with your medical care team, but many of my friends from the lung cancer community have done very well on Keytruda. When it works, it works! The doctors addressed the side effects as they came. Many doctors, after a few years of No Evidence of Disease, have either scaled back on the dose or have taken their patients off of Keytruda and monitored them closely. So far, my friends are doing great years after being off treatment. That can be a discussion with your doctor when helping you decide. Wishing you all the best, please feel free to follow up with us. Warmly, Alisa, LungCancer.net Team

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