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So Fast, Hard to Comprehend

I recently lost a friend to cancer. She had been experiencing back pain primarily, but also some GI symptoms and pain, as well as increased sweating. She had a bad back and also GERD, so wasn’t overly concerned until the back pain got really bad. She was working as normal, as a bus driver but after work one day she went to the ER and left with a cancer diagnosis of unknown origin. The spread was extensive to her spine, liver and lungs. They gave her 3 weeks to live and she died 20 days later!
I am not privy to all her medical information, but her sister mentioned the oncologist suggested small cell lung cancer.
She was a lifelong smoker with a chronic morning cough and some brown phlegm.
My question is, can SCLC be this advanced and go undetected?
I am just at a loss to understand how this occurred.

  1. I am so sorry to hear you lost your friend, my condolences. Unfortunately lung cancer is often a silent disease and discovered at a late stage when it is more difficult to treat. Small cell can be very aggressive and although the researchers have come a long way in treatment strategies, we have a ways to go. It is so hard to digest when it happens so quickly. For what it's worth now, I am attaching a link to an article written by our Editorial Team that describes small cell lung cancer. Thinking of you and sending hugs, Alisa, Lung Cancer Team Patient Leader

    1. I can only say my symptoms get worse very fast and I had 3 weeks ago a clean native thorax CT.
      Only a very fast growing sclc can do this.

      1. I'm so very sorry for your loss. What has happened to your friend sounds similar to my mother's demise. We're not sure if she had SCLC but thinking this was the case, as you mentioned things happened so quickly. What I can say working with other LC survivors is that everyone that has lungs should ask their doctors for a scan to avoid the possibility. Lung cancer can affect everyone and anyone, it doesn't matter if you're a smoker or not. Again, my condolences. : (

        1. They have made advances in small cell treatments but not as many as in non small cell. So much more is needed! ~ Alisa

        2. If you're not feeling secure about the outcome, perhaps seeking another medical opinion to review your details thoroughly is something to consider. We all want to follow our gut but also work with medical staff that is well-equipped at putting us at ease. Wishing you the very best!

      2. I searched a lot but found sane treatment everywhere. Same Chemo combination which does not help long and immunotherapy. But nothing else.

        1. Perhaps this link can help:
          Also, if you are interested in a monthly virtual meetup (zoom) facilitated by an amazing advocate, I'm attaching the link. If you register, you will get a zoom link each month for the meeting. Attendance, camera on, etc. is always optional. No pressure and great support:

          Wishing you the very best! ~ Alisa

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