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Understanding the Lingo

I have been newly diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer stage 1. I have read some of the topics on it but don't understand the lingo used. what is VATS? They want to remove my right upper lobe and the cancer has not spread anywhere that they can see. Can someone help me with those initial things in articles that i should know what they mean?

  1. @Dawn Stephenson Hi Dawn, I'm sorry you were diagnosed, but it is good news that it was caught so early. VATS is short for Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery and it is much less invasive than a full open lung surgery (called thoracotomy). I was diagnosed 21 years ago at Stage 3, before VATS was commonly used, so I had to have the invasive open surgery. I am attaching a link to an article written by one of our Community Members that explains some other terms. Hope it helps! Please don't hesitate to reach out, we are here to support each other. Warmly, Alisa, Team

    1. I'm so sorry you have to endure this Dawn. Alisa mentioned a good piece from Donna to read; I've also included another piece on the terminology from the same writer Donna Fernandez-

      Hope you find it helpful, but more importantly sit down with your doctors and have a one-on-one in explaining everything being presented to you, and do it in layman's terms so that you have a clear picture of the diagnosis and the steps to move forward. I also suggest if you can, have someone close come with you to also process the terms being provided. Wishing you the very best!

      1. Hi Dawn. One area that often seems confusing is the differences between targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Targeted therapy focuses on specific aspects of cancer cells. such as mutations or specific genetic abnormalities. Immunotherapies, while they can be specific to certain mutations, focus on helping the immune system recognize the cancer cells as a dangerous element that should be fought. This article from our contributor Jeffrey goes into more detail: Best, Richard ( Team)

        1. It will be very helpful to have a early NSCLC suppot group. Recently, I had a conversation with one of Stage 1 NSCLC patients. She refuse without any hesitatiion when I asked her to join the NSCLC support group. It's very nice, Dawn Stephesen, to see you open up. Christine

          1. Hi Chrstine, I agree, when I was diagnosed 21 years ago, there was no support around and I was lost. Fast forward - I have a community, a family, a tribe - my Silver Linings - my lung cancer peeps are my heart! Best, Alisa, Team

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