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Medical Stage4 lung cancer

  1. Apr 9, 2010 #1
    My Mom found out last week that she has stage 4 lung cancer. I made the mistake of looking it up on the web only to find grim mortality rates and terrible expectations. My mom thinks she is going to beat it, she believes this. She is a very healthy person 60 years old and has been a vegetarian for 25 years as well no smoking no drinking no drugs. She knows the cancer diet now and has been following it. Is there any tips about keeping her healthy for as long as possible that any of you doctors or educated medical people can give us? I think her just believing she will overcome this is great medicine in itself, would anyone give me any other tips like good dietary supplements or anything that would be beneficial to her? I appreciate the help thanks.
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  3. Apr 9, 2010 #2


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    I'm terrible sorry to hear this.
  4. Apr 9, 2010 #3


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    This is certainly very worrisome.

    A medical oncologist I know recommends fresh fruits and vegetable, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, berries (black berries, raspberries, blueberries, . . .) - prefereably organically grown. Perphaps one can give juices.

    Herbs like cumin and others found in curries are good.

    Fish, particularly fresh fish (omega 3) - herring, pollock and salmon.

    He urges avoiding sugar, fats and red meats.

    Her persistence will be helped as much psychologically as nutritionally.
  5. Apr 9, 2010 #4
    Aside from nutrition mentioned Astronuc I have a suggestion that might be taken with a grain of salt, but I would suggest doing a little research on it- but honestly I think it might help and prob not a suggestion you will hear to often.

    Pot brownies- I know that sounds a bit strange, but cannibinoids fight cancer in two ways- one is through activation of the P53 gene which causes a tumor suppressant to be secreted. This tumor suppressant re-enables cellular apoptosis (programmed cell suicide) this is important because ALL known cancers turn this ability off in their development. Secondly- it is a blood flow regulator that works based on localized stimuli meaning- in a tumor it is a vasoconstrictor AND reduces the growth rate of new blood supply vessels (even into negative ratio) while doing the complete opposite in say an eye with glaucoma. Actually even smoking it ok for this as it acts as a delivery method that will continue to seep into the lung tissue (why pot smokers (heavy) do not have increased rate of lung cancer) Pot brownies are also great for the gastrointestinal tract. Being your mother is a non smoker and vegetarian I suspect that brownies would be the delivery method least worried about.

    On a secondary note, she is no doubt quite stressed which may be wreaking a bit of havoc on her hippocampus, marijuana halts this damage and slowly reverses it.

    "Marijuana Does Not Raise Lung Cancer Risk" -UCLA
    -"We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes," researcher Donald Tashkin, MD, of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine tells WebMD. "But we did not find any evidence for an increase in cancer risk for even heavy marijuana smoking." Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer."
    Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows" -Harvard
    ""CB1. In this study we report that tetrahydrocannabinol (5 μM) evokes a rapid phosphorylation, and thus activation, of the tumour suppressor protein, p53, in a manner involving the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, and the stress-activated protein kinase, c-jun N-terminal kinase, in cultured cortical neurons"

    -Revue / Journal Title
    European journal of pharmacology ISSN 0014-2999 CODEN EJPHAZ
    Source / Source
    2007, vol. 564, no1-3, pp. 57-65 [9 page(s) (article)] (1 p.)"
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Apr 9, 2010 #5
    I am very sorry anyone ever has to battle cancer. The belief she will overcome this, is perhaps her greatest weapon. The next will be her support group, people who will be strong for her, when she is just to tired.

    Sending all good healing thoughts her way.
  7. Apr 9, 2010 #6
    Only one problem, my mother has been in recovery for 25 years( meaning 25 years clean and sober) She is VERY anti-drugs including pot, but thanks for the suggestion.
    Thanks everyone who has replied.
  8. Apr 10, 2010 #7
    I'm truly sorry Zenparticle. As for the pot brownies... that would be for nausea related to therapies, and less to do with the health beyond that. That said... if she is nauseous, for whateve reason it is important that she keep as much weight on (within reason of course) as possible. If that means eating a mild psychadelic for which we have receptors, it would be medically prudent. There are medications which aid with nausea, but they don't often increase appetite.

    Beyond that, love, and supporting her in whatever capacity as she makes decisions related to her illness, really is the best thing you can do.

    Finally, I have a couple of friends who have been addicted to various drugs (who doesn't?), and from my understanding, even Narcotics Anonymous supports the use of medicine in extreme situations.

    EDIT: I just want to add that being female, and in good health at the time of her diagnoses are GOOD prognostic signs. A lot of sites you look at won't necessarily consider all of the factors that go into a general statistical model of the disease, such as location, age, etc.
  9. May 1, 2010 #8


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    First, I am sorry to hear of your Mom's diagnosis, cancer has struck our family as well, multiple times. This story is about a woman Katherine Rich who has lived over 17 years after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/health/27case.html" [Broken]. An uplifting story, from the article:
    Wishing you the best...

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. May 1, 2010 #9
    Thank you all for your kind words and for taking the time to support my mom by helping and sending your best. She is an amazing woman, and I am happy that she is not only doing well but, as always staying positive. I don't know how I would be able to handle all this had she been the type to think, "OMG I am going to die."- She told me, "This is NOT the hardest thing I have had to in my life, I have had much harder times that make this seem like not such a big deal." She has changed her diet to all organic anti cancer foods much like Astronuc mentioned above, she is doing clinical treatments as well as seeing a acupuncture/spiritualist and exercising every day. All this has not only reminded me how much I love her but how it's important to spend time with those you love.

    Great article btw, I enjoyed reading it thank you!
  11. May 2, 2010 #10


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    I just found this, encouraging: any Phase III Clinical Trial is because it is the "vetting process" by which a new treatment either passes or fails. The trials are usually funded by multiple sources (because of expense/time to perform them) as was the case of Herceptin over a decade ago. If it were not for generous funding from Revlon Cosmetics (long story with one of the researchers who treated an heir of Revlon) the drug may never have become FDA approved and used to treat my wife's cancer.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  12. May 7, 2010 #11


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    Zenparticle, I am so sorry to hear your mother is going through this (and you as well...the families of cancer patients go through their own form of suffering).

    Good nutrition and attitude are very important. Of course, good medicine is just as important. The two working together are what is absolutely essential. Afterall, the side effects of the treatments can be horrible, and only if someone has a strong positive attitude about survival are they likely to make it through that. It just makes all the side effects more tolerable.

    Good nutrition is essential to keep up immune function as chemotherapy tries its best to knock it down. Don't worry about organic or not, just worry about your mother eating as much as she can when she can. Gastrointestinal disturbances are a typical side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, so when she's feeling good, she should eat anything she craves.

    One of my good friends and colleagues just went through the second battle with cancer for his wife. Aside from having a lot of supportive friends who let them know they were always cheering (or praying...as their inclinations were) for them, each time his wife was well enough to go out to eat, they went out and celebrated another day alive. This was her second battle, and I'm happy to say that she beat it again. If she gets as much time between this round and the next as she had since the first round, she'll be a ripe old age next time. It's all about giving the immune system the building blocks it needs to help in the battle.
  13. May 12, 2010 #12
    Fats are critical too, and keeping the faith. I have a friend who should have died a year ago by any sane estimate from recurrence of metastatic breast cancer. She's had a shunt for some time, but for reasons unclear, there is no remission, but no advance of the cancer! She is living well. We all die, but how we live is most important, with hope and love. That is not a cure, but it is something that keeps people going forward.

    For food, Moonbear is very wise, eat when craving, eat well. More than this, if she is eligible for trials, it is a good idea to enter them. I am sorry this is happening to anyone, and to a mother most. Remember that much lung cancer is discovered in late stages, but there are always those who beat odds.
  14. May 14, 2010 #13
    Thanks for the keeping my hopes up everyone, My mom has taken up arms to battle this disease we all wish there was cure for. I went with her to her first round of chemo last Friday and she did great, it took about 8 hours but it was painless for her. I was worried when they said that one of the drugs may "burn" as it dripped into her but she didn't feel a thing! FYI- She has Non small Lung Cancer in the fourth stage which is the late stage of the disease and it means it has spread to another part of the body, for her it has spread to her spine and before the chemo ,she had radiation therapy targeted at the tumor on her spine, the chemo was for the lungs. Her cancer is nonoperational and supposedly something she will more then likely live with for the rest of her life. She is trying to find ways to handle it much like someone living with an incurable disease such a diabetes, tho I wish it was diabetes. She has gone TOTALLY organic and has religiously cut out all cancer feeding foods from her diet - she has been a vegetarian for the past 20 years and still is. She feels fine even after her chemo, tho she said the third day after she felt a bit like she had a cold. She is eating well just like normal.
  15. May 14, 2010 #14


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    If your mom has been a vegetarian for 20 years, then it only makes sense for her to continue to be vegetarian. I wouldn't recommend someone switch to a vegetarian diet in the middle of chemo, but if she already has been vegetarian for so long, I would not suggest switching to a non-vegetarian diet either. The son of one of my friends gave up meat for just a year...he was dating a vegetarian...and when he tried to go back to eating meat, discovered that he no longer had sufficient amounts of enzymes (our presumption) to digest meat and as much as he still enjoyed the taste of meat, could not actually eat it anymore without suffering some nasty lower GI issues.

    Feeling like she has a cold after chemo is normal. I hope she continues to have minimal side effects. Though, be braced that each round of chemo takes a rougher toll on the body. This is NOT a reason to give up hope though. My friend's wife had her last couple rounds of chemo delayed due to dropping platelet counts, and felt more ill with each round, yet, she got through it all. I saw her recently at a social function and she looked GREAT! If I hadn't known about her recent battle with cancer, I would have never guessed from seeing her.

    It's a bit scary when cancer metastasizes to the nervous system, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that the radiation therapy got it all for your mom.

    And, yes, one of the horrid difficulties of lung cancer is that it often doesn't cause a lot of obvious symptoms until it is pretty far advanced. Still, there are improvements in medicine all the time; what might not have been survivable 10 years ago is survivable today.

    Of all the things I've seen, I wish I better understood what it is about a positive attitude that helps so much with healing. I guess for now, don't worry about why, just know that it does help, and even if you start to despair, don't let your mother see it. Feel free to come here and vent all that's needed, then go back and put on a positive face for your mom. (The other side of this is that even if she doesn't make it and the cancer wins, you can take comfort in her last days being hopeful and happy rather than despondent...but I'm going to keep hoping that's NOT the outcome.)
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