My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous non-small cell lung cancer. He has 3 mets to his bones and has had radiation to one that was causing pain. His oncologist has recommended chemo (carboplatin and gemcitabine or carboplatin/Abraxane) to hopefully extend his life. My husband also has moderate pulmonary fibrosis. My question is would chemo cause a pulmonary fibrosis flare up?
We are looking at quality vs. quantity of life. He has had increasing shortness of breath on exertion and requires oxygen at that time. The fibrosis hasn’t changed between 2 scans taken 3 months apart which leads me to believe it is the lung tumor that is causing the increase in his shortness of breath. Could chemo potentially shrink the tumor enough to help his breathing? If so, which drug combo would result in fewer side effects?
Any insight would be helpful for us to make the decision on what to do next.
I’m sorry to know about your husband and completely understand the goal of quality of life. Fortunately, today more so than 20 years ago, that is also the goal of most oncologist; not just quantity of life. Chemo can certainly lessen or even eradicate cancer symptoms often after one or 2 treatments. Fortunately the chemo drugs used for nsclc aren’t normally the culprits that sometimes cause pulmonary problems.