SCLC Time from Symptoms to Diagnosis

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Work-Up/Staging of Lung Cancer SCLC Time from Symptoms to Diagnosis

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  aaron 1 year, 8 months ago.

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March 6, 2016 at 7:39 am  #1273153    

aaron

Hi Grace,

I was wondering how early the symptoms are from SCLC before diagnosis. I’ve posted here a few times and always received sound advice, so hoped you would be able to offer an opinion again. I’ve had a number of symptoms for over a year including fatigue, weight loss, muscle loss and a multitude of non specific symptoms like GI disturbance, central weight gain, early morning awakening and recently tested positive on the Early CDT lung test. I had a CT after the Early CDT test and all that was picked up was a small 4mm nodule. Due to the reasonable CT and time frame of my symptoms I was becoming more confident that this was not SCLC. However I noticed this post in the archives and the symptoms sounded quite familiar.

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=10475.msg83816#msg83816

There were symptoms for several years before a diagnosis of SCLC. Is I likely that the symptoms were related to the diagnosis?

Also, I am off to see an endo in the week and wondered if there is any known link between Thyroid hormones and LC? I did have a thyroid test last year and I was told that it looked fine.

Thanks again guys, I realise that I’m not having a typical presentation of anything and have been a bit reassured by the CT in Feb, but still trying to work out if my long history of symptoms (first went to GP in Dec 14 but had symptoms prior to this) could indeed be small cell. I know you are experienced in this field and would probably have a good idea of the presentation time from symptoms and also any links to thyroid.

Many thanks for your kindness and willingness to spread knowledge

Aaron.

March 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm  #1273157    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi Aaron,

Both the time frame and small size of the nodule seen on the scan are completely inconsistent with the typical presentation of SCLC, or lung cancer in general. As noted previously, small nodules such as that seen on your scan simply do not cause the wide range of symptoms, especially without continuing to grow over the time period you’ve described.

Though the patient in the thread you cite had some similar symptoms for quite a while before her SCLC diagnosis, there is no clear connection between those symptoms and her eventual cancer. Also, at diagnosis her scans revealed extensive SCLC, with metastases to the liver and lymph nodes. Such a scenario is much more likely to cause significant cancer symptoms. In the vast majority of cases, lung cancer is present long before symptoms become noticeable (resulting in many diagnoses at stage IV when symptoms have arisen), rather than the symptoms being apparent well before scans provide evidence of cancer.

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

March 7, 2016 at 12:25 am  #1273162    

aaron

Thanks Jim, Is there any documented or anecdotal link between SCLC and thyroid hormones? I’m off to see my endo this week and was considering asking for a retest of thyroid.

I’d also like to say that you have really managed to reassure me about the 4mm nodule that showed on a scan, so thank you for that. I am more concerned about something central that is not showing up.

I don’t know what I would have done without the information and help from you folks over the last year.

With much appreciation,

Aaron

March 7, 2016 at 8:45 am  #1273164    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi Aaron,

Dr. West wrote a post on the thyroid issue here. As he states “there is now a growing body of literature showing that TH, while not actually causing cancer, may act in a permissive manner on existing cancers.”

Another point he makes is that an excess of TH seems to result in worse outcomes for cancer patients. For his patients who need to be given TH, he seeks to maintain a TSH level in the 5-10 range, and he notes that some doctors seek even higher levels.

Finally, he has also stated “I know of no association of TSH levels with recurrence rates from cancer and would not suspect a correlation.”http://cancergrace.org/topic/does-a-high-tsh-test-result-possibly-indicate-issues-related-to-recurrencemet#post-1263715

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

March 7, 2016 at 10:57 am  #1273166    

aaron

Thank youJim, this is reassuring and will stop me setting the hares off in the wrong direction when I see the endocrinologist. He did check my thyroid out last year and said it was fine. I will leave it at that and let him do his job. For the last 15 months I have been trying to get to the bottom of the my fatigue and weight loss issue and cancer seems to keep cropping up for one reason or another. I know that if you read enough you will find a match with someone with your symptoms from just about any disease. I am just so glad I can get some useful and reliable information from this site. I hope I don’t offend or upset anyone from my continual questions or that I divert any attention from those folk that are of a much higher priority than me that are needing a quick answer.

Kindest regards

Aaron

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