My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry about myself getting it? - 1263665

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tawanson
My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry about myself getting it? - 1263665

Back in February my mom who is 58 was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she is a non smoker. She is currently doing chemo as she could not tolerate xalkori. Obviously this has been very hard on her and our whole family it was so unexpected.

I myself have very high anxiety about cancer in general, I have spoken with my moms oncologist who said that this is not a hereditary cancer. My question is can ALK + lung cancer been caused by something like radon or asbestos? We lived in some very old apartments growing up and I am wondering if this is what might have caused this to happen? and if so should I consider starting to get screened?

Right now I am trying to stay strong for my mom, even though I know her prognosis isn't good, and I am also trying to hold myself together but I am having a tough time.

Please give me your thoughts on this.

Thank You,
Tiana

JimC
Reply To: My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry

Hi Tiana,

I am sorry to hear of your mom's diagnosis, and I understand the anxiety you must be feeling.

It is not known what factors may cause an ALK rearrangement, but I think the chance that you will develop the same condition are pretty remote, especially in the absence of any specific knowledge of the presence of asbestos or radon in the places you lived. Even if those substances were present and your risk of developing lung cancer is increased, the likelihood is still pretty small.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

Dr West
Reply To: My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry

There is no evidence at this point that ALK rearrangements are hereditary, and there is no evidence to support screening for lung cancer with your particular environmental history.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

tawanson
Reply To: My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry

Thank you so much for your reply, my mom was admitted in the hospital last night due to dehydration, apparently to nauseous to eat or drink since chemo. This whole situation is awful, I want to be hopeful but I feel like there is no hope.

JimC
Reply To: My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry

Tiana,

I'm sorry to hear of this latest difficulty for your mom. I hope her doctors can get her hydrated and feeling well soon.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

catdander
Reply To: My mom has ALK positive lung cancer, should I worry

Hi Tiana, I'm so sorry for what your mom's going through. Like Jim, I understand the anxiety of finding your loved one in the middle of a new stage IV nsclc dx...and not knowing a thing about it. My husband's chemo was very difficult and though he did get through it and is NED he had lot's of nausea and fatigue for which we found ways to help alleviate.

I don't know what she's tried so far or if there's someone living with her but I wanted to go over some strategies l was given that worked well. Just plain moving 1 and 2 days after chemo can be difficult so I would give my husband nausea pills before he got out of bed so he could stay still for a time and let the drugs work before getting up. (some days around chemo he only gently moved around the house when he left bed.) Taking nausea pills on a regular schedule during days around chemo helped instead of waiting until he felt sick. I must admit it was more me handing these things out to him instead of waiting for him to do it.
Eating small meals instead of large ones is helpful, having snacks and water or other drinks handy might also help. D drank a lot of ensure which helped him get nourishment and liquids in him when he didn't want anything else. I bought all kinds of food to find things he'd eat. His tastes changed so I ended up eating an awful lot of leftovers.

This is a link to a faculty member who is a palliative care doctor who works to make people's lives more comfortable when they're going through treatment. http://cancergrace.org/cancer-treatments/2012/08/03/dr-stephanie-harman-...

I hope this helps,
Janine