Linking you to resources and support in the lung cancer community!
Gosh, what an interesting question.
Carcinoma is a type of cancer that starts in the various linings of the body. There are other types of cancer too: for example sarcoma is cancer of the connective tissue in the body, and leukemia and lymphoma are cancers of blood-cells. These are the most common ones.
"Adeno" refers to glandular tissue. This doesn't help narrow it down because glands are all over. But it's different from other carcinomas (like squamous, large cell and small cell) in its properties, so that's why your doctor can take a tumor sample, test and look at it, and determine that it's adenocarcinoma. Also, because there are glands all over, you can have adenocarcinoma in a lot of places, such as breast, colon, prostate, esophagus, pancreas...
So basically, if you are diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung, that means that it originated in the lung in glandular tissue and that it has certain features that adenocarcinomas have.
What we are learning more about though is that even among adenocarcinomas, there is a lot of variation because of mutations. So that becomes even more complicated.
As for the various causes, the bottom line is we don't have all the answers when it comes to lung cancer causes. We know what increases risk, but that leads to even more questions about why some people have risk factors and don't get lung cancer while others with apparently no risk factors get it. There is some indication that it's not just one thing that causes a person to get cancer but a lifetime of various exposures and mutations.
It's complicated, isn't it?
Did that help or did I make matters more confusing? :-)
Did you just get diagnosed?
I have Stage 4 Non Small Cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma.
It's been 4 years since diagnosis. I have been through a lot but right now I am STABLE, looking and feeling really well.
HOPE is what we need to focus on.
Treatment of lung cancer has improved a great deal over the past few years with "targeted treatment" as the primary course of action. If you are new to lung cancer, be sure you work with a Lung Cancer specialist. It makes a big difference.
I wish you well and I'm here to share my experience and answer questions if you need me.
I'm glad to hear that you've gotten along for four years now. I was diagnosed this past April with non small cell adenocarcinoma as well. Mine is stage 3 but the tumor was pretty large. They removed the lower lobe of my left lung.
My oncologist wanted to give me radiation in addition to chemo. But I was treated with radiation for Hodgkins disease back in 1974, which they think is the cause of my lung cancer 37 years later (since I've never smoked). As a result, I must rely just on chemo.
May I ask whether you had both chemo and radiation?
Thanks and all the best to you.
Yes. I had both radiation and chemo (cisplatin and etopiside). Initially I was diagnosed as stage 3A.
I was treated rather aggressively since I had 3 tumors spreading over the 3 lobes.
The next year, same cancer was found in the fluid of my lung and I was treated with Alimta. That helped but it returned a third time in the fluid and I was tested and found to have an ALK mutation and qualified for a clinical trial.
I metatesised in 2010 with brain tumor. I started the clinical trial in April 2010 and so far the oral meds have suppressed the formation of additional cancer. I have underwent pleural drainage for 5 months and have had 2 Gama Knife procedures, followed by brain surgery in March 2011.
I am doing very well know. STABLE is the magic word. I look and feel well. There is HOPE.
Hi Margot no I was diag. May 2009 talked to my doctor and never really explained it to me just "how lucky I am to have found it so early". Also after awhile thoughts and ideas come up and make you wonder Hmmmm, I knew Amy had all the answers and she also doesn't do "doctor speak" so I knew I would understand.
I never had a cancer doctor, just a thorasic surgeon and the doctor I see now a pulmonologist. I guess they saw no need.
I don't happen to agree with the comment that this is the best your lungs will feel.
I have gone through periods of shortness of breath and coughing. At one point it was almost impossible to talk and to breathe at the same time. I have had 4 bronchoscopes performed by an intervential pulmonologist with the intent of dilating my airways. My airways have been very restricted because of the radiation I had in 2007. It has really helped. I am only short of breath now when I exert. I am very fast paced and walk quickly and don't have an issue taking short walks,climbing stairs, etc..
Now that your primary crisis is over, take the time to carefully check out the docs you are using , and get references for others in your area. You want the very best and someone with a good bedside manner, a positive attitude that can give you hope. I have surpassed my doctor's expectations partially because he believes in me and I in him.
Tammy, I'm 58 and just had surgery three weeks ago. They removed a lobe in my right lung. I was told no further treatment would be needed. I see the surgeon next week. I sure hope my lungs get better as far as being winded. I fully expect to race my daughter up stairs again and beat her (like I did before) I lost two brothers who were in their 40's from lung cancer and have had a chest xray yearly ever since. That's how they found it. I can't help but wonder if they had received yearly xrays but I'll never know. Love this site
Thanks Tammy!! I'll just keep on keep on .