Squamous Cell Carcinoma Lung Cancer Patient Journey – Dr GH
Dr GH was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma lung cancer in 2008 at the age of 64.
He works in a busy general practice in West London. He had been a heavy smoker for many years, but developed a cough which did not settle with antibiotic therapy.
He asked a GP colleague to refer him for a chest X-ray which was abnormal with a shadow in the right lung. A chest physician performed a bronchoscope test (telescope examination of the lungs), which showed a tumour in one of the main airways (bronchus). A biopsy of this tumour showed a squamous cell carcinoma, one of the types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The chest specialist referred Dr GH to Prof Nutting for treatment.
Prof Nutting performed additional tests to assess the stage of the lung cancer. These determined that the tumour was too extensive for surgery to be performed, but that the tumour was suitable for combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
Dr GH was given chemotherapy by a colleague of Prof Nutting at the Royal Marsden Hospital over a 3 month period. During this time, the tumour showed significant reduction in size. After chemotherapy Prof Nutting offered further therapy with radiation to try and completely eradicate any remaining tumour. The radiotherapy was given over a six week period with treatments administered Monday-Friday five fractions per week.
Radiotherapy to the lung tumour was completed with minimal side effects. Prof Nutting had warned about tiredness, cough and swallowing difficulties, but these were mild and all symptoms settled within a month of completion of treatment.
Dr GH has now completed twelve months of follow-up in Prof Nuttings’ clinic and is well with no signs of disease.