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Secondary Lung Cancer next steps

Posted by

After 2 years free from anal cancer I find myself joining a new group. In July last year following a routine scan, suspect areas appeared in my lungs. It was decided that they could be cleared by RFA ablation which was a great relief for me as secondary cancer is really more scary than the original diagnosis. I had one lung ablated three weeks ago but a recent PET scan has shown something in the lymph nodes of the lung. Yesterday I had a procedure called EBUS to take samples for biopsy. 

I’m hoping someone here would be kind enough to share with me their experiences and give me an ideal of what to expect next.  

Many thanks


Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Debbie0b,

Thanks for getting in touch with us.

Hearing the news that your cancer had spread after 2 years of being cancer free can’t have been easy for you. It’s natural to feel scared when you’ve been told you have secondary cancer.

It’s good news that the doctors were able to offer you RFA ablation, but not so good that your recent PET scan has shown something in the lymph nodes. PET scans can show areas that are suspicious of cancer, but areas such as lymph nodes can have an increased uptake of the radiotracer if there is inflammation present.

When this happens, doctors will always aim to try to take a sample of the node to see if this is due to cancer. This helps them decide what treatment they recommend next.

It’s difficult for us to say what might happen next as the treatment will depend on whether the biopsy result is positive or not. Treatment decisions are made by a group of experts called a MDT. As Anal cancer is rare only the team looking after you will be able to recommend what they will plan next, as they know your individual medical history.

Waiting for results of tests can be difficult and no doubt be causing you to feel anxious. And it’s understandable why you want to ask others if they would be kind enough to share their experiences with you. I see that you posted your question to the secondary lung cancer group and no one had replied. Can I suggest that you post to the Anal cancer group as there may be someone there who has had a similar experience that they can share with you.

Often it can help to talk things through with one of our experienced nurses on our Support Line. If you think that would be helpful to do you can give us a call on 0808-808-0000. Our lines are open everyday 8am till 8pm.

Best wishes and take care.

I hope you don’t have to wait too long for your recent biopsy results.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.