Frequently Asked Questions

Expert answers to common questions.
Tonsillar Squamous Cell Cancer in Dogs
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I have 8-yr-old English Springer spaniel that was just diagnosed with anaplastic tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma with metastasis to a submandibular lymph node. Can you ..
Two Primary Cancers to Occur in the Same Patient Colon Cancer and Small Cell Lung Cancer
I am writing about a male patient 61 years old who was diagnosed with cancer in two primary sites. The oncologist does not know how to treat this. The two ..
Mixed Small Cell/Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question My father was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, both small cell (limited stage) and non-small cell (Stage IIIA, T2N2M0). Apparently, it is rare to have both types of lung ..
Treatment for Stage IIIB Non Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question My mother has been diagnosed with stage IIIB non-small cell lung carcinoma with cancer also in the lymph nodes. There is a mass in her right upper lung and ..
Surgery for Stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question Our mother was just told that she has stage IIIB poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer. They cannot do surgery because it is too close to her aorta. We ..
Treatment for Stage IIIA Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question My 69-year-old mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with Stage IIIA (T3N1) non-small cell lung cancer. She also has emphysema with low lung volume but very good lung function. She is ..
Progression of Non Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Question My husband was diagnosed with stage IIIB adenocarcinoma, which presented with superior vena cava syndrome. He has received radiation treatment concurrent with chemotherapy and is now receiving full strength ..
"Remission" of Stage IIIB Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question My mother was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer stage IIIB. She has completed her 6 treatments of chemotherapy (taxol). The tumor has shrunk from 4cm to about the ..
Treatment of Stage IIIB Non-small Cell Lung Cancer with Bevacizumab
Question I recently discovered that my dad has stage IVA non-small cell lung cancer with a malignant pleural effusion. He is scheduled to undergo chemotherapy using carboplatin and paclitaxel, and ..
Non-small cell lung cancer with neuro-endocrine features
Question I recently was diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with neuro-endocrine features. I am unable to find any information on the web about this type of cancer. Can ..
Follow Up for Stage IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question After therapy for stage IIIA NSCLC, my doctors said we would do follow up chest x-rays every 3 months for the next 2 years, and then twice a year ..
Small Cell Lung Cancer Concerns
Question Recently my 58-year-old father was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He has undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy. He smoked 40 of his 58 years. My father is unaware ..
Small Cell Lung Cancer Metastasized to the Brain
My mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January of 2001. She has been through Chemo and radiation and the tumor in her lung did shrink to approx ..
Treatment Options for Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question My 51-year-old husband has just been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to his liver. They are treating him with three days of chemotherapy every third ..
Causes of Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question My spouse recently passed away from lung cancer at the age of 43. He was a smoker for many years. I understand that small cell cancer is microscopic. Are ..
Treatment Options for Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question I am a 42-year-old male who has been treated for small cell lung cancer. I had a large tumor in my right upper lobe, as well as cancerous lymph ..
Third-Line Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question I was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer with metastasis to the liver. After a couple of cycles of topotecan and paclitaxel, I improved, but my cancer later progressed. ..
Prognosis for Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question My Mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January. They found some spots around her aorta, in her lymph nodes, and in the spine. She is just ..
Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment and Prognosis
Question My father-in-law has small cell lung cancer. He was treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They then discovered a metastasis in his brain. So, he was started on radiation ..
Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation for Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question Can you give me information and statistics on prophylactic cranial irradiation for prevention of small cell lung cancer? My husband is in remission and this procedure has been recommended. ..
PET Scan for Small Cell Lung Cancer
I would like to know the role of PET scan for small cell cancer. I was told by my doctor that small cell cancer not sensitive to FDG avidity. Please ..
Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer
My mother was recently diagnosed with extensive stage small cell lung cancer and has been offered chemotherapy with cisplatin and VP-16. What is the most up to date treatment for ..
Cure from Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question I was a long-time smoker and diagnosed with small cell Lung cancer in 2003. I was told I could not have surgery on my lungs, but I did have ..
Cell Phones and Cancer Risk
Question Has there been a definite conclusion with cell phones causing cancer? Answer Charles B. Simone, II, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Penn Medicine responds: That is a great question, but ..
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Question What is the difference between small cell and non-small cell lung cancer? Are they treated the same way? How do I know which one I have? Answer Charu Aggarwal, ..
Risk of Skin Cancer After Basal Cell (BCC)
Question If someone has a basal cell skin cancer, are they at risk to get other skin cancer spots or a more serious cancer like melanoma? Answer Christopher J. Miller, ..
Signet ring cell colon cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My mother was just diagnosed with signet ring cell colon cancer. She had a right colectomy. She has one lymph node involved. I'm wondering what ..
Signet Ring Cell Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," My 72-year-old father is suffering from stomach cancer that has started to spread. It is a signet-ring cell cancer. The cancer was found incidentally, when ..
Small cell cervical cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I was diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer. I underwent chemotherapy, a radical hysterectomy, and radiation. I have CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and ..
Clear Cell Ovarian Cancer Prognosis
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Three years ago I was diagnosed with early stage Ovarian Cancer (Clear Cell) at the age of 32. Had chemo and surgery. I would like ..
Treatment for Stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
Question My wife has just been confirmed through a biopsy of having stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer. Lymph nodes in her neck and chest are involved. We have yet ..
Prostate Biopsy Spreads Cancer Cells?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," A February 20, 2008 breaking news release entitled "Prostate Biopsy Spreads Prostate Cancer Cells" appeared in the Prostate/Prostate Cancer section on Medical News Today's web ..
Skin Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
Question How is skin cancer diagnosed and treated? Will I need to see a dermatologist or a cancer doctor? Answer Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at ..
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Breast
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," Please send information on squamous cell carcinoma of the breast. Anything you could tell us would help.   BC John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth ..
Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Dogs
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," My chocolate lab has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. The tumor is on the front left side of his mouth directly above a tooth. ..
Radical removal of one ear due to squamous cell carcinoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," We have a rescued 10-month-old kitten scheduled to undergo radical removal of one ear due to squamous cell carcinoma. The ear is to be removed ..
Repeat Pap after Atypical squamous cells
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My pap results came back as "A Typical" Squamous cells and my doctor said to return in 3 months for a repeat pap. Is 3 ..
Inoperable stage II-B squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My niece had stage II-B squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina. After a remission following a combination of therapies, it relapsed. At surgery, the cancer ..
IMRT for squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My son had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from his tonsil. Radiation has been recommended. New IMRT equipment has come into the equation but it ..
If I Don't Burn, I won't Get Skin Cancer
Question If you don't get burned, then you can't get skin cancer: Fact or Myth? Answer Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at Penn Medicine responds: MYTH!! ..
Is squamous cancer of the cervix hereditary?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I am a cervical cancer survivor. I am very concerned about my 14-year-old daughter contracting this horrible disease when she gets older. I have been ..
Is a Cancerous Mole Painful?
Question Are skin cancer moles usually painful? Answer Christopher Miller, MD, Dermatologist & Moh's Surgeon at Penn Medicine and Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at Penn ..
Sun Exposure and Cancer Risk
Question I work outside most of the year, how can I avoid getting skin cancer? Answer Gloria DiLullo, MSN, CRNP, OncoLink Content Specialist, responds: Even though you must work outside, ..
Dry Skin and Radiation
Question I have very dry skin on the side of my face/neck where I had radiation. What kind of lotion can I use on this that would actually help? Answer ..
Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis
Question My mother was recently diagnosed with SCLC, limited stage. She started chemotherapy and was making good progress, but unfortunately had a complication called paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis. The doctors have ..
Breast Cancer Recurrence in the Skin
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I had breast cancer 12 years ago, treated with a lumpectomy and Adriamycin-based chemo plus radiation. The breast cancer has recurred as skin cancer with ..
Skin Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," I have a question about sun block products. What active ingredients should be present in a product to be effective and in what percentage. Also ..
Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," Do tanning beds cause skin cancer?   Thank you. Li Liu, MD, Editorial Assistant for OncoLink, responds: Dear F: Thank you for your interest and ..
Kidney Transplant and Skin Cancers
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I had a kidney transplant 26 years ago, and in the past 15 years, I have had many warts that have been biopsied and found ..
Treatment and Prevention of Skin Cancer in White Cats
I am a cat lover and owner of two geriatric cats. I have a question about how to prevent and treat skin cancer for a white kitty. Can you help ..
Skin Cancer After Radiation Treatment
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Will radiation treatments for other cancers give me skin cancer?Suzanne McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, Oncology Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine, responds: Thanks for your question. Radiation ..
Skin Cancer Come Back In The Same Place?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Does skin cancer come back in the same place?Christopher Miller, MD, Assistant Professor in Dermatology and Director of the Moh's Surgery Program at Penn Medicine, ..


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