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MishaW

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My 16-year-old cat has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his mouth. He's also got a significant mass in his lung that has not been biopsied - unsure whether it's a different cancer or the same. He's also got a number of small masses in his lungs. 

We opted to give him 6 radiation treatments in order to slow the roll of the cancer in his mouth on the theory that we'd rather him die of the stuff in his lungs. In theory, that's less painful. 

Other than HATING the ride to and from the vet, he went through radiation including the anesthesia great. A month later, he's still the same easy-going, loving guy and still eating well, which is crucial. 

The vet who did the radiation is so excited about how well he's doing, she wants to do chemo too. And I, of course, want to do whatever is best for my buddy. My understanding is that we've potentially just doubled his life span from 3-6 months to 6-12 months. I'm unclear how much more time we think we'd be buying with the chemo. Not much? 

I held her off by saying I wanted a CT scan to see how far how fast the lungs are progressing. My question is: what is a reasonable time to do a follow-up CT scan? 1 month? 3 months? 

Also, any advice? 

Thanks 
-Misha
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Tankie12

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What advise has you Vet given you? I’m very happy for as well as he’s done, he’s not a young man and has a lot of issues. As well as he’s doing I’d stick with the Vets advice on this, she’s gotten you this far. You so obviously love this baby and have done whatever means possibly to prolong his life, comfortably. He’s one tough kitty also! I wish you both many more days with this easy going loving guy, you both deserve it,,,,,
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Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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MishaW

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Thanks for the input. The vet wants to do the CT scan next week. I'm not sure how much difference we'd see in such a short time. Which is why I'm wondering if we'd know more if we waited a little longer. 

All of this is very expensive. The CT scan is $1200. The radiation and previous diagnostics were ~$7000. That's a lot of money for 3-6 extra months. Radiation doesn't affect cats like chemo does. If I thought chemo would cure him, I'd be all about it. But, if an extra $7000 buys another month and starts him feeling bad sooner... 

I'm really looking for any scientific info on how much change you can expect to see in a month. 
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Tankie12

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ok, I’m sorry I just reread your first post, I understand where you’re at better now. Things have gone so well she wants to see if adding Chemo will further improve his life span. For how long and at what cost and I’m not even talking the financial cost at this point. The facts are he’s got one confirmed cancer that’s been held at bay with radiation but those undiagnosed tumors in his lungs will most likely (as you know) continue to grow. I don’t know how much change could be expected on a CT in a month. He has had one before right?
My girl died of kidney failure. Her treatments were going so freaking well her Vet kept pushing for better and better blood results, they were almost normal when she died. If I could go back in time I would have stopped the drastic amount of daily treatments she received and let her be happy while she was. It was too much for her. The blood results didn’t matter in the end. She was terminal
Again I haven’t helped because this is your baby and you know him best. I’ll keep you and your wonderful kitty in my prayers,,,,,

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MishaW

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks, Lynn. Don't be too hard on yourself. Even hindsight isn't 20/20. Who knows how long those treatments kept her more comfortable? You loved her the best you could - made the best decisions you knew how to make.

You nailed it with "I don’t know how much change could be expected on a CT in a month." That's exactly what I'm trying to find out. He did have one right before treatment. 

What I want is a 2nd opinion but I'm not sure how to get one. There's a bit of "oh, that dr. is terrific. I'm sure whatever they said is right." going on so I was looking outside my local area. 
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