Tuesday, October 14, 2008


These are particular tumor markers somewhat common to breast and other cancers. Diane had written me about the latter as it is predictive of survival. I read up on it. There were a group of women who had low grade (good), small, estrogen positive who ended up dead despite their 95+% chance of survival. They took their tumor samples and decided that they had EMSY in common. 14% of breast tumors have this along with 17% of ovarian cancers and it is hasta la bye-bye for them unless they get additional treatment. It is somewhat associated with the BRA2 gene, which I probably don't have. I also have an estrogen negative and high grade so EMSY is probably not a problem.
However VEGR is another worrisome story. It is vascular epithelial growth factor responsible for angiogenisis or supplying blood vessels to the tumor. All tumors have some but the more, the worse it is. Apparently the density of blood vessels is an indication of the amount. So was my tumor particularly bloody? I saw the biopsy pieces which were mostly white with a few red streaks. I have nothing to compare this with so a good question for Diehl. Meanwhile there is a drug Sutent on the market that targets VEGR but hasn't been approved for breast tumors. Also there are studies that indicate curcumin is an inhibitor. Curcumin is responsible for the smell and taste of curry powder. So I should up my curry intake.

I had a dental appointment this morning. No cavities but plenty of ageing fillings just waiting to crumble. He again recommended that I replace them with crowns at the rate of one a year as these fillings aren't going to last forever. I said something about they might outlast me and despite my apparent good health, I am not healthy and won't be able to deal with dental work for the next 9 months or so. He gave me lots of stuff for the inevitable dental problems that chemo causes.

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