Friday, January 23, 2009

Doubling of tumors

The other day when the rad onc was reviewing the facts of my case with me, I asked if it were possible for my tumor to have doubled in less than a month (and that's just the linear component-the volume of the tumor increased 8-fold). She said that was impossible though usually the ultrasound and the measurement of the tumor by the pathologist match very closely except in lobular cancer, which I don't have. However the literature does not support her assertion.

May 8, 2008 Reuters Health Article says:
LONDON (Reuters) - Five percent of breast cancer tumors appear to double in size in just over a month, Norwegian researchers said on Thursday in a study underscoring the potential benefits of more frequent screening.
The study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research also suggested detection rates of just 26 percent for a 5 mm tumor, and 91 percent for a 10 mm tumor.
The researchers used a computer model fed with national screening and cancer data to calculate how quickly tumors grow and estimate the proportion of breast cancers detected at screening.
This data on nearly 400,000 women aged 50 to 69 helped them estimate that about 5 percent of tumors may double in just over a month, growing from 10 mm to 20 mm. This was mainly among younger women in the study’s age group.
Another 5 percent of tumors took more than six years to grow to the same size, according to the data collected before and after Norway began national breast cancer screening in 1995. This was mostly among older woman in the study.

Well 5% do apparently and I bet they are all triple negative (~15% of tumors are triple negative).

I guess I am 'lucky' I went in for the screening when I did. A few months earlier it would have been too small to detect: a few months later and it would be in my nodes. It had already invaded my lymphatic system within the breast.

And my black spot. I hope that I don't find out today that I was 'lucky' to get breast cancer because otherwise I would not have lost my hair and noticed this spot. So the spot is uniform in color, no redness or ulceration. These are characteristics of something benign. But it is so black even though it has never seen the sun and irregular shaped. I am out in the sun more than I should be but nothing on my body is darker than a pale freckle. I have very few moles.

So I tried to run yesterday as the sun had melted a path. Toasty at 26 deg. It was very, very hard. With several stops, I managed to go a little over a mile but I recovered quickly and felt alright afterwards.

Still battling insurance companies. Unbelievably frustrating and still not finished.

One of the moms came over last night to keep me company, always appreciated.

No comments:


Blog Archive