Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What is aggressive?


This dog looks aggressive (from net) but looks can be deceiving

One of the words commonly used to describe triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is aggressive. (The other words used are lethal or deadly).But what is meant by this? Never are these terms defined. Does aggressive mean fast growing or likely to colonize? The latter is more scary. Just because a tumor is fast growing doesn't mean that it is more likely to spread. Some slow growing tumors do spread. The faster a tumor grows, the more susceptible it is to be destroyed by chemo. It is easy to tell how fast growing a tumor is but whether it has the propensity to spread is another matter. If it is found in the nodes, there is a greater chance that it has spread but still it might not lead to mets. Conversely, the tumor could spread through the blood stream bypassing the lymph system entirely.

Nothing sucks the air out of a newly diagnosed patient with TNBC than to read the word ' lethal'. But the truth is that most patients with TNBC do not die even though TNBC accounts for about 10% of BC, it is responsible for  30% of BC deaths. The PARP inhibitors are not showing the results in large trials that were seen in the initial trials against TNBC.

But as time goes on, cancer fades more and more.

Shanna and I had some alone time yesterday which I treasured. Lunch, shopping..and then it was time to get the boys. We will have some more time tomorrow night. 
I watched part of Josh's game last night. The threatening skies finally turned sunny. I then returned home to help Shanna and Ramy select some wines for the baptism celebration this Saturday by tasting several candidates. Oh the things we do for our children!

2 comments:

Teri Bernstein said...

I was at a dinner party of ladies a week or so ago and I had good red that was cheap (i was told) from Trader Joes --I think it was Spiral winery or something...

Chez said...

Certainly, in the case of the picture, looks can be deceiving Sue.
There are times that the more I know about cancer, the more I am left wondering.
Did the wine pass muster? Thinking of you all on the occasion of the baptism.

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