Pathology Report

After the surgery I received my pathology report. It told me some valuable things. 1) my cancer was still the same type/pathology as it was before – no new surprises, 2) no cancer was found in any of my lymph nodes – no progression of the disease, and 3) that the cancer they removed was a single tumor of 1.2 cm in size. This 3rd one was the kicker for me. Previously the surgeon had told me that it looked like the tumors had gotten smaller and were responding well to treatment. Well, I started out with a diagnosis of 2 tumors – ~1 cm and a ~0.5 cm. After speaking with my oncologist¬†about this report, he informed me that the smaller tumor gave 100% response rate and was not found. The larger 1 cm tumor didn’t respond. My oncologist said that for the type of cancer that I had, it was likely that at any given time during my chemotherapy that only about 25% of the tumor cells were growing – and thus, caught by the chemo (which targets rapidly dividing cells). If the cells aren’t undergoing any growth, then they aren’t dividing and the drugs cannot deliver their punch. So, I took that to mean that the larger tumor I did have obviously wasn’t growing very much, instead it was just kind of sitting there, hanging out. Given this, I’m glad I took all of the tissue out and I’m happy that my herceptin immunotherapy treatment will continue for another 7 months. Seems my aggressive Her2 positive cancer hadn’t gotten as aggressive in its growth as it could.

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