NHMike wrote:Tumor size was originally 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm, and 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm after chemo and radiation. So 100.62 cm^3 to 9.50 cm^3 or a 90% decrease in volume.
1) 6 x 4 mm to 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%)
2) 8 x 6 mm to 4 x 3 mm (-75%)
3) 5 x 5 mm to 5 x 3 mm (-40%)
No new nodes found, No metastases seen.
I'm now officially impressed with this treatment.
Mike, I understand tumors can continue shrinking for up to twelve weeks after radiation treatment ends. Are you not tempted to wait another few weeks to see if your tumor gets even smaller?
Presumably the smaller the tumor, the better the surgical prognosis.
I think that the protocol at this hospital is 6-8 weeks and I'm right in the middle at 7. The surgeon indicated that things look pretty good after four weeks so hopefully the look even better at seven. I'm facing the surgery with some trepidation of course and part of human nature is to put off things that are unpleasant, and, believe me, it will be unpleasant from the descriptions of the levels of pain in the days after surgery that I've seen over the past few days. But I really would like to get this thing out of me and get through with the mop-up chemo and then get on with my life (though I realize that I'll get scanned and stabbed and probed on a regular basis).
I think that the research is pointing to longer waits and one of the doctors that I spoke with (maybe the Dana Farber Oncologist) talked about this but it doesn't look like research has translated into practice at Dana Farber/Brigham and Womens yet. We've transitioned from 20% survival rates to 80% survival rates and a lot of that is from experimentation with drugs, dosages, timing, duration, radiation, etc. And it appears to me that the research community is still learning.
One other factor is weather in my area. The risk of snow and ice storms increases as we approach December and I will have some challenging logistical issues in recovery and I'd rather the surgery and recovery be done well before the first snowstorm of the season.
So is it tempting? Of course the idea is interesting. But many that I know did go with the standard 6-8 weeks and their results seem to be pretty good. Everyone is different, of course.