Thursday 16 May 2013

2013 is officially CRAP!

The giveaway is in the number I suppose.

The consultant at Singleton called (well his secretary did to be precise) and I was back there Tuesday morning, my head spinning. 

To stop the possibility of the cancer re-occurring it’s looking like TC chemotherapy and a drug called Herceptin – it’s like an insurance policy really. The outlook is pretty positive as everything caught really early… it’s just chemo will help to stop the likelihood of the cancer coming back, and with HER2+ receptors that’s a slightly raised likelihood. On the positive side, if I do nothing I’ve still got an 83.9% chance of being here in 10 years. The chemo and Herceptin together raise that to just over 91%.  Or, looking at it another way, a 1 in 5(ish) possibility of not making another decade, reduced to just 1 in 10 if I embark on the chemotherapy regimen.  I've tried to manipulate those figures! This information is from a personalised prediction score (based on UK cancer registry data). 

My adjuvant therapy is being transferred to Withybush which will be much better all round as it's my local hospital, and I get to see another consultant who may give me a different slant on my histology report.

To chemo or not to chemo? I'm like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Friday 10 May 2013

Results.... well almost.

Sorry my blog has been dominated by my health issues recently. I'm really enjoying all sorts of other activities at the moment too. Truly. But writing about my journey gives me some sort of therapeutic release, so here we go again.

I got my results from Singleton Hospital today (yes they'd been postponed; twice).  Though I can now see why they took so long examining and re-examining my tissue, (and to be honest I'd rather they were thorough). Apparently I'm a rare case (ha!) and they are not sure what to do now, so another 'expert' is going to look at my results (who knows more about these grey areas). I'm to see him in two weeks to discuss treatment options.

The report showed I had 72mm group 3 DCIS (contained but the most active of all - i.e. group 3). They also found three grade 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinomas (IDC) - so three small separate tumours and lots of micrometastasis which was waiting in the wings to form into tumours (they found some of this in one of my lymph nodes too). He left me in no doubt that the breast would have had to have come off, another year and the story could have been very different. Why I'm 'odd' (unique is my preferred term) is that they would have expected my tumours to be oestrogen or progesterone receptor positive but I'm negative in both (so the cancer is not fuelled by hormones), but positive for HER2 (that's not so good). HER2 is a gene which produces a protein that acts as a receptor on the surface of cells, if you have a high number of these receptors they can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and grow. This is known as HER2 positive and tends to be more aggressive and faster developing. I think (I wouldn't take this as gospel) that the combination of ER-/HER2+ is less common, and even more so for my age group. I think what was also unusual is that they found some ER+ in the nodes, but I'm not sure if it's enough to be significant. Chemotherapy might be on the cards. Possibly. Will need to discuss adjuvant care with next expert. The wait continues (whilst I busily Google in the mean time).
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