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I need help understanding these results!


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Hi all:

Went to oncology appt with dad on Monday to get results of most recent cat scan taken previous Thursday of lung/liver. We met with the nurse practitioner, as the doc was on rounds. The report showed mixed results. One lesion smaller, two slightly bigger. Here is the question: they are comparing this recent cat scan with the initial one that diagnosed the spots on liver/lung, which was taken sometime in early April. My dad did not start chem until May 8th. It is my understanding that this kind of cancer grows very quickly and that it probably grew atleast some during the iterim between when the inital scan was taken in April and starting chemo(a good 5 weeks.) So, couldn't the two that have grown slightly really have shrunk some as compared to what they might have looked like on May 8th when my dad actually started chemo? At first they said they were going to re-evalute my dads reports/films and wait a whole week to start a new chemo. I said I was not comfortable with waiting a whole week(dad agreed) and that I wanted the doc to call me. When she did she said they had infact decided that the vp-16 and carboplatin was working and that my dad should resume his regular course of chemo the next day. He currently receives chemo every three weeks, for a three day period and has had little problems. Sorry I am ranting here, but I need some of you who have been through this to please write me back. Also, my dad had a bump on his leg and it was ruled benign(good news, I guess). Thanks for listening to me rant, glad I have you guys.

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Kelly -

Don't panic too much - as great as CT scans are, if your dad was laying at even the slightest bit of a different angle, or if they cut the "slices" of the scan a little different - the tumors may appear a little larger.

As long as there's no major growth and your docs think the drug combo is working, give it a chance to get the job done. (I was on the same combo and cycle of drugs - and I'm in remission now).

Hugs and prayers,

SandyS

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Kelly,

Sandy's right, and remember that 5 weeks isn't a very long time for anything to be noticeable, especially if you throw in the factors of when the chemo was started, when the scans were taken, etc... Hang in there and let the chemo do it's thing. For three months all we heard was "no growth" which was like music to our ears (we were afraid to hope too much)..who knew if the chemo was working????. Then when dad stopped chemo in december...I just knew it would be "over" as everyone says this cancer can double in size in just thirty days. POOF, he stops chemo for a month and the next scan comes back totally clean!! GO FIGURE. I believe as odd as it seems, it was the cumlative effect of the chemo from the 4 rounds before he stopped that continued to work for many weeks.

Don't worry about what hasn't helped yet. Sable = no growth ='s a GOOD thing. Will be praying for you and your dad. Hang in there.

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As Sandy said slight variances in the CT could be the factor. You are right. This cancer does grow quickly. I had a CT in Nov 2002 and was still in remission, in Feb 2003 I had the next CT and there was another tumor in the L lung about the size of a baseball. No new symptoms, it was just there!! We have to be vigilant in all of the follow-up tests and appointments.I hear so many say, "I get tired of Dr visits every month". If you trust your Dr then he will know when to change chemos and order tests. Ask questions. In between visits if you have a question write it down and when you see him next time you have your list of questions. Good luck.

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It does sound like the timing of the cat scans and all that went on in the meantime could account for some of the increases in size. This cancer does grow so fast, it's unbelievable. So that lag time between starting treatments could definitley have something to do with it. Hang in there, it sounds like the treatment is working, otherwise they wouldn't continue with it. Praying for you guys.

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