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From 2.7 to 3.9 in 90 days?


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Hi all:

Well, I just got back from Michigan where we buried my twin sister. She died of breast cancer. It was so painful for all of us, but I know, because of her deep faith, she's free of pain now.

The question I have this evening: Mike finally, after 4 months, had a biopsy January 7th, found out on the 9th of January he has squamous cell carcinoma. He had his second CT/PET scan on the 16th because the first one was 3 months old.

On the 19th I called the cancer center from Michigan and found out his tumor (which was 2.7 x 2.4) is now 3.9 x 2.6. This growth happened in 90 days.

This is Tuesday, and tomorrow I will call the oncologist myself to get an appointment...they haven't called us yet. But, can anyone tell me if this growth is considered fast? Doesn't 3.9 x 2.6 make it now a stage 1B rather than stage 1A?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you so much!

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I too would like to extend my condolences on the loss of your sister. I'm very sorry.

My understanding, but you should indeed talk to Dr West, is that any tumor 3 cm or over but confined to one lung and not in lymph nodes is considered at least Stage 1b or possibly higher. Again I stress talking to Dr. West. I believe he has a section on staging

Good luck and God bless you and your husband in your fight against this beast.


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Thank you both. I've written Dr. West and am awaiting a reply.

When Mike and I were on the way home from the airport, I told him I couldn't wait to get home and see what Dr. West has to say.

I found a cm ruler on the net and printed it out. A 2.7 cm to a 3.9 cm is to me a lot for 90 days, but perhaps it's not. Hopefully Dr. West, who I have so MUCH respect for, will answer soon.

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A word of advice: PUSH.

Think people aren't calling you back soon enough? Push.

Not getting the answers you need?


Not happy with your medical team?

Get a new one.

Most of us are well-behaved, nice people. There are times, though, when one has to step up and be the pushy person. Be the pest they call first because they don't want to have to answer hourly requests for news... When you are satisfied, step back and be docile again.

Hang in there!

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Again, thank you all.

I found a VDT calculator link in the archives at Dr. West's site and according to that, Mike's VDT is 70 days.. :shock:

Dr. West has replied now and in his wonderful, careful way, he too said "PUSH". So, today I'm on the phone to see what we can do.

The bills (and we have fairly good insurance) are coming in and we haven't really even started yet. This is so hard, all the way around.

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Thank you all for the encouragement and support. I'm done dealing with the phone calls with regards to insurance. I understand more how the insurance company works and understand a little more what to watch for and what questions to ask. Makes me feel somewhat better and at least I'm more prepared as to what to expect.

Talked to our nurse at the cancer center and opted to meet our onc. doctor at the center today rather than wait until next week for an appointment. I'll ask all the questions I can think of with regard to the chemo and radiation.

Any suggestions as to the questions I should ask?

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I just found a site that showed the average doubing time for squamous cell to be 86-88 days. Median of 100 days for doubling time

Remember there is probably some error in the measurement of the tumor so the could be less growth

Is it a central tumor (like most squamous cell) or peripheral?

Error rate in measuring growth rate: 7%

Minimal difference observable by CT: 0.3 mm

Smallest nodules that can be reliably seen with CT: 2 mm

Good luck

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Well, we met with the onc. yesterday. The growth is 3.97 x 2.67 with the linear extensions having a slight growth.

We're going with 6-8 weeks of radiation 5 x a week and chemo 1 x a week for the duration of the radiation. He'll be using Taxol and Carboplatin for the chemo mix.

I've another post on the board with regard to the side effects of this and am very, very encouraged.

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