Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update 6/30/10, Chemo Consult

Met with Dr Fishman today at 1:30 for a consultation about chemo as the follow up treatment to my TC.  I didn't think chemo was going to really be in the running for treatment options, it sounds so miserable (and no doubt it).  But this is a very tempting follow up procedure.  Details below.

1. Cancer stage. I'm in the second best stage possible, what is called stage 1B (1A, obviously, is the very best). The b is b/c of the vascular invasion I noted from the pathology report

2. Clarifying "vascular invasion" -- Turns out this isn't as bad as it sounds. What it means is that there is still no evidence that the cancer left the testicle, but there is evidence that it left the tumor. So the chances are still the same, tiny, that the cancer has spread outside the testicle, but it had begun to move outside the tumor. Again this is the best possible scenario with the same treatment options.

3. I never thought I would say this, but chemo looks like a great option; of course there are caveats. The chemo recommended for my condition is a single dose (approx 3 hour IV drip) with minimal side effects. The downside to this treatment is that it has only been studied for a very short time (less than 10 years) so there is no confirmation that the treatment is as effect long term. But short term (4-8 years) it has the same success rate as radiation, which is around 97%

So we meet the radiation dr on Friday, and he'll try to sell us on his treatment. But right now the idea of a single dose vs weeks of radiation is very tempting. Both options have the same follow up schedule. First year is heavy on CT scans and blood work, years 2-5 much less observation.

I'll update again on Friday after the radiation consult.

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