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Old 07-22-2003, 04:17 PM   #1
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Post Chemotherapy

My MIL (stage 3 lung cancer, confined to one lung, one mass) finished up 6 weeks chemo/radiation. The follow up scans show that the tumor has gone from 4.2 cm to 3 cm and that there has been no spreading.

My question is this: can the tumor start to grow again while we wait for her to be back at full strength? Can chemo kill a tumor to the point where it can't grow?

I feel like we're in a race for her life here to get her to 100% for surgery but am not even sure what happens to a tumor during chemo....

 
Old 07-24-2003, 05:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
My question is this: can the tumor start to grow again while we wait for her to be back at full strength?
Yes it can, but not to the size that it was before chemo...to get back to the size before chemo would take months. It's very difficult to kill off every last cancer cell with chemo (though it's possible), but you can get rid of 99.99% of the cancer if you do things right. If there is going to be a recurrence, it usually happens months to years later.
Quote:
Can chemo kill a tumor to the point where it can't grow?
Absolutely. The best example of this is with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. The chemo that is given is very successful and induces a total remission in, I think, over 70% of cases. There are certain tumours which are amenable to chemotherapy only (like certain testicular tumours as an example), but there are others that both chemo, and/or surgery and/or radiation may be needed.
Quote:
I feel like we're in a race for her life here to get her to 100% for surgery but am not even sure what happens to a tumor during chemo....
In this case, what they're doing with the chemo is weakening the tumour and reducing it in size so that it will be easier to resect with less tissue trauma. The aim of this adjuvant chemotherapy is not to kill the tumour, but to weaken it.

Does that make sense?


 
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:22 PM   #3
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You bet it makes sense. Thank you, thank you, thank you for responding. I was really confused by a lot of this and drs seem to talk in circles sometimes.

I'll continue to pray and hope that this has done the trick. We meet with the surgeon next week...I'll repost as to what happens.

Again, THANK YOU for taking the time to answer my questions!

 
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