Why my oncologist “couldn’t be happier”

Today I had an appointment with the oncologist, where we went over the results of the MRI scan I had last Wednesday. Two cycles of chemo in, and the critical area within the abnormal mass has shrunk by some 50%, leading the oncologist to say she “couldn’t be happier” with progress to date.  Specifically, the central mass that measured at least 30mm in July now measures a maximum of 20mm. The drugs (not to mention the oncologist!) are clearly doing their job.

As I’ve said before (The details, 12 August), in my case the main aim of having chemo before surgery is to zap at this stage any cells that may have escaped from the primary site and that are in the bloodstream on their way to somewhere else but can’t currently be detected. Clearly the fact that the tumour is shrinking is good, although because of its location, it’s likely a full mastectomy will be needed regardless of response. Critically, however, given that the drugs are working on the tumour, the assumption has to be that they’re also doing their work on any “migrating” cells.

So as I prepare for round three of chemo on Wednesday, it’s good to know the oncologist is happy. That means I’m happy too.

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