We saw The Business today for the tumour analysis results. This will therefore be quite a detailed and non-amusing post, so if that isn’t your thing please click here.
I’ve put all of the ins and outs on the Medical page, for enquiring minds that need to know.
In short, it could have been a lot worse. This type accounts for only 4% of all brain tumours and it is known to respond well to treatment, especially chemotherapy.
B’s type of tumour has no Grade I. It wouldn’t waste its time. That’s for sissies like Astrocytic tumours. The possible grades are II (slow-growing – cells look much like normal), III (fast-growing, cells look quite abnormal) and IV (very fast-growing, cells don’t look good at all). B’s tumour is a Grade III.
I say ‘is’ rather than ‘was’ because although the tumour has undergone macroscopic removal (90%+), all high grade tumours deposit cells in the surrounding brain tissue, and can therefore not be completely removed. It’s also news to me, since all this happened, that a primary brain tumour (one that originated in the brain, rather than spreading from cancer elsewhere in the body – known as a secondary tumour) cannot be classified as ‘benign’ or ‘malignant’. It’s all cancer, the distinguishing difference is the rate of growth.
The tumour is undergoing further tests, specifically to find out about chromosomal deletion. We will see an Oncologist next week to discuss these results and further treatment. Possibilities are:
a) Do nothing right now, but monitor every few months with MRI scans
b) A course of chemotherapy known as PCV
Overall we are feeling quite positive. The Business said ‘if you have to have a brain tumour, this is the one to have, by far’. That is quite encouraging, coming from the brain man himself.
B also had the staples removed from his head, all 32 of them. The Business said ‘this might tickle’ which is doctor-speak for ‘get ready for some serious pain’. Sure enough, after removal B went quite green and shiny and needed a sit-down and a glass of water before we went on our way.