Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Oncologist's delight

It was back to the hospital today to see our daughter who is steadily improving in general health. Also I had an appointment with the oncologist.

He was clearly delighted with the results of the histology report following the surgery and had never before seen a situation where chemotherapy alone had overcome entirely the cancer - ie. there was none residual in my lymph nodes following surgery. Radiotherapy will not be required. I enquired as to the length of his career so I could get a handle on how unusual a result this actually was. 21 years as a doctor and 15 years as an oncologist gives you some idea of the statistics. I may yet become famous - albeit anonymously - as a case study.

Back to the issue of the thyroid which, he told me, still glowed after the last PET scan. I've been unable to understand why there was initial confusion about my glowing thyroid and glowing lung when presumably the histology right at the start indicated lung cancer. What I didn't realise is that ardenocarcinoma, which is what I had, looks the same in any organ and you can't pinpoint which from the histology. That's not good news because it still raises the spectre of thyroid cancer.

I asked the oncologist what he reckoned. He said that, given a thyroidectomy is a pretty standard operation, it might be wise to remove it - especially as I already take synthetic thyroid homone to make up for the organ's inadequacies. I then expected the oncologist to refer me onward, but no, it's back to the GP. The oncologist will write to my GP who will refer me to the ENT guy and then back into the system go I.

This will all inevitably take some time but, given the spectacular results of the chemotherapy, there is of course some reason to suspect that it may have already knocked thyroid cancer on the head - if it existed there in the first place.

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