ArtLung

October 16th, 2007

Mom’s Cancer News

So I mentioned yesterday, ever-so-briefly, that there was some news about the pathology report from my Mom’s kidney, which was removed. This morning my father sent me an updated and elaborated diagnosis, and more information. This may prove useful to someone, and is definitely useful to family and friends who would like an update.

First off, a link about staging Kidney Cancer from the American Cancer Society: Detailed Guide: How Is Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma) Staged?.

Next, here’s the deal on my Mom’s cancer, straight from my Dad this morning. My annotations are enclosed in 1)(triple-parentheses):

Mom is Stage 4 — based on the fact she has mets to lung and brain. Under TNM system 2)(American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), sometimes also known as the TNM system) she is T1B 3)(Tumor is larger than 4 cm but smaller than 7 cm (about 2¾ inches) and is limited to the kidney), NX 4)(Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed (information not available).), M1 5)(Distant metastasis present; includes metastasis to nonregional (not near the kidney) lymph nodes and/or to other organs (such as the lungs, bones, or brain).) — which means the tumor was not locally invasive, that the nodes (N) are unknown, and M1 which means metastasis has occurred. Her Karnovsky score 6)(More about Karnovsky Performance Status) is perfect — her overall health, and her Furhman grade 7)(The most widely used and most predictive grading system for renal cell cancer is the “Fuhrman Nuclear Grade”. Your pathology report should use the Fuhrman Grade. Fuhrman grade is on a scale of I-IV, where grade I carries the best prognosis and grade IV the worst. Nuclear grade means that the system is based on just the appearance of the nuclei of the cancer cells, rather than the appearance or structure of the cells as a whole. Nuclear characteristics used in the Fuhrman Grade particularly indicate how actively the cells are making protein. Source.) — how aggressive tumor looks microscopically — number of mitotic figures, is grade 2 — putting it all together survival should be 80% or better for 5 years. Of course new chemo drugs may improve on this. Dad

This is terrific news, and given my Mother’s amazing attitude, on full display back in this article, I have great hope.

References   [ + ]

1. (triple-parentheses
2. (American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), sometimes also known as the TNM system
3. (Tumor is larger than 4 cm but smaller than 7 cm (about 2¾ inches) and is limited to the kidney
4. (Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed (information not available).
5. (Distant metastasis present; includes metastasis to nonregional (not near the kidney) lymph nodes and/or to other organs (such as the lungs, bones, or brain).
6. (More about Karnovsky Performance Status
7. (The most widely used and most predictive grading system for renal cell cancer is the “Fuhrman Nuclear Grade”. Your pathology report should use the Fuhrman Grade. Fuhrman grade is on a scale of I-IV, where grade I carries the best prognosis and grade IV the worst. Nuclear grade means that the system is based on just the appearance of the nuclei of the cancer cells, rather than the appearance or structure of the cells as a whole. Nuclear characteristics used in the Fuhrman Grade particularly indicate how actively the cells are making protein. Source.

Comments: 9

Jenn

October 16, 2007 6:51am

I’m sorry you know so much about cancer now…. it is amazing though how Cancer is not the diagnosis it was 20 years ago. Between the development of new and better drugs and other treatment options (like gamma knive) and all the research they are doing on cells (the genome project and all the outcomes) to study the genetic markers, on-off switches and such… Stage 4… where my sister also is… they call it manageable. Like a chronic disease. Your mom and my sis will probably outlive us all!! xoxoxo

Jenn

October 16, 2007 6:52am

PS I dig the new layout “Joe’s Cafe” where’s my coffee??

Joe Crawford

October 16, 2007 9:28am

Heh. Thanks for the kind words, and yes, may our familial cancer havers be long lived!

Coffee’s up here in Moorpark. Leah will make you a cup if you like. 🙂

susan m

October 16, 2007 1:02pm

thanks for the update – I’ve been wondering how she’s doing. I’m so glad it’s positive news! Hugs to all…

xoxoxoxoxo

erin

October 17, 2007 8:23am

That sounds promising! I was also wondering what was goin’ on. Glad it’s good news. As far as I can tell practically NO ONE is more positive than yer mom. That’s a real good thing.

love to all your family,
e

pinguino

October 17, 2007 10:17am

great news!

Joe Crawford

October 17, 2007 11:39am

susan, erin, ping:

Thanks for the thoughts! We’re hoping for the best!

Janece

October 18, 2007 6:29am

I’m glad to hear things are looking promising. I am keeping her in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for the update. Let her know her support base is far and wide. 🙂

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