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#155792 - 10/07/12 02:56 PM Really? 3 weeks makes a difference?
Charm2017 Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3082
Loc: Alexandria VA
The last sentence (bolded) in this excerpt from an OCF news feed about the NFL referee who had Base of tongue cancer made me wonder.
Quote:
for treatment of a thumb-sized malignant tumor at the base of his tongue, where it connects with the back of his throat. He had 13 chemotherapy treatments and 33 zaps of radiation in a short period, to attack the tumor aggressively. Doctors told him if the tumor had been discovered as little as three weeks later the news would have been very dark for him.

A thumb sized tumor would be "only" a T1 and likely Stage I.
So in three weeks, it could at worst only be T2 and maybe Stage II.
See the excellent summary of T size and staging on the OCF web page: OCF- Stages of Cancer
Guess I'm lucky to be alive with a T3 sized tumor back in 2007 and Stage IV. Yet every time I've had cancer, it's always been at least six weeks and longer before any TX started due to waiting for biopsies, scans, making radiation masks, simulations, second opinions. etc. Each time the doctors stressed that this is a slow growing cancer and the delay really did not matter.
Did I miss the blockbuster study on this?
Charm


Edited by Charm2017 (10/07/12 03:10 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
_________________________
65 yr Old Frack
Stage IV BOT T3N2M0 HPV 16+
2007:72GY IMRT(40) 8 ERBITUX No PEG
2008:CANCER BACK Salvage Surgery
25GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin
Apaghia /G button
2012: CANCER BACK -left tonsilar fossa
40GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin

Passed away 4-29-13

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#155913 - 10/09/12 11:35 AM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Charm2017]
klo Offline
"OCF Down Under"
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 638
Loc: Sydney Australia
LOL! Just look at how descriptive it is - even if not terribly accurate. What is it they say? Never let truth get in the way of a good story? And you have to admit it is such a good story - snatched from the jaws of death after being aggressively "zapped" 33 times with radiation. Is it just me or does that invoke an image of a group of radiation technicians surrounding the poor bugger and poking him with cattle prods?

When I first saw the excerpt Charm, I thought you had picked it up from some a wannabe journalist blog somewhere. But no, even better, A Sports Illustrated article! On the OCF newsfeed no less! Oh well, we all have to have a laugh sometimes. The picture of the sportsperson is very nice though.

I'm guessing they don't have a medical writer on staff ...? Or even a tuck shop lady with first aid experience.
_________________________
Karen
Love of Life to Alex T4N2M0 SCC Tonsil, BOT, R lymph nodes
Dx March 2010 51yrs. Unresectable. HPV+ve
Tx Chemo x 3+1 cycles(cisplatin,docetaxel,5FU)- complete May 31
Chemoradiation (IMRTx35 + weekly cisplatin)
Finish Aug 27
Return to work 2 years on
3 years out Aug 27 2013 NED smile
Still underweight

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#155917 - 10/09/12 12:44 PM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: klo]
Charm2017 Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3082
Loc: Alexandria VA
Karen

Now you made me run off to google again. For those OCF members like myself who wondered "tuck shop" : Is that some kind of plastic surgeon doc in a box (TV show: Nip & Tuck)? It turns out from Wiki
T
Quote:
he term "tuck", meaning food, is slang and probably originates from such phrases as "to tuck into a meal". It is also closely related to the Australian English word "tucker", also meaning food. A tuck shop typically sells confectionery finger-food, such as sweets, crisps, soft drinks and so on. In recent years, there have been moves to change to a wider variety of "healthier" foods. In Australia, where the tuck shop will typically be the only source of bought food at the school/club, the menu is more substantial and is more similar to the school dinners provided by the British government.

so now I get Klo's joke: it's funny.
Charm
_________________________
65 yr Old Frack
Stage IV BOT T3N2M0 HPV 16+
2007:72GY IMRT(40) 8 ERBITUX No PEG
2008:CANCER BACK Salvage Surgery
25GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin
Apaghia /G button
2012: CANCER BACK -left tonsilar fossa
40GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin

Passed away 4-29-13

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#155930 - 10/09/12 03:33 PM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Charm2017]
Maria Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 845
Loc: Ohio
The centimeter to inch conversion used on the OCF site is just an approximation - 1 centimeter is .3937 inches (or 2.54 cm per inch). I just measured my thumb - it's 2.2cm in width by about 5.5 cm in length. That puts it a stage III. It could bump to a stage 4 depending on what other structures it was impacting as well lymph node involvement. My guess is that the possible invasiveness to critical structions is where the time critical part.

I remember that some country with a national healthcare policy was looking into fast-tracking cancer therapy to reduce the scary and frustrating wait time.
_________________________
CG to husband - SCC Tonsil T1N2M0 HPV+ Never Smoker
First symptoms 7/2010, DX 12/2010
TX 40 IRMT (1.8 gy) + 10 Cetuximab
PET Scans 6/2011 + 3/2012 clear, 12/2013 physical exam clear; chest CT clear of cancer. On thyroid pills. Saliva slowly returning. Life is good.

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#155946 - 10/09/12 05:27 PM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Maria]
Charm2017 Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3082
Loc: Alexandria VA
Maria

Old habits die hard, I did not think to measure my actual thumb but from caulking & sealing instructions where a Thumb size is in pinching off One Inch (2.5 cm) or roughly the measure from the top knuckle on your thumb to your thumb tip.
Still, it seems to me that the 3 weeks is a SWAG
Charm
_________________________
65 yr Old Frack
Stage IV BOT T3N2M0 HPV 16+
2007:72GY IMRT(40) 8 ERBITUX No PEG
2008:CANCER BACK Salvage Surgery
25GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin
Apaghia /G button
2012: CANCER BACK -left tonsilar fossa
40GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin

Passed away 4-29-13

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#155949 - 10/09/12 05:51 PM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Charm2017]
Maria Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 845
Loc: Ohio
Ha, ha, had to look up SWAG (Scientific Wild A$$ed Guess). I think of a swag as related to draperies. Figured that HAD to be wrong!
_________________________
CG to husband - SCC Tonsil T1N2M0 HPV+ Never Smoker
First symptoms 7/2010, DX 12/2010
TX 40 IRMT (1.8 gy) + 10 Cetuximab
PET Scans 6/2011 + 3/2012 clear, 12/2013 physical exam clear; chest CT clear of cancer. On thyroid pills. Saliva slowly returning. Life is good.

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#156136 - 10/12/12 09:08 AM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Charm2017]
jonp Offline
"OCF Down Under"
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Australia
loved the tuck shop reference Klo!
_________________________
stage 2 scc in left oral tongue. 32 at dx
removed 21/12/09 plus left neck dissection and upper arm flap.
clear pathology 24/12/09
non-smoker
active footballer/surfer
social drinker
lives stress-free!

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#156165 - 10/12/12 09:31 PM Re: Really? 3 weeks makes a difference? [Re: Charm2017]
KP5 Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 791
Loc: NY
You guys are just a wealth of knowledge!!!!
;o)
Kathy
_________________________
Kathy wife/caregiver to:
Kevin age:53
Dx 7/15/11
HPV16+ SCC Stage IV BOT/R
Non smoker, casual drinker
7/27/11 Cistplatin, taxotere,5FU 2/3week sessions, followed by IMRT 125cgy x 60 (2x daily) w/Erbitux weekly. Last rad 10/26/11. Last Erbitux 10/27/11
PEG placed 9/1/11 Removed 11/8/11
Clear PET 10/2012

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