Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tumors Strikes Back!

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.
Helen Keller

I have chosen this positive thinking quote this morning because I am going to need it a lot, in fact that's what I only have left. I have been observing my buttocks and upper thighs for a few weeks now and I think what I fear most is happening. I think the next round of cachexia or wasting of muscles has started. It was very subtle and now more than ever I can feel it because it's becoming more painful to sit. A physical exmaination of the kidney tumor shows a visible mass just below the right ribcage. The loss of weight (0.5kg for now) has also points to this development. The tumor is advancing.

For the last two days, my heart beat has become slightly more irregular and especially when I lie down to sleep, the heart beat actually starts to slow down. I think my red blood cells count (RBC) is declining further. Although the lung areas seems clear, there is certainly something going on inside. Could this be start of the triggering point? A trigger point is when the cancer becomes agressive and keep advancing until it kills the host. It also means I start counting my days! Not again.

I am at wits end of what I can do further. Yes, more rests is the first item. What else? I have no answer for the moment. I will take some blood tests this afternoon to find out my situation.

Cancer Vanishing By Itself (How?) - Part 2
The traditional view is that cancer is a linear process that a cell is acquired by mutation, and little by little it grows. Mutations are not supposed to revert spontaneously but we know that's not true. Some cancers such a testicular cancer are known to disappear, though it does not happen often. This does not mean one does not treat cancer at the first opportunity but researches are trying to understand when is it appropriate to leave the tumors alone rather than removing it. To answer that question, they need to know not just how cancer develops but also how remission occurs. These information will help the doctors to make the decision but at this point in time, the answer remains elusive.

The growing evidence that cancer does reverse and are forcing researches and even sceptics to change their mind to reaccess their notions of what cancer is and how it develops.

According to Thea Tlsty, a professor of pathlogy at the University of California, cancer cells and precancer cells are so common that everyone by middle age or old age is riddled with them. This was discovered in autopsy of people that died of other diease but had no idea they had cancer cells or precancer cells. So the question is why are these people not getting cancer?

The medical fraternity has been championing early detection as possible cure to cancer such as screening for breast and prostate cancer and despite the large numbers of early detections, there was no corresponding decline in late stage cancers. Why?

The hypothesis is that early cancer go nowhere and there is indirect evidence breast cancer that some actually disappear. For kidney cancer, on learning there is a small lump on the kidneys, the acceptable practice is to take it out. What is interesting in the Canadian study as Dr Gleave asks is "It that always necessary?" For small kidney tumors, in a countrywide study by his university found that 80% do not change or actually regress over the next three years.

For me the more relevant questions are: How often do tumors progress? Do they ever disappear? Do they all need surgical excision? At what stage do most kidney cancers reach a point of no return?

Read Part I here.

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