Friday, January 16, 2009
Sarcoma Rears its Ugly Head...
Well, Thursday was the day and the results were positive for Sarcoma spreading to the lung. It had grown from 5cm to to 13cm. Now, Marco is at the mercy of the combined chemo drugs known as MAID (mesna, adriamycin, ifosfomide and dacarbazine. Below are some links that might be useful to understand this combined chemotherapy.
Below is some general info on Chemotherapy Principles from the American Cancer Society and other links from MedlinePlus:
What Are the Goals of Treatment With Chemotherapy?
There are 3 possible goals for chemotherapy treatment.
Cure: If possible, chemotherapy is used to cure the cancer, meaning that the tumor or cancer disappears and does not return. However, most doctors do not use the word "cure" except as a possibility or intention. When giving treatment that has a chance of curing a person's cancer, the doctor may describe it as treatment with curative intent. But it can take many years to know whether a person's cancer is actually cured.
Control: If cure is not possible, the goal may be to control the disease - to shrink any tumors and to stop the cancer from growing and spreading. This can help someone with cancer feel better and hopefully live longer. In many cases, the cancer does not completely go away, but is controlled and managed as a chronic disease, much like hypertension or diabetes. In other cases, the cancer may even seem to have gone away for a while, but it is expected to come back.
Palliation: When the cancer is at an advanced stage, chemotherapy drugs may be used to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer. When the only goal of treatment is to improve the quality of life, it is called palliation.
For some people, chemotherapy is the only treatment used for their cancer. In other cases, chemotherapy may be given along with other treatments. It may be used as neoadjuvant therapy (before surgery or radiation), or as adjuvant therapy (after surgery or radiation).
Adjuvant chemotherapy: After a cancer is removed with surgery, there may still be some cancer cells left behind that cannot be seen. When drugs are used to kill those unseen cancer cells, it is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant treatment can also be given after using radiation to kill the cancer -- such as adjuvant hormone therapy after radiation for prostate cancer.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is when chemotherapy is given before the main cancer treatment (such as surgery or radiation). Giving chemotherapy first can shrink a large tumor, making it easier to remove with surgery. Shrinking the tumor may also allow it to be treated more easily with radiation. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy also kills small deposits of cancer cells that cannot be seen on scans or x-rays.
Posted by Moshura's Sister at 12:39 PM