Scan results time again!!!

It's scan results time again!

Well for me, the second one since starting Iressa. The first one after 6 weeks showed a 20% shrinkage from 11cms to 8.5cms. From the reading I've done on tartgeted therapies this seems to be the norm. This time I was expecting (and would have been more than happy with) 'stable'.

I thought the minute I walked into the room I would be able to tell if it was good news or not by their faces, this time no, I couldn't tell a thing.

The oncologist was busy looking at the scan on the screen then glancing at me. "Please tell me, I said" Well I couldn't belive it.....he said the tumour has 'collapsed' and is unmeasurable! he showed me the screen, where the tumour was was a black irregular shaped area. He showed me the pre treatment scan which showed the tumour to be white and cloudy looking, that scan showed white bits all over the lung too. On the new scan the lungs look clear! I asked him what it means, I think he was rather puzzled and said "stable is good, this is better that stable!" He did say there is a lymph node that has enlarged slightly but they would just keep an eye on it and there were no mets anywhere! I only need to see him every 2 months now and get another scan in 6 months! In that alone I have outdone the stats!

It seems to me that Iressa is a miracle drug, I thought it was just supposed to stop the tumour from growing and hence spreading, for me it seems to be much much more. I feel so lucky! Were now off to the Carribean in January with oncology blessing

This shows why it is so important for the research to come up with more innovative treatments like this, us 'patients' with an advanced form of the disease should not be written off!

9 Replies

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  • Hi Lyn.

    That's a brilliant result. I well remember 11 years ago just now, being told that the core of my tumour had disappeared. The look on my consultant's face was priceless, kind of like the look on ours. I'm delighted for you. Stay well and get ready to start packing. :)

    Love Bill

  • Thank you Bill,

    Hope you are well.

    Now looking forward to a wonderful christmas and after that I'm startuing my packing! lol

    Love Lyn

  • Hi Lynn

    I have just seen your blog and am delighted for you, fantastic news. I know you must be more than pleased. I think you deserve a fabulous holiday so to echo Bill - get packing!

    I am smiling as I write this to you, I am very happy for you and your family.Have a wonderful Christmas Lyn, Best wishes Joanna x

  • Hi Joanna,

    thank you very much, hope you have a lovey christams too X

  • aww lyn, I am so happy for you, what a wonderful christmas present. Hope u have a fantastic, well deserved holiday xxx

  • Thank you Loopyloo, It really is, I can really relax now and not eat too much....I have a bikini to get into lol x

  • First congratulations I imagine that is a huge relief what stage cancer did you have? I have never heard of Iressa before my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3a in Oct 2010 had chemo and radio then the START clinical trial have just been told the cancer is back and much bigger (they didn't say whether it was now stage 4) than at beginning is having more chemo now but obviously outlook is not good will research into this and EFGR's.

    A word of caution on the no scans for 6 months - my Dad was telling us he could feel it had come back just before Christmas he had scan first week of Feb and it was confirmed so if you feel something is not right ask them to do it sooner I only wish we had now

  • Hi,

    thank you :) I have stage 4. Iressa is one of the new targeted therapies to treat NSCLC. There is a percentage of the popultaion that has a 'mutation' on the Epidydimal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) about 10% of the caucasian population and about 40% of asian's are affected. If you are a female non smoker you stand more chance of having the faulty gene mutation,

    New drugs such as Iressa and Tarceva directly target the EGFR. Patients have been divided into EGFR-positive and EGFR-negative, based upon whether a tissue test shows a mutation. EGFR-positive patients have shown an impressive 60% response rate, which exceeds the response rate for conventional chemotherapy. Iressa has been approved as a first line treatment, it has minimal side effects so you can live a relatively normal life with it. I had some side effects for about 5 months, (acne on my chin, tummy cramps, diarrhoea, dry skin) then it stopped! I occassionaly get them now. Tarceva is used as a second line treatment (its is essentally the same as Iressa) but I think it has juts been approved as a first line treatment aswell.

    As well as the scans I do have chest x rays done in the interim, I am also lucky (if you can call me lucky!) one of my good friend that I did my nurse training with is my Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist so you could say I have access to the oncology team 24/7. I have learned that if I am worried to let them know, I left the cough for 6 months and should have known better! At the begining every little twinge worried me and I must have been in to see them every 2 weeks ( rather than my scheduled monthy appt) lol, but no one minded and they were pleased to put my mind at rest :)

  • Hi Lynba

    Thanks for responding. We paid to see someone privately and saw Dr Nutting from Royal Marsden he said he'd look into to the EGFR which has been done but Dad isn't suitable. Dad has now had another round of chemo (with gemtinzib?) and just had results which don't look good cancer is still the same and obviously he's been ill for the last 6 weeks being on chemo - it seemed to hit him worse this time we had to call an ambulance after the first dose as wouldn't eat or drink anything or take the tablets they'd given him just kept being sick.

    They are now going on to another round of chemo which starts tomorrow using same drugs desperately hoping this time it kills the cancer down a bit but doesn't really look very promising based on the last treatment and scan. Its really quite sad he looks much more frail now yesterday he said he's taking my brothers painkillers (no idea what they are but know they're strong as he was given them after car crash left his foot shattered) as he's been in pain over the weekend. He is still tottering around in the garage so things could be worse I suppose.

    I guess you just always hope that what they are saying is wrong and a miracle will occur we're on 18 months since diagnosis now original diagnosis was 12-18 months and they've now said months but weren't any more precise than that. I just wish there was something that could be done to make it all better he's such a fighter wish I'd trained in medicine now it must be really rewarding to work in research. Its great to hear that there are these developments with the mutations and quite miraculous to see how well your cancer is responding and great to have people like you on these forums shining hope on the rest of us it is inspiring to hear. All the best x

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