Calcified Tumours

Does anyone else have tumours that have calcified, as well as ordinary ones? I have both sorts in my pelvis and a calcified one above my collarbone. I also have an ordinary para aortic (?) one and another on my back (rib). My Oncologist says I am unusual but I thought it usual for tumours to calcify. He still says no to any more Chemo despite only having had one course (line?) of Taxol and Carboplatin - 6 lots every 3 weeks - which kept me free for three and a half years..He says it is too toxic, wouldn't work, and my quality of life is better without it. I can see what he means - but on the other hand I feel that I'm not trying to fight the O Ca.

Best wishes, Solange

22 Replies

  • Hi Solange

    I can't answer your question about calcified tumours... but I have had two lots of taxol and carboplatin...they did say though that taxol wouldn't be given a third time as there would be too much damage... but there are other options for a different chemo...I wonder if you should seek a second opinion.. the doctors are quite used to people wanting a second opinion...did you have an operation when you were first diagnosed? I would have thought because you've had a good remission that you would be a prime candidate for more chemo....I would try and find out if I were you...write all your questions down and go through them systematically with your oncologist so you don't get sidetracked...(.i.e. what would happen if I did or didn't have this or that etc) tell him or her that you want to be clear in your own mind that everything that is possible has been done....It is your life not theirs afterall ..

    my thoughts are with you love x G x :-)

  • Thank you, Gwyn, for your reply. I did have a second opinion, last year, on my Cancer Nurses's suggestion, but she came up with the same idea - that it would be no good having any more Chemo, and also agreed with my own Oncologist that it would just not be an option to have any of the lumps removed.

    It's funny that you should suggest going armed with a list as that's just what I did on Wednesday. I had all the queries numbered, and went through the list with my husband's back up. I asked why I don't have regular Ca125 tests. He was very pleasant and said I could if I want, but there's no point - it would make no difference. I'd still have no treatment.

    I asked whether I cold be referred to the Royal Marsden and he said I could. When I asked whether they would maybe know more about treatments and tests he said they wouldn't - which made it seem a bit pointless (and a bit embarrassing) Anyway, at the moment, it would be very difficult to go there as my poor husband has had a big heel operation and lengthening of his achilles tendon and must be completely non-weightbearing on his right foot for 2 months at least, before maybe being able to put a little bit of weight on it for another 2 months. He can only hop for very short distances, on hisleft foot that is a bit weak anyway, having had the same op on it 3 years ago. His foot and leg is packed in a heavy boot which he has to hold in the air when he hops around with a walking aid - very tiring for him. He must sit with it up for most of the time.

    I told the Onco that it was horrible not knowing what is going on in my body and whether the tumours I have already have grown - or whether more have come, so he has said I can have a scan by the end of July, so that is something. Eventually, he more or less said if my tumours started really causing trouble, or my back pain couldn't be alleviated with strong tablets, he might try a little Chemo then - but it wouldn't cure them. I won't go on anymore - I think I've written far too much already!!

    Thanks again, Gwyn. Keep smiling, Solange

  • Me again, Gwyn. I forgot to answer as to whether I was operated on when I was first diagnosed. Yes, I was. I had already had a hysterectomy when I was just 37 (flooding periods) but kept my ovaries. When I had my Cancer operation I had both of them removed, debulking, and the cancer had spread to both my bladder and bowel but the Surgeon was able to remove it from both. I also had positive cells in my peritoneal wash out. Because I was only given one day's notice before my op, it was all a bit rushed. The first thing that I was told on being admitted was that the stoma nurse wanted to see me and she marked me up for either a colostomy or an ileostomy. She said it would be difficult to disguise a bag as I'm small. I was really shocked and told the Surgeon that I was horrified at the prospect and he promised to do all he could to avoid it but it "often went wrong afterwards". Anyway, I was so lucky because I didn't have to have a bag - and all has been well, there (Touch wood !!)

    Love, Solange x

  • Hi Solange

    I am sorry that you didn't get much further with things.. but at least you got to ask questions and you seem more satisfied with the result.. I was thinking about you earlier.. and it had occurred to me that maybe your tumours had stopped growing...and there would be no point in chemo if they are not growing at the moment and not causing trouble, so they do tend to leave them alone then.. I am not sure but I think when they calsify they tend to grow a shell like exterior that might slow them down.. anyway let's hope that is the case..thanks for letting me know...I am thinking and praying for you

    love x G x :-)

  • I'm hoping and think you're right about the calcified ones, Gwyn. Wish it was the same with my non-calcified ones that are growing. Hopefully, they're slow, anyway. Thank you for your interest and support.

    Wishing you well, Solange x

  • Dear Solange

    I'm really sorry to read your blog. I read your post about getting away from it all in Wales for a break after bad news last year and I was wondering what was happening.

    I think I would say the same as Gwyn, that it's a good idea to seek a second opinion. I've read miraculous tales on this site from women who were given seemingly disastrous news and then went on to find a way forward in managing their disease. I'm wishing you love and strength in this. Of course at the end of the day you have to decide what is best for you.

    Keep in touch. We do worry about you.

    lots of love Annie xx

  • Annie, thank you so much for your reply. I appreciated it. I won't write much more now but ask you whether you would mind sharing the reply I made to Gwyn, above. I think I've hogged this page enough - and it takes me ages to type. Spare time's a bit short at the moment as my poor husband is pretty much out of action for now. I'm playing at nursing and with doing dressings, Hospital, Doctor's and nurse's appointments and being the chauffeur. I haven't driven much for a few years so it's taking a bit of getting used to.Still, it's made me appreciate him even more for how much he normally helps me!! The only reason I'm writing now is because I keep falling asleep as soon as I sit down - and then I wake up at a normal person's bedtime.

    Hope you're feeling well and cheerful, love, Solange

  • I too think a 2nd opinion is warrented. I am on my 4th chemo in 3 years. In between I return to good health and enjoy life.

    Best wishes

  • Hi nandi,

    Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry - I thought I replied to you yesterday but now I can't see it. Admittedly I was tired and I'm not too clever with this sort of thing on the Computer - maybe I did something silly !! If it hasn't turned up - please could you look at my reply to Gwyn, above, re 2nd opinion.

    Good luck with your chemo. I hope it's successful and you soon return to good health,

    Best wishes, Solange

  • Hi Solange,

    i have had 4 chemos in three and a half years taxol/ carboplatin twice, caylex and then 18weeks of taxol on its own i am now on letrozole tablets past 3 months as the taxol didn't shrink tumours but it hadn't spread and feeling good at the moment love Jan x

  • Hi Buddy/Jan,

    You have had a lot of Chemo!! I'm sorry the Taxol didn't shrink your tumours but it's great that they haven't spread. I guess you haven't been told whether they've calcified. I think my calcified ones may be slowgrowing ones. Anyway - long may you keep feeling good.

    Best wishes, Solange

  • Hi Solange,

    No i haven't been told if they have calcified i have quite a few around my lymph nodes, aortic and bowel they told me i wouldn't be having further surgery, so just hoping the letrozole will keep them at bay or even shrink them, i have a friend on letrozole and she went for her 3mth check up and her main tumours have shrunk maybe the hormone treatment might help you you should ask your oc

    ,luv Jan

  • Thanks, Jan. I'll bear the Letrozole in mind to ask about at my next Onco appointment. Sounds promising for your friend - and hopefully - for you.

    Solange x

  • Ive got a calcified tumour on my liver, its never done anything & theyve never said anything about it. Hope everything goes well for you. Hayley.

  • Hayley, thank you for replying to me - you're the only person I've heard of yet with a calcified tumour. Do you how long you've had it? Glad it looks as though yours is "dormant". I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Do you have other non-calcified ones?

    Hope everything goes well for you, too, Solange x

  • Hi Solange,

    I have a slow growing cancer and I had chemo but it cleared up my ascities but didn't make much difference to the residual cancer. I was told there was some calcification of the lymph nodes but I didn't know what this meant and when I was asked was advised it was evidence of spread to them.

  • Thanks, ScardyCat. I think we're all in a bit of unknown territory (to us) somewhere, aren't we?! From what I've been told, not all Lymph Node tumours calcify - but as long as we hear the word "slow growing" we can take a bit of comfort.

    Solange x

  • I have calcified tumours in my pelvis. Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma. I had a full hysterectomy. Mets appeared in my lung a year later and were surgically removed. Following year I had mets in my pelvis. Had Chemo (Doxorubicin) and radiation therapy at that point as they were inoperable. Since then they have shrank a little and calcified. I only have to see the consultant yearly now. I have no idea what calcification suggests but when I asked if it meant the tumours were dead, my consultant said it wasn't really the case and not much is known yet. I'm 58 and in the UK by the way.

  • Hi Solange,

    I do realise this initial post was four years ago and I was not even a member of Health Unlocked back then but I am a member now and I use the Headway community.

    What brought me to this post was a comment I added to another member of the Headway community.

    I originally was diagnosed witha brain tumour in 1996. During the surgery on my tumour, the tumour itself calcified. This is when this other person said they had never heard of that before and so I then thought I shall research myself some more on the internet.

    I googled "Can a tumour calcify?". Top result was this post from you on Health Unlocked in a diiferent community.

    I have done a brief bit of research in the past about my tumour and my tumour was actually a benign tumour. I had read that benign tumours can spread, which actually makes some sense.

    Reason why is, two years later, 1998, I was diagnosed with another tumour. The doctor actually told me that it was a cyst but a cyst is the equivalent of a tumour.

    In 2005 I was diagnosed with yet another cyst and this was located next to my spine.

    So that is me and I have had no tumours or cysts since then. I do believe that our diets are the biggest reasons for our health conditions and I like to think that I eat much more healthily now whereas before when I was younger was when I had an awful diet and that is when I experienced all these problems.

    Take care,


  • Hi Matt, I was very surprised to get a reply to my four year old question!! I'd forgotten all about it. I've never really had a proper answer as to whether tumours that calcify are better than those that don't. I think the blood supply is often compromised in calcified tumours which could be good. Lots of chemos act to destroy the blood supply. Anyway, I have lots of both sorts and am still here!!😊 (I must just touch wood)

    Sorry you have your problems. I do hope things go well for you.

    Best wishes, Solange

  • Hello there ..I think I could use you my help ..I was diagonized with low grade ovarian cancer during may last year and had radical hysterectomy however I have 2 calcified tumors which are shrinking( no chemo) and now they found 2 small calcification in my recent scan around .5 cm doctors don't comment much is it going with you .? Is this something we can live with as I have no symptoms currently

  • Hello Faithmay, sorry to read you have developed OvCa.

    I have now had OvCa for ten years. Lots more tumours, now some high grade as well as low. In the ten years I have had two lots of chemotherapy and two separate single blasts of Radiotherapy, with a few years in between, on my back. I have some recurrent tumours but my Oncologist is reluctant to give me more chemo until I get very bad symptoms as she says the chemo is so very toxic. She says quality of life is more important. I'll have a scan in April, which will be the first since June last year. She said I had had too much Radiation. Bit scary, having been used to scans every three months but I'm doing ok.

    I hope you do well. Low grade tumours are slower growing than high grade so hopefully you'll have few problems.

    Wishing you all the best, Solange 😊

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