Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Diagnosis & Treatment

Carol and I were a little suspicious when the Neurologist ask us to come into the hospital to get the diagnosis news rather than get it over the phone. So we quietly drove the 35km to the hospital to be told the bad news.
Essentially I have been diagnosed with the worst kind of Brain Tumor a Glioblastoma Multiforme with a survival rate of 25% at 2 years (with treatment). These tumours are incurable and the only hope is to slow down their growth with therapies such as Radiation and Chemo. It is most likely that this will kill me. That is quite a lot to take in.
The rest of this posting is the technical details of the diagnosis:

Diagnosis: Glioblastoma Multiforme (malignant grade IV astrocytoma)

In order to get to this decision both cell pathology (histology) and tumour behaviour were taken into consideration

Pathology reported that all tumour cells were from brain material (primary tumour) and indicated a low grade astrocytoma with high grade areas found in one of the four samples taken during the biopsy. While Pre-surgery MRI's show that the tumour has pretty much DOUBLED in size in the 19 days between scans. This rate of growth is normally associated with high grade tumours.

Given the combined evidence of a Glioblastoma Multiforme , the tumour board decided to recommend standard treatment accordingly. This consists of 6 weeks of conformal 3D Radiation therapy to a total dosage of 60 Gray (maximum allowable dosage) concurrently with Temozolomid Chemo therapy followed by a further 6 cycles of Temozolomid (1 week in every 4) for the next six months.
Treatment cannot start until I have recovered from the Biopsy (basically until the scar has healed) because both Radiation and Chemo affect the healing process.

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