August 13, 2009

There is always hope!

distant Metastasis: Did the tumor spread to other parts of
the body outside of the region of the neck?
yes = 3
no = 0
Age at the time the tumor was found Less than 39 years = 3.1
over 40 = 0.08 x age
Invasion: Did the surgeon see that the tumor had extended beyond the thyroid into other regions of the neck? yes = 1
no = 0
Completeness of resection: Were there parts of the tumor that the surgeon was unable to remove (for example a part that was attached to the windpipe)? yes = 1
no = 0
Size of tumor (measured by the pathologist) 0.3 x size in cm

Once the score for each factor is calculated, they are added up to get a total MAICS score and this total predicts the likelihood that the patient will live 20 years from the time the tumor was discovered. Fortunately most patients fall into the low risk category (MAICS score less than 6.0) and are cured of the cancer at the time of surgery.

20-year survival rate according to MAICS score
MAICS Score <>6.0 - 6.997.0 - 7.99> 8.0
20 yr Survival 99%89%56%24%"

Recently I found this extraordinarily fine website by Columbia University Medical Center, NY- and I am not saying this just because it is by far the only website giving me the exact answer I have been looking for. Do I Have Any Hope Left? I knew the answer all along, of course there is hope, but part me wanted to see it as numerical information, which in a way makes it easier to comprehend. Numbers are numbers 123456789 and so on, and one of may just bypass all statistics, live longer, much longer than anyone could predict, and when I hear of such an event, I say thanks be to God- doctors were wrong with their prediction
I have not heard or seen doctors here using MAICS score, but it probably is not something brand new?

Another question is thyroglobulin; and the following website:

clarified this somewhat.
My endocrine doc does not really give clear answers regarding thyroglobulin and I have stopped asking. Instead I am on a hunt to find a new endocrine doc, who can actually concentrate on one task at the time. Answer questions, admitting it if he/she does not know the answer. The present one knows me, but not well enough hehee :-)
Cancer issue pops up each day at work, most of the time they are my clients, but they remind me of how fragile life really is.

1 comment:

Kate Burton said...

I am a three and a half year breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 38. I have to say the worst thing I did during my treatment was to ask for a prognosis.

If the information you have is making you feel stronger or better than hang on to it. But if it is making you anxious or sadder then try as hard as you can to let it go. Believe me, I learned the hard way.

I was told that with the indicators in my cancer there was a 40 percent chance or survival at five years. That's just unacceptable, I've got kids that need to be raised.

Then I had a doctor explain to me that prognoses are developed based on old data and do not figure in the treatment. So for example, someone with the same diagnosis that I had may have chose to have a single mastectomy and radiation.

I had a bilateral mastectomy, 12 rounds of chemo, ovaries removed and radiation.

In terms of prognoses data we have the same survival rate. Is it true? I don't think so, I'm planning to be around for a long, long time.

Hope you are too!