Pathology report

My consultant called by my bed this morning to let me know that he’d just got the results from the pathology lab on the tumour that he’d removed from me.

The results are pretty positive. There are no signs of any cancerous cells in any of the tissue margins, so the surgeon appears to have been right in his assessment that he got all the tumour out. There is also a good margin of healthy tissue around the tumour too, which will significantly reduce the chance of there being any reoccurance of the cancer in situ in the future.

They have also analysed the lymph nodes that he removed as part of the operation; normally the surgeons remove around a dozen nodes, but in this case he’d taken out 28. Of those, precancerous cells were present in only 4 nodes. Clearly the best result would have been if there were no precancerous cells in any of them, but 4 out of 28 is very encouraging. Update: Lymph nodes are arranged hierarchically, like the roots of a tree, with smaller nodes emptying into larger ones. My affected nodes in the tissue sample are the least significant ones, closest to the tumour, with no sign of precancerous cells visible in the levels of nodes further away from the tumour, which is extremely positive news. The consultant was clearly very pleased, but this will probably mean that I’ll still ultimately require some chemotherapy, and an appointment is going to be set up with the consultant oncologist in the next few weeks to determine what sort of further treatment is recommended.

But in the meantime, it’s another little victory, and more weight off my mind. Today’s challenge is to balance my fluid levels correctly, and prove to the doctors that I’m nearly ready to go home to complete my recuperation.

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