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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dr. Z turns a frown upside-down

What is it about Dr. Lee Zehngebot, the amazing oncologist from Orlando?

Even as he feeds me somewhat less-than-great news it turns out to be really good news.

Dr. Z called a short time ago to let me in on some news garnered from this morning's tumor board meeting.

Turns out that the tumor pulled from my chest last week was not a spindle-cell carcinoma, a very rare malignancy. That's the great news. Really great news.

It was, however, a desmoid tumor, which also is rare but is not malignant. Not cancer.

"A desmoid is a growth of cells that is not malignant," Dr. Z said. "The bad news is there's a chance it will come back."

And after doing some reseach since his call, it's a good chance a desmoid will return.

They most commonly arise near scars due to abdominal surgery, according to WebMD. They also are "locally aggressive" and can cause trouble for nearby tissue, especially muscles. "Desmoid tumors tend to infiltrate adjacent muscle bundles, frequently entrapping them and causing their degeneration," eMedicine reports.

"This course and the tendency for recurrence make the treatment of these relatively rare fibrous tumors challenging."

Of course, I'm always up to a challenge.

I'll visit Friday morning with Dr. Z and we'll figure out a way to monitor the growth of these things. I presume it will be with continued CT scans, which picked this sucker up during the summer and recorded its growth a few months later.

So the really good news -- no malignancy -- was marred a smidge by the fact that I have a new nemesis to keep an eye on.


Tampa Gypsy said...

I think that the word "not" needs to be in all caps, it is NOT spindle-cell carcinoma. Yay.

Lindsay said...

That's great news!

WIlloughby said...


Jules said...

That's excellent news, Keith! I am so relieved. I'm also curious what "feeds" these fibrous tumors for them to grow. At any rate, I'm glad the docs are on top it.

I continue to admire your courage and positive attitude. Thanks for keeping us all up to date.