October 08, 2009

Report from the oncologist

I saw Dr. Goldberg (Seattle's best oncologist) yesterday for my monthly checkup. Although my tumor markers continued to climb in the past four weeks, the few points' difference were not statistically significant. That may mean the increased Megace dose is having a greater effect on my cancer. The tumor in my right breast feels smaller to the touch and so I will have another ultrasound to determine if it is indeed shrinking. (Remember, we are treating me systemically through drugs that will hopefully make an impact on all my metastases as well as the new tumors. That's why I did not have surgery to remove the new tumors.)

Dr. G may want me to change treatment. We looked into the dasatinib trial again and he mentioned starting Avastin (bevacizumab). Then he got on the phone with Dr. Hannah Linden, another oncologist specializing in breast cancer whose opinion he respects. She said the dasatinib trial had ended because the drug was not found to be effective. She thinks highly of the recent high- vs. low-dose estrogen trial, which Dr. G is not sure is safe. And she would not recommend Avastin as a good way for him to go in my case. Dr. Linden did mention that there would be a new trial of a histone deacetylase inhibitor starting a few months. Perhaps that would be of help to me.

This is why they call it practicing the art of medicine -- they're practicing on me. It's almost more of an art than a science....


  1. I think you are absolutely right there Jill

  2. So how do you know your doctor is the best oncologist in Seattle? I'm curious when people refer to their doctors as the best one.

  3. Dr. G was featured in Seattle Magazine's list of best doctors. That's good enough for me!

  4. Jill, can I ask you a question? My tumor markers went up by over 50%. I'm being monitored closely. Can I ask you what your tumor marker number is? If you'd prefer not to answer that here, you could e-mail me at debby_hornburg@yahoo.com. If this is rude, please accept my apology.