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Tumor Stage ypT3,ypN1b,ypM0 ???

mcgivarenfaith's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011

We got Matt's pathology from his colon tumor. it is YPT3, ypN1b,ypM0.. Can anyone tell me what this means? Our doc said he is Stage IV. Tumor was Low Grade (moderately differentiated). He has had a liver & colon resection, all margins clear. Just had a Pet scan & nothing lit up, just post operative stuff.

Just trying to get a sense of, what is usually the life length for someone who has what he has. Onc said no cure but treat as a chronic illness, WTC does that mean? am I naive to think, we got all of the tumors & were doing chemo living a healthy lifestyle. Cant even tell he's sick, if you didnt know.
He has done so well with the treatments & surgeries & Onc jsut started him back on 5FU, said every 2 weeks, then go to 3 or maybe 4 weeks later. Said chemo for life.

Any input from others would be greatly appreciated.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"- Our doc said he is Stage IV.
- Onc said no cure but treat as a chronic illness
- Said chemo for life.
- what is usually the life length for someone who has what he has."


There's "truth and reality", and there's "wishful thinking"....

There is presently no known cure for cancer; There is presently
no guarantee that any chemical (or radiation) treatment will kill
cancer cells without causing severe side effects.

That's the bad news.

The "good news", is that there are some oncologists that can
"fine tune" the chemicals they use, to provide longer life in spite
of the terminal disease.

There are a few here on the forum that are on continued chemo
treatments, and are doing well in spite of a stage four diagnosis.

And of course, there are a few that have outlived their bleak
stage four prognosis by more years than their physicians would
have believed!

And..... there are some of us that -did not- do chemo or radiation,
and have used an "alternative" instead, and are outliving the bleak
prognosis of cancer.

So although the outlook may be bleak, there is no reason to
abandon hope and sink into despair; there are new chemicals
to try, other physicians to call upon, and alternatives to use.

I chose to use imported medicinal strength Chinese herbs,
while others have used diet, juicing, and a host of other items
to thwart the advances of cancer.

You have to keep in mind, that there is no guarantee with -any-
method; no guarantee is implied, even with the most mainstream
"advanced" chemicals, surgery, or radiation based treatment,
just as there is no guarantee with any alternative.

Some of us chose an alternative, simply to avoid the complications
of western medicine's harsh methods.

You'll have to weigh the good and bad, and do so without being
drowned by the fear induced by well meaning physicians and

You have choices, but you'll only see that, when you lose the
fear of cancer and the fear of making the "wrong choice".

Let your basic will to live instincts; your basic intuition, to guide
you through the maze. Chemo and radiation has merit, just
as many "alternatives" do. You can "mix and match", and/or use
combinations of all methods to achieve what you desire.......

Just do not allow fear to be your guide.

You have my best wishes for great health!


mcgivarenfaith's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011


He is currently on chemo & has had 6 weeks of radiation.
How does one come to the realization to adopt an alternative way & what all is involved if this path is chosen. Is it expensive, time consuming with drinkin this or takin that? We have 3 boys & i am trying to learn everything about his disease, to keep him in good health. He is a strong man & has lived thru a brain aneursym at age 6, so he tells me he will be fine. He has a great, positive attitude about all of this & he has gone thru treatment so well. People say all the time, you would never know he had cancer. well he does & i know how lethal it can be.
I read a lot & research but it is all so confusing at times. Our doc which is highly recommened in our area, tells us he is treating Matt condition as a chronic illness, but maybe someday there will be a cure.

I dont know what supplements he should be taking. We already exercise & eat healthy. Also, he has not worked in a year, & he is so ready to get back to work. He is a offshore production operator. Our Onc advised him to concentrate on his health, so we decided for him to quit work, which has been a very hard thing to deal with, especially when he was the provider financially. Thank you for your response.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

"Our Onc advised him to concentrate on his health, so we decided for him to quit work, which has been a very hard thing to deal with, especially when he was the provider financially."

Have you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI)? As a stage IV he is automatically eligible.

Just curious, but it may help with the finances if you have not done so yet.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Even though I had opted to do medicinal strength herbs, it's
friends like Phil that give me the incentive and hope, that I
could do as well with chemo as they have. Phil has a great
Oncologist team, and that in itself, is most important.

Phil's docs are treating stage four as they would any other
"chronic disease", and from what I've been reading, many
other oncologists are going that route as well. If that's your
route of choice, please be aware of the possible side effects
and long-term problems of long-term use. Some are not
affected by side effects, and others are......

As far as an alternative? You can click on my name and go
to my profile page to get an idea of what I've used. There's
more information in the "blog" section of the profile page..

If an alternative is expensive, I would disregard it. If it claims
any promise to "cure", I would disregard it totally. If it makes
any claim that it is better than any other alternative, I would
look at something else.

(The herbs I've used ran around $5 per pound, with a pound
lasting about a month and a half).

Most orthodox TCM practitioners do not agree with the use
of herbs in the manner I've used them. The herbs were
"dose dependent", and like chemo, they work only when you
take them.

The TCM science, is the belief that the body can and will, do all
the healing, provided the body is working properly with all organs
working in harmony.

The herbs in TCM practice are used to balance the system,
and are not taken continuously. Once the body is in balance,
no further use of herbs are necessary.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for
four thousand years, and has served billions upon billions of
people very successfully. It is still practiced in the finest Asian
hospitals, side by side with conventional western medicine.

They're realizing that using a combination of both sciences often
works better than one or the other, especially when it's for
a difficult disease like cancer.

But other alternatives, like juicing and dietary supplements
can be as beneficial, as Emily (2bhealed) and Lisa (Scouty) can
attest to.

But there's no reason to abandon one for another, unless one
isn't doing what it should, or making you worse.

The odd variety of "alternative" medicine that's advertised to be
"cure-alls" and that carry high price tags, are best to be avoided.

There's no golden rule; no guarantee of anything working, but
some things can hurt more than they fix.

I can't suggest what's best, that's something we each have to
figure out for ourselves. The bottom line, is not to allow fear
to guide you. Allow your will to live - the survival instinct -
the basic intuition we all have.... allow that to be your guide.

Deciding to use western medicine, chemotherapy, etc, is fine
if that's what is working for you. If it's not doing what you feel
is best for you, look into TCM or an alternative to add to your
present regime..... or switch to whatever -you- feel is best.

But do not allow fear to make your decisions.

Learn about all the options available well ahead of time, so that
if anything takes a bad turn, you'll know what to try next.

You guys will do fine! You're already on the right path, if you're
already asking about options!

Stay well, I'm pulling for ya'.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Can anyone tell me what this means?
Does your oncologist know? Does he/she get a report and then go over it with you? I wouldn't even attempt to give you an answer on what YPT3, ypN1b,ypM0 means.

I've had stage IV colon cancer and on chemo for over 7 years. I take Erbitux once every three weeks and have been doing that for a while. You never know what might happen in the future as far as advances in medicine or advances in other treatments go. One also never knows if there's a meteor with your name on it either. That's how I view it and I'm fine with it.
I would seek a professional to interpret the pathology though...

mcgivarenfaith's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011


I didi ask our oncologists & he didnt say to much about it, I usually go in with a lot of questions so maybe i should ask him again.

Wow, you have been on chemo for 7 years that's a long while. Matt has been told he would start again on chemo again every 2 weeks then maybe move to 3 or 4 weeks. Which i guess would be good so he may can go back to work again. Just worried about long term effects of the chemo, other cancers from it & a host of other worries.

But when i see others like yourself living with cancer, it gives me hope.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

The low-down:
I was dx in Feb 2004 with Stage IV CC, I did 6 months of FOL-FOX chemo with Avastin. I had surgery in Sept 04 where they removed a piece of my colon (no bag), 60% of my liver, my gallbadder, and installed a hepatic (HAI) pump. I had a bowel obstruction in Dec 04, had to go back to the hospital and have scar tissue removed. Started with chemo again. This time, FUDR and CPT11. I finished that in April 05 and then had a CT scan, there were spots in lungs that were there all of the time, then they were getting bigger. I went on Erbitux and CPT11 July 13, 2005 (I asked today when I went in for treatment).

I have had mets in my lungs and have been on Erbitux. I had surgery in my right lung in spring of 2006, both lungs in spring of 2007, and the right lung in 2008. I had a RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) in Sept 07 and Dec 09 for spots in right lung. I am "stable" cancer-wise, the jury is still out otherwise ;-) but there are 'spots' in my lungs which may or may not be cancerous. I am still in treatment and I get Erbitux every three weeks. It took a little while to fine tune it to this dosage and frequency.

Sometimes I'm concerned about long-term effects but then again, given my initial diagnosis I wasn't sure I'd be around over 7 years later and living a fairly normal life. I personally feel there are trade offs with every choice one makes. I could have done something else and been as successful or equally successful, or I could have done something else and be using a Ouija board now instead of a computer.
One can live with cancer and get along with it.
Sometimes it's a bear but then again, sometimes I am too

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I couldn't possibly begin to tell you what all those letters and numbers mean, but if I were you, I'd ask the oncologist to give you the meaning. No matter what it says, it sounds like your husband is doing well at this point, and I would rejoice greatly over that! *smiles*


ellamenno's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Aug 2010

This is what I found on wiki:


Doesn't sound like stage IV to me but I could wrong.

Peace, Laurie

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

Stage iv just means it (the cancer) has affected more than one organ or region. Those numbers are the designators for a single tumor. I think the first grouping is for the tumor itself and the second grouping for the lymph nodes - not sure about the third grouping. If I find my notes on my original dx maybe I could remember, but lately I have been trying to forget about that period of time.

mcgivarenfaith's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011

Thank you all for your respones. We meet with our Onc next Tuesday & I am armed with lots of questions,esp about his tumor says Stage 111 & he says stage iv, bc of the liver.
Well we had those RFA & cut out so hopefully they wont be back.

Wishing everyoen a Happy 4th!


SisterSledge's picture
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

Rick's right on with his answer and I'm pretty sure the last number regards metastasized lymph nodes, with the MO meaning there were none.

Have a great holiday and leave your cares til Tuesday,

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

in the liver was CRC, then the ypM0 should read ypM1.

And it would mean Stage IV, even if they got it all during the surgery.

Metastasis anywhere outside the local lymph nodes equates to Stage IV.

None of us are doctors, and even if we were we are not supposed to diagnose or offer medical advice, so this is just a reporting of my knowledge gained over the last year. Your Oncologist is the one who needs to stage the disease accurately and to your satisfaction.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

It is possible to live long after a diagnosis of Stage III or Stage IV. I was diagnosed Stage III in Dec 2002 - and I'm still kicking! I have had lung mets and now have bone mets. I have had nice long periods of NED -- then a recurrence. Psychologically a little hard. I have two boys, who have been a massive inspiration for me. I've been on and off chemo. I am now on chemo for life, basically, although I do take chemo breaks sometimes (like, for a vacation!). I am still working (I have a flexible job), still physically active (gym, yoga). Oh and I also take a nap every day! Everyone has to do what they think is best and right for them. But I want to give you some faith that people can live a long time after such a diagnosis -- and live a full and rich life. I'm just planning a "minibreak' holiday -- to be squeezed between chemo sessions, on my 'good days'.

Good luck to you both.....


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