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Confused about aggressive

Bryn1108's picture
Bryn1108
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2017

So, my cancer WAS stage 11 aggressive,  I have read that cancer grows only so much each year,  then I have seen and heard of some that within few months it has spread fast,  I'M CONFUSED.  

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

Not sure I understood your question but aggressive doesn't necessarily mean it will spread, especially since yours was stage 1, the earliest stage. Grade can usually indicate the aggressiveness of cancer with 3 and 4 being considered aggressive, and 1 being non-aggressive. Aggressive refers to how fast the cancer grows and spreads but if you're stage 1 (I assume that's what you meant and not 11)  it has obviously not spread anywhere. Hopefully your surgery was the end of it. Did they grade yours a 3?

Bryn1108's picture
Bryn1108
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2017

Sorry, I was a stage 2, aggressive,  my question was if the cells grow slow,  why do they say aggressive?  I'm new at everything.  Lol

Max57's picture
Max57
Posts: 174
Joined: Mar 2015

When i had mine i read alot talks alot asked so many questions i always heard that RCC Grows slow ....

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 452
Joined: Sep 2016

In general, RCC grows slowly when it is small (<= 3cm). Then the growth rate will increase along with the increase in size. Which is why the cutoff for watchful surveillance is 3 cm.

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

Bryn, did they say what grade it was? That may be why they said aggressive. While mine was a stage 1, it was grade 3 (mostly 2 but some 3 cells) so he did consider it aggressive. Again, that doesn't mean it'll recur and spread. Only that if undiscovered and left alone it would have. But you had surgery so hopefully that's not an issue.

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

Did they tell you the size of your mass? Mine was 9cm, and I was asymptomatic until I had an issue a week before diagnosis. Mine was agressive, which in my case meant that at some point, it was growing rapidly. Could be that they saw signs of aggressive growth, but caught it early enough. Good luck and keep us posted.

Supersum's picture
Supersum
Posts: 103
Joined: Aug 2017

It is not clear whether your cancer has been biopsied to determine its exact nature or whether it has been classified as "aggressive" only because of its behaviour as determined through scans, but anyway there is a small chance the following information might be useful to you, especially as you say "I was a stage 2, aggressive" which seems to imply the tumor has been removed.

As far as I understand, a tumor with sarcomatoid differentiation is considered aggressive regardless of size, stage according to all staging systems, percentage of sarcomatoid differentation, and metastasis.

The World Health Organization/International Society of Urological Pathology grading system for clear cell renal cell carcinoma and papillary renal cell carcinoma classifies these carcinomas with any sign at all of sarcomatoid differentiation as a Grade 4, thereby totally ignoring size and spread.

This is one example of a type of RCC which will be considered to be aggressive in its nature with even the lowest possible TNM grade. There might be others.

Dear Bryn1108 if you want to know why your doctor says you have an aggressive cancer you will need to ask them to tell you exactly why they have given it this classification.

They might say it is a "normal" type cancer acting aggressively, in which case you might want to know what their measurement is of growth or spread, or they might say it is a type of cancer, such as sarcomatoid differentiation, which by its nature is aggressive without necessarily acting aggressively in your case at this time. If it is the latter they need to tell you exactly what type of cancer it is and you should write it down to make sure you are clear about what it is if this is something you want to know about.

Also, when you say you "have read that cancer grows only so much each year" and then mentioning that a cancer can "spread fast" you might be confusing two things whch are first the rate of tumor growth and second the rate of metastasis or spread.

In my own experience my tumor grew 1.2cm in the last four weeks before removal and I have seen a youtube survivor video in which the lady stated her tumor grew 1cm in the last month.

I do not know enough to provide information about the speed of spread at this stage but I assume it really could be anything.

The issue of tumor growth and metastasis speed notwithstanding, I will just remind you that it might be in the nature of your cancer that it is aggressive even with no tumor growth and no metastasis. This is something you need to clarify with your doctor and find out the exact nature of the cancer if it is something you want to know.

Then hopefully you can come back and tell us that my suggestion was wrong. 

 

 

Bryn1108's picture
Bryn1108
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank you Max57, lobbyist0724, Apny, ImNotDeadYet and Supersum.  I go this Monday for my 6 month checkup with my urologist who removed my kidney.  I'll find out what grade, and ask lots of questions.  I have frozen shoulder now, so am dealing with new matzo ball.  Big hugs to you all.

Bryn1108's picture
Bryn1108
Posts: 94
Joined: Jul 2017

So my 6 month checkup went great, :):). I had a 9.0cm size tumor, 

pT2aNXMX, not sure what all that means 

Supersum's picture
Supersum
Posts: 103
Joined: Aug 2017

"pT2aNXMX, not sure what all that means"

This refers to the cancer stage according to the TNM Staging System.

You can see it if you break it down into parts:

p  T2a   Nx  Mx

T describes the size of the original (primary) tumour and whether it has invaded nearby tissue,
N describes nearby (regional) lymph nodes that are involved,
M describes distant metastasis (spread of cancer from one part of the body to another).

 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

Bryn I k now it can be confusing. So you were stage II and what else did your Pathology report say? No lymph node involvement?

Any questions, ask your doctor or their PA to let you know what the numbers/letters mean in YOUR case.

We're here for you all the way! Hope to see you post NED (no evidence of disease) soon enough!

Hugs, Jan

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