Monday, February 13, 2012

Oncology Update

I wrote this a few days ago on the health/help website we are using to let all my dad's friends and family and such know what's going on. It's Lotsa Helping Hands. It has an area where we can ask people to help, like with a ride or an errand, or a meal. It's really cool. This is my entry from last week...

Today we met with Doctor Ku in the Oncology department. She is very knowledgeable in these particular kinds of situations and cancers and we are happy to be under her care.

So here's what we know.
HE DOES NOT HAVE MULTIPLE MYELOMA AT THIS TIME. This is incredibly good news. We celebrated with Chinese food for dinner.
He will only need radiation and NO CHEMOTHERAPY, WHOOP WHOOP!
The tumor was diagnosed as a Solitary plasmacytomas, which was removed and the radiation will be focused just on the area to make sure all the cells are irradicated. He is now officially diagnosed with MGUS (Monocolonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance), which is Myeloma related, but not nearly as serious.
He does not have the full indicators within the parameters that would indicate true Multiple Myeloma or even Smouldering Myeloma.

What that means...

The basics: his plasma cells do have an imbalance, the tumor was a collection of those cell and was indeed malignant, however, he may never have an incidence of this nature again. Since MGUS can be a precursor to Myeloma, he will be closely monitored for changes in blood, plasma, calcium, and other areas. 40% of people diagnosed with MGUS never develop Multiple Myeloma.

There is a more technical explanation below for those interested and also a website however, not everything on the internet regarding MGUS is accurate to Richard's situation. He's just unique.:)

It is still unknown how long his radiation treatments will take. We meet with that department next week.

We are all relieved by his immediate prognosis. He continues to improve everyday, however, his stamina still isn't what it used to be. Continued prayer for the healing of the surgical sites is appreciated.

These are taken directly from here: ledGuide/multiple-myeloma-what-is-multiple-myeloma
From the American Cancer Society website,

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance

In monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), abnormal plasma cells produce excess amounts of a monoclonal antibody protein. However, these plasma cells do not form an actual tumor or mass and do not cause any of the other problems seen in multiple myeloma. MGUS usually does not affect a person's health. In particular, it doesn't cause weak bones, high calcium levels, kidney problems, or low blood counts. It is most often found because a routine blood test finds a high level of protein in the blood and further testing shows the protein is a monoclonal immunoglobulin. In MGUS, the number of plasma cells may be increased, but they still make up less than 10% of the cells in the bone marrow.

Over time, many people with MGUS eventually develop multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or a disease called amyloidosis. The rate of this happening is about 1% per year. The risk of this happening is higher in people whose protein levels are particularly high. Patients with MGUS don't need treatment, but they are watched closely to see if they get a disease that does need to be treated, such as multiple myeloma.

Recently, scientists have studied the genes of the plasma cells in patients with MGUS. They found that the genetic make-up of these plasma cells resembles myeloma plasma cells more than it resembles normal plasma cells. This suggests that these cells are truly malignant, not just slow growing. Because, in general, people with MGUS are elderly, they may not live long enough for it to transform into myeloma.

Solitary plasmacytomas

This is another type of abnormal plasma cell growth. Rather than many tumors in different locations as in multiple myeloma, there is only one tumor, hence the name solitary plasmacytomas.

Most often, a solitary plasmacytoma develops in a bone, where it may be called an isolated plasmacytoma of bone. When a plasmacytoma starts in other tissues (such as the lungs or the lining of the sinuses, throat, or other organs), it is called an extramedullary plasmacytoma. Solitary plasmacytomas are most often treated with radiation therapy. Sometimes surgery may be used for a single extramedullary plasmacytoma. As long as no other plasmacytomas are found later on, the patient's outlook is usually excellent. However, since many people with a solitary plasmacytoma will develop multiple myeloma, these people are watched closely for signs of this disease.

Last Medical Review: 08/04/2011
Last Revised: 01/17/2012

1 comment:

aarong said...

Knowledge is good! Knowledge with a very hopeful prognosis=PRICELESS!! I love you! Thanks for the update!