how fast highgrade cancer cell can grow?

Hi,
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on August 13, 2010, and I had surgery ten day later. I was staged at 3C, high grade.
The doctor, who is a gynecologic oncologist, told me after surgery that he removed all visible tumors and the result was 99% optimal debulking. Last week I had another CT scan (4weeks after surgery) before I start chemo. The CT scan showed that behind the sigmoid colon there are two tumors. One is 1.70cm x 1.30cm, and the second is 0.9cm x 0.7cm. When I asked the doctor whether the cancer was left behind from surgery, or if it was new grow. He said it could be rapidly growing from the sand like cancer or it could be scar tissue from surgery. I know doctors rarely admit mistakes. I am confused and scared. I am scheduled to have the first Taxol/ Carbo IV chemotherapy this Wednesday. Hopefully, chemo drugs can kill the tumors. Can high grade tumor grow that fast?

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I developed a new tumor only 5 weeks after my surgery, so it can happen (though mine wasn't high grade). I know you are scared, I was too. My tumor caused a bowel blockage and also caused my bladder to shut down. I couldn't believe it when the Dr. told me the cancer was back and it was inoperable. The important thing now is to get started with your chemo ASAP. Has the doctor discussed this with you? My chemo took care of the new tumor pretty quickly. It's two years later and I am still here. Don't give up. It's still possible to get to remission.
So sorry you are going through this, but hang in there.
Sending you prayers and positive thoughts ...
Stephanie

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Thank you very much. I pray everything goes well with you too.

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I have stage 3 high grade as well. I don't know how fast it can grow, but I can tell you I should have known about my tumor for at least a year -- when they removed it, it was the 4cm "implant" I had felt for that long. It doesn't really matter, though. I got on my carbo/taxol within two weeks of my debulking surgery and it's gone. "Complete response." Carbo is good stuff. And high grade cancer dies MUCH faster than low grade -- I was in clinical remission after one round of carbo/taxol. Have faith and try not to worry about woulda/coulda/shoulda. Get through your chemo and get on with your life.

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Thank you very much for your encouragement.

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I would ask him what he meant by 99 percent debulking. Optimal debulking is a term that should mean 100 percent by definition (all visible tumors greater than 1 cm I believe is the definition, with smaller cells that are there from seeding remaining). So by qualifying "optimal debulking", I wonder if he realized he did not get all the visible tumors?

Agree, get on with chemo, it will make you feel better! at least a bit more in control.

Linda

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I know my Germ cell tumor grew fast. I had a MRI saying it was 8-9 and three weeks later it had grown a lot bigger till they went to debulk.

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On June 6,2009 I had surgery. My ovarian cancer was stage 4. My surgical oncologist told me right away he could only remove the large masses. One Centemeter of everything else will be left behind. I also had cancerous fluid from my pelvis to around my lungs. He was able to remove a lot of the fluid,but I still had fluid around one lung and in my pelvis. I had a 2nd operation where they put 3 tubes in my chest to extract the fluid. It didn't help so they put talc which eventually absorbed the fluid from around my lung. He said the chemo should hopefully get the rest. He told me right away that mine was not curable and it would not go into remission, but it's fixable with the chemo "whatever that means." I started with a ca125 of 4,000, and after a little more than a year, I'm down to 84. I'm taking Taxol and Carboplatin.

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5 weeks following my debulking surgery where they removed a 14 cm tumor a 7 cm tumor grew back. I started chemo at that point and now it is about 2 cm and shrinking :) Grade 3 cells. My Doctor left nothing but a few "millet" seed places during the surgery so yes, I do think it can grow back quickly!

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I do know that fast growing CA responds better to chemo. I had extremely aggressive BR CA 22 years ago with a very poor prognosis....the 22 years says it all! I now have hi grade peritoneal. I am presently on maintenance Avastin with NoEvidenceofDisease (NED), after my 2nd round of chemo. I had my tumor assayed after both surgeries and highly recommend having that done.

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@mimi25 - what does "assayed" mean?

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Yes, please do explain "assayed". I have read posts and I have several books but I'd like to hear it from a sister!

Thanks

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With my debulking they did an abdominal wash to get any cancer that they couldn't see. they also did 18 biopsies - thankfully all were benign. At some point during chemo they found a spot by the vaginal cuff. we decided to watch it - the gynecological oncology surgeon said it was probably scar tissue. He appears to be right - 1 1/2 years after chemo - the spot has not grown. I was stage 3 - although that is unclear because i had 2 chemos before they did surgery and the tumor was in the omentum, but nothing in the ovaries. a chance that it started in the omentum - which means it's not stage 3 - I choose to believe this scenario. Carbopltinum - Taxel seems to have done it's job.

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I'm going to say I doubt it grew this fast. They might have missed it...they can use it though as a marker to see how the chemo is working. Don't worry, I think the chemo will wipe it out!

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Thank you everybody for very valuable information and encouragements. I really appreciate it.

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Assayed means that a lab tests your tumors to see which chemos will work (see all the discussions by gpawlewski (spelling?). I had my testing done at various labs. If I have it done again, I would insist that it be done at Dr. Nagourney's clinic in California (Rational Therapeutics). He uses "fresh" (can't have been frozen or in wax) samples and uses a different method from the ones I had done. I feel that the assays saved me from experimental drugs to see which ones MIGHT work. The tests I had done obviously did help me obtain the right protocol. Maybe my doc will send away to all the different labs (should I need it again).
Hopes this simplified explanation helps.
Mimi25

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