View Full Version : Could slow growing tumor actually be a detriment?

11-05-2004, 05:09 PM

My wife has IDC, 1cm, grade 1, and has had a lumpectomy and a failed SNB with no aux nodes taken (by her direction). The pathology showed the tumor to have lymphatic/vascular and neurological invasion. She is undergoing all of the imaging and tests right now and we meet with the Oncologist next week to go over everything.

Now I have a question that has just occurred to me.

Everyone says ?Great, you have a slow-growing tumor?, but doesn?t ?slow growing? actually mean that the tumor has been around longer? A fast growing cancer would reach 1cm much quicker than a slow one.

Now since she has this invasion of her various systems, doesn?t that mean that the slow growing tumor has had more time to invade her system? I keep thinking this, but everyone always says that slow growing is better.


11-05-2004, 05:50 PM

I also have a slow-growing tumor and I have wondered about this.

I had my first mammogram after I discovered my lump, so they have no baseline to compare. As a result, I don't know how long the lump was there. But they did advise chemo because of the size of the tumor and probably because it might have been sitting around for a long time. I would guess that in that regard it would be a "detriment."

I am also guessing that if I ever had a recurrence it might be easier to treat it and keep two steps ahead of the tumor growth. I would think a very fast-growing tumor would be harder to treat. Of course, this is just my guess.

It does irk me, though, when people keep saying aggressive vs. non-agressive tumor. To me, they are ALL aggressive if they are cancer because it's the same result if it travels to the lungs, liver or brain. It just might take longer?

I wish you and your wife the best.


Any thoughts on this, Dr. Leo?

11-07-2004, 02:16 AM

Regardless of how aggressive the tumor is, it is still treated equally. Invasive ductal carcinoma is always treated in an uniform fashion. Considering IDC a slow-growing tumor is ok, but it is relative to other tumors, so it does not really matter, in my mind. We know that it takes several years for a breast cancer to become palpable, and the molecular biology of these tumors can be quite variable, for eg ER/PR and HER2 status.

regards !