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Need an explanation Need an explanation

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Unread 08-29-2002, 06:57 PM
Need an explanation

I've spent the last couple of days signing releases and gathering up all my films and records to take to the radiation oncologist who wll do my brachytherapy. Today I read a report from one doctor that said my cancer cells were "poorly differentiated". Can someone explain what this means exactly?

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Unread 08-29-2002, 08:04 PM
Need an explanation

s Adrienne

Basically it is just a tumor grade.
I found this definition on a google search:

Once cancer has been confirmed, the pathologist tries to determine how closely the cancer cells resemble healthy, mature cells. Such cells are said to be differentiated. Cancer cells that do not look like their healthy counterparts are called undifferentiated, or, because they often look like very immature cells, primitive. The pathologist assigns a pathological grade to a tumor according to how aggressive the tissue looks under the microscope. Tumor grades can be expressed in words or
by a number. One set of terms consists of well differentiated (grade 1), moderately differentiated (grade 2), poorly differentiated (grade 3), or undifferentiated (grade 4). When tumors are graded by number (1 through 4), a grade-1 tumor has a better natural history than a grade-4 tumor does.

Unread 08-29-2002, 09:55 PM
Need an explanation

Thank you, Karenann. So, "poorly differentiated" matches my tumor's stage, which was Stage IIIc. Reading the technical description sortof blew me out of my "everything's going to be ok" mindset--but just for today. I just finished a little talk with the Big Guy, and I have a better outlook now. I'm not going to let this get to me.

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Unread 08-30-2002, 07:09 AM
Talking with the "Big Guy"

I said a er for you too. Now--go give anything left over in you that brachytherapy and scare those "poor" cells right out of there. Look out cells--you don't know what's about to hit you and you don't want to know--but Adrienne, you keep us posted--we want to know how you're doing!

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