Staging the tumor

As I do further research on this thing, it just seems like the thing we need to be most worried about is not the size of the tumor, not so much on whether or not it has spread into adjacent structures, but whether or not any lymph nodes are involved.

Here’s how these things are staged.

A tumor 2cm or smaller is a T1.  Bigger than 2cm but smaller than 4cm, T2.  Bigger than 4cm, T3.  Tumor that invades nearby structures, like base of tongue, mandible, hard palate, etc., T4.

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Meet God’s Chosen People

I recall a great line from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“I know we’re God’s chosen people.  But once in awhile, couldn’t he choose someone else?”

I think my family has a right to feel that way.  My dad died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54 back in 1983.  My twin brother died of a stroke at age 49 in 2004.  My older brother died of lung cancer at age 54 in 2008. My oldest sister died of cancer at age 57 in 2009. Cancer has struck other members of my family as well.

And now, it’s come ’round by our house.

Dec. 24, 2011 -- Our final pre-cancer Christmas. Oh, she had the cancer. At least, she was already having the earache and sore throat. We just didn't know what it was.

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