Ok so I have a question for all the awesome brain tumor warriors out there...
I was diagnosed back in December 2011 with an "unusual" stage 2/3 astrocytoma. The diagnosis came after a full resection of my 6x4cm tumor. The tumor on radiology reports was classified as high grade (3 or 4 they estimated). It was unusual per the pathology reports because it was majority stage two, had some findings consistent with stage 3 (mitosis) and some rare findings of stage 4/gbm (necrosis). Overall they staged it as the unusual 2/3 and none of the three pathologists I sent it too wanted to commit to a straight higher grade.
My team at Hopkins (neuro oncologist, neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist) have all agreed with a "watch and wait" approach in regards to further treatments. It was also presented to the tumor board which also agreed. My oncologist was the least optimistic of the group telling me it would for sure come back and be more aggressive but he still did not think chemo was/is appropriate at this time. Radiation onco was along the same lines saying immediate radiation after full resection vs radiation when it grows has not proved to have significant differences in overall survival (whatever that may be...).
After talking to other people in similar circumstances I am now worried that we are being too passive with this approach and maybe a more aggressive treatment, while sucky now, would be better in the long run.
I go in for my three month MRI soon and will hopefully be able to discuss this in more detail with my doc but my surgeon, whom I love and am thankful for every day that he was able to remove the tumor, is probably the most optimistic of them all (and I'm all for optimism but not if it puts me at risk) and he has almost no fears of a reoccurance (gotta love surgeons and their "god" complexes, if they fixed something then its fixed for good in their eyes!) and I am only following with my surgeon at this time...since I'm not doing chemo/radiation.
Sorry to ramble on and on but I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences.