Sunday, March 21, 2010

Realities of Rare Cancers

By now I thought I would be involved in chemo and radiation. And I should be. However, the reality is that a treatment protocol for duodenal cancer does not exist because of the rarity of this form of cancer. So I'm waiting for an appointment and assessment at a much larger cancer center. They are supposed to design a treatment program that will be given to the regional cancer center so I can be treated locally.

Imagine my shock when I kept my first appointment at the cancer center only to be told "We don't know what to do with you because your form of cancer is so rare." One source I found on the internet said that fewer than 7000 cases of duodenal cancer were reported in 2007. I can't imagine that anyone is doing research on a cancer affecting so few patients. My best hope will be to become a participant in a clinical trial.

In the meantime, I sit here waiting. Anyone know any bald jokes?

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