I received the following from Jackie: We hope all is doing well. We have been receiving questions about JT so we figured we would fill you in on some details and hopefully help you understand what we understand. JT has been diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer. It was found when they removed a tumor we discovered he had last October. This tumor was biopsied and the results were “favors” benign. When we spoke with the Dr.’s at that time it wasn’t in their minds that we would be facing this. So at that time they asked us to make a decision to either check the growth of the tumor which started out at 1 inch in diameter every 6 months with ultrasound or have it removed as a precautionary measure. We weighed both options but felt really strongly to have it removed. So after a few months of decision making we had the tumor extracted (April 16th). It was attached to the left side of his thyroid so they had to remove that side with it. The surgery went well and JT is still mending from it. Then two weeks later we received the call from Dr. Manning with the results of the pathology report. Since then we have had a few phone conversations with him as well as Dr. Chiu. Both these doctors are very much involved and have been answering questions. So at this point we know that JT will undergo several scans and blood tests to see the extent of where the cancer is. Dr. Chiu told us that while JT only has half his thyroid, his brain is telling it to mass produce to make up for it. This could actually be spreading the cancerous cells. JT has started pill therapy to combat this. This particular type of cancer can metastasize anywhere but these two doctors believe it will target his lymph nodes, lungs, and then bones. Once they reach a conclusion as to where, they will remove the other half of his thyroid and whatever else needs to be removed to get rid of it. This surgery can only happen 90 days after the first surgery due to its location. This will put us around July 16. He will then start radiation and all that 6 weeks after his surgery. While doing radiation he will be quarantined to a lead room with no human contact until he is no longer radioactive. This could take up to 4 days. Then he will have to have more scans and tests to see where we stand. This will be a lifelong thing for him. He will be tested and scanned from then on to check for recurrence due to its target areas and the fact it has already been found in his system at such an early age. I have included a few exerts from information we have received from the Doctors at Seattle Children’s, as well as, information on a website called www.thyca.org . If you wish to check it out do so. Dr. Manning says it is very informative and will help us all become familiar with what we will be dealing with. · Follicular thyroid cancer, which is rare in children with an annual incidence of less than one per million, has been reported to demonstrate more aggressive characteristics and poorer prognosis due to vascular invasion. · Still, the prognosis is better for children than for their adult counterparts who present with a similar extent of disease. · . Follicular thyroid cancer is not very common in childhood. The primary tumor is usually a single lesion within the thyroid gland. Lymph node metastases can occur with less differentiated variants of follicular thyroid cancer but are not generally expected. It is associated with a worse prognosis (as compared to papillary thyroid carcinoma) due to its propensity for vascular invasion, which increases the risk of metastases to distant sites of the body, such as the lungs and bones. · Very few children die from this disease. Even those children with distant metastases at diagnosis can anticipate survival for years to decades. · The goals of treatment are to eliminate the disease and to reduce the chance of recurrence. · Sometimes the disease cannot be entirely eradicated, and therefore, another therapeutic goal is to achieve stable disease and no symptoms of disease. We feel very blessed that we have found this early on and will be able to manage it. We are a little scared and a lot shocked, but feel very strongly that the Lord will be with us and His will, will be done. We love all of you and hope that this will answer some of your questions. JT is feeling alright! He is experiencing light headedness, dizziness, fatigue, and is generally not feeling well. These feeling will hit him off and on and Dr. Chiu says they are normal and since he is starting treatments will continue for a while. On a good note JT is extremely excited to be going on a bear hunt with his dad, Grandpa Rosenbruch, and cousin Hunter. He and his dad have been out at the rifle range practicing and boy is he a great shot! JT has also opened up himself an email account if anyone would like to drop him a note I know he would appreciate it. His email is bearjt (at) live (dot) com.
I received the following from Jackie:
· The goals of treatment are to eliminate the disease and to reduce the chance of recurrence.