Sunday, July 12, 2009

No, I don't have cancer

Since I posted that last entry about the micro tumor cells in my blood, I’ve gotten lots of e-mails and phone calls from other cancer survivors, patients, friends, and concerned strangers. So first off, let me answer the question I’ve gotten most:

No!  I don’t have cancer again!  I have no tumors or cancers anywhere in my body.  What I do have are “micro tumor cells” in my blood still.  It’s very low-level and doctors here in the States wouldn’t even find them with the tests they do here.  I sent samples of my blood to Greece, and that’s how they were spotted. My doctor at The Klinik in Germany has started me on a new treatment to get rid of them (see my last post). I get scanned again in three weeks, and then I’ll send more blood to Greece for another blood test.

I will continue to do this until my blood is clear of everything... except Vodka.

The other big question is about that micro tumor cell blood test. Lots of people are  asking me whether the test is legal in the States-- and where can they get tested?

I’ve sent everyone the information on The Klinik and my doctor in Germany. 

I’ve also been e-mailing this article I found online:
Microchip Based Device can Analyze Cancer Cells in a Blood Sample

    A team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital Biomicroelectromechanical Systems     (BioMEMS) Resource Center and the MGH Cancer Center has developed a microchip-based device that can isolate, enumerate and analyze circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a blood sample. CTCs are viable cells from solid tumors carried in the bloodstream at a level of one in a billion cell. Because of their rarity and fragility, it has not been possible to get information from CTCs that could help clinical decision-making, but the new device – called the “CTC-chip,”– has the potential to be an invaluable tool for monitoring and guiding cancer treatment.

Read the whole article here: here.

And to answer the question of whether the test is done in the States, here’s how the article ends:

    Considerable work needs to be done before the CTC-chip is ready to be put to clinical use, and the MGH investigators are establishing a Center of Excellence in CTC Technologies to further explore the potential of the device, which also has been licensed to a biotechnology company for commercial development.

They've been doing this blood test in Greece and other countries in Europe for years.

I had my blood drawn here in Los Angeles, sent it to Greece, and the results were then forwarded to my doctor at The Klinik.