Thursday, January 04, 2007

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0407 - MRI: Off Again, On Again

Magnetic resonance imaging provides a superior diagnostic tool to CT scans. And so it appears that my off again, on again MRI follow-up will actually occur next Monday rather than the end of March 2007. The rationale is this. Even though I had a colonoscopy and biopsy in late November in which the pathologist's report stated unequivocally that there was no recurrent cancer in the sample, my medical oncologist wants to be sure. The biopsy and the colonoscopy deal with the interior of the bowel wall, just by the nature of the procedure itself. The MRI will, theoretically at least, allow a good cross-section of the outside of the anastomosis to be revealed to my medical team.

I'm not sure what to think at this point. I'm pleased that my oncologists are so thorough. But I'm also becoming a little nervous again. What if the MRI offers evidence of suspicious tissue on the outside of the bowel wall? Will this mean another biopsy, perhaps a needle biopsy in order to sample tissue from outside the wall? It will be about another ten days from now until I've had another blood test taken and the medical oncologist consults with me about the results of the MRI.

Another reason for concern (again, I'm jumping to conclusions already) is that needle aspiration biopsies have been linked with an increased likelihood of spreading cancer because of the biopsy (fine needle aspiration cytology or FNAC). Sometimes, the suspected tissue is sampled using a combination of a fine needle aspiration technique in which the needle is guided during a CT scan.

OK. So there it is. 2007 starts with another cancer concern, one that, admittedly, may turn out to be absolutely nothing. But...

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