It's been five years and throughout that time my two docs have had different opinions on my tumor size and treatment. My AN was diagnosed by Portsmouth Naval Hospital (PNH) and I was treated at the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2003 with the Gamma Knife procedure.
Since then, every year, both hospitals have had different opinions on my tumor size and treatment options. The military docs (PNH) have been satisfied that the tumor was slowing in growth and wanted to watch and wait. UVA wanted to retreat since the tumor wasn't shrinking after three years. I disagreed. I wanted to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt (a few millimeters wasn't going to do it for me), that the tumor was growing before I would choose to readdress treatment options.
Well, this year BOTH hospitals have come to the same conclusion and tumor size and agree to just monitor it AMEN to that!! The moral of my story is to be an ACTIVE and EDUCATED patient. Express how you feel and bring your research data and show the docs even if they don't want to see it. Follow your gut you just may be right.
I pray that next year the tumor stays the same, I hate the annual MRI's but it was sure a breath of fresh air to read in today's mail a letter from UVA that stated: "Given the fact that that the tumor has remained stable and Mr. (Gary) is without symptoms, we can continue to monitor the tumor with MRI's." As a final note UVA was the hospital that last year, suggested re-treatment and hinted that the tumor treatment with GK had failed. I called and talked with the doctors and questioned the conflicting MRI readings and I have them all and read my own before my last appointment! They had agreed to watch and wait until this year.