Necrotic Tumor

Last Modified: January 24, 2012

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Question

My doctor said that my tumor was the same size on the CT scan, but that it looked "necrotic" and he said this was a good thing. How could it be good if my tumor didn't get smaller since starting chemo?

Answer

Christine Hill-Kayser, MD, Radiation Oncologist, responds:

Necrosis is another way of saying that the tumor cells look as if they are dying. This is indeed a good thing because it implies that the chemotherapy has killed many of the cells within the tumor.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Interpreting Test Results transcript.