PTEN…the gift that just keeps on giving.
Seriously. It can stop now.
After some research and discussion, we believe that my father is most likely the one that passed on the PTEN mutation to me. He fits many of the physical criteria–high-arch palate, lipomas, skin tumors and cancers, colon cancer, etc–and so there seems to be a high probability that he carries the mutation.
And now he also has a new symptom, bladder cancer. Although not included in many of the lists for cancers related to Cowden Syndrome, new research is apparently connecting it to the PTEN mutation as well, at least according to my genetic counselor. The counselor emphatically stated that for a patient to have both colon and bladder cancer–with me as a family member, of course–both of his cancers were probably caused by the PTEN mutation.
So my fellow PTEN’ers and researchers, add bladder cancer to your list of things to be wary of.
And as far as my father’s cancer is concerned, I am grateful to say that his was Stage 0, Grade 1. They caught it early, and it is not an aggressive form of cancer. If you have to have cancer, then that’s the best news that you can get.
He’s already had the surgery to remove the tumor, and he most likely will not have to have any further treatment other than regular follow-ups.
So good and bad news continues in my family. Still more cancer, but my dad was very lucky this time. And I am happy to have him in my life for awhile longer.