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survival ?


elkiesmom

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My husband just got his hands on an article that said if they caught the lung cancer early the survival rate is only 5 years. From what I wrote below you all know that the size of his tumor is 10cm but they do not think it has spread according to the pet scan.He will have surgery this month and chemo to follow. I don't need him to give up so this is between this board and me. he needs to stay positive. I have seen some of your sigs and they seem hopeful. Please help.

Lorrie

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I just found this that might help my husband.

lorrie

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Many patients live much longer than 5 years after diagnosis, and 5-year rates are used to produce a standard way of discussing prognosis. Five-year relative survival rates exclude from the calculations patients dying of other diseases, and are considered to be a more accurate way to describe the prognosis for patients with a particular type and stage of cancer. Of course, 5-year survival rates are based on patients diagnosed and initially treated more than 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment often result in a more favorable outlook for recently diagnosed patients.

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Statistics will not define us. that is one of the fight themes for our family. I have already beat the statistics by staying alive for a year from diagnosis for maliganant plueral effusion with mets to the pericardium. you are right, Lorrie, that your husband needs to stay positive and determined. Sounds like he has a great person (you) to help him out. We are all waiting and praying for a cure but we do not wait without action. Stay in there with the encouragement. praying for you both pammie

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Please, please tell your husband those statistics are not reliable. They refer to reults of older studies and lump people together regardless of other characteristics that might make their experience very different.

For instance, when I was first diagnosed in January as stage iv and I told my onc all the alarming statistics I'd read on the internet he reminded me that I was relatively younger than many of the people in the studies, I had otherwise really good health, whereas many of them had other conditions already like heart disease or emphesyma, and I had the benefit of new therapies and techniques not available even five years ago.

Here I am six months later, feeling great, haven't had a sick day thanks to new meds (Iressa and Tarceva) and I have finally forgotten to be afraid every day.

Don't let those old numbers spook you. Your husband is an individual and his cancer experience will be what it will be for him - not what a bean-counter says it will be! There are lots of people on this site who have proven statistics wrong. Your husband can benefit from many of the new treatments that are being researched right now.

Hang in there!

Leslie

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I am sure it is not uncommon for stage 1 surviors to live 20 years or more beyond diagnosis. They usually die of something else like old age. At least, in my experience, I know of one old lady who died of old age and had only one lung for the previous 20 years.

There is not any hard data that I knpow of for long term survival. I don't thing the medical community tracks it. They stick with the 5 year thing.

Don M

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Don is right. It's not that early stage lung cancer patients only survive for 5 years, its just that they stop tracking it after that time. My grandfather had lung cancer which was surgically removed when he was in his early 70's, and he died of unrelated illnesss at the age of 89. He would have been recorded in the statistics as being a 5 year survivor, because he was still alive after 5 years. You will find that there are many long term survivors of early stage lung cancer, so tell your husband to be hopeful!!

Karen

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We are all here working to help the doctors help us to find ways to beat the cancer. I think that at this point in time, with all the current focus on lung cancer, there is a good chance ther will be a better remission rate.

The new CURE magazine has a section devoted to lung cancer, it is very helpful. It is free to patients.

You just have to keep at it. Good luck/be praying for your husband during his surgery.

joyce

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Thankyou all for words of encouragement. I have read them all to Gary and he is feeling so much better. I really have to moniter his reading materal. He just went out side to fix a fence thanks to Hurricane Dennis. We are also thankful that we were only on the central gulf area of florida but we are still getting nasty weather. God bless any of you living in the panhandle.

Lorrie

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It's so nice to get feedback that your words have made someone feel better. Thank YOU for letting us enjoy the gift of helping others.

In the early months after diagnosis, when I still understood very little about my disease and was still very frightened, it seemed that most of the info I found on the net only made me feel more scared and hopeless. My husband and friend (who survived colon cancer) said, "Don't read so much right now. Give it a rest." I felt better when I stopped for a month or two.

Now, most everything I read gives me hope and more confidence that we will all benefit from all the new research. Not lucky to get cancer, that's for sure; but lucky to get it NOW when the tide is starting to turn against the disease and in favor of the person fighting it.

You're a strong and loving wife and friend to your husband. That's a great gift to him and, with you supporting him, he will do so much better on the journey.

Hope Dennis passes by you without much more damage. Good luck to all the folks in its path!

Leslie

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As the others have said LC statistics are way outdated... pay no attention to them.. Your hubby needs to read the book by Richard Block (of H & R block) he recently passed away many, many years after having his lung removed. (not LC related by the way). I liked his book. It was qucik and easy to read and it made me feel much better.. I read it several times.

We have several surviors here that are passed the 5 yr mark. I'm a 1 "lunger" who just passed 3 yrs and don't expect to have any problems sailing past 5 yrs myself. Also read the bio on our own David P. under my story. He has been a 1 "lunger" for many years.

Keep a positive attitude and don't pollute your mind with any of that other junk!!

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I'm with everyone else on this. My Gran's cancer was not caught early. She did do chemo but she was diagnosed (this is what my family tell me) with stage iv NSCLC and lived for nearly another 8 years. It wasn't even LC that killed her! Now my gran was old when she died and this was years ago when the treatments weren't so good.

Statistically speaking I should be about 130 lbs for my height. I just can't make those statistics fit!

Dee

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I can tell you my opinion on statistics based on experience.....

Throw them right out the window !!! If you do as I did, and read all the statistics, you'll be an absolute wreck! Each patient is different....treatment is different and response is different!

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Hi Lorrie,

We communicated back and forth on another group line. I find this one much better. I Have been thru the same thing your husband is feeling . I have been panicking my self sick for 11 months now. But after I came here I have a better feeling. I wish I had never gotten hold of alot of the material I got last year after I was first diagnoised. I have found myself feeling better just from reading about these people on here . They sure make me feel better. I am praying for your Husband and you ,I know his surgey is coming up soon. Sandie

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My thoughts about survival are about the goal I set for myself when I was first diagnosed -- to maximize my survival. To survive a week, I must survive a day - 7 times. To survive a month, I must survive a week, 4 times. To survive a year, I must survive a month, 12 times. And on it goes.

I don't really stop to count days or compare myself to a set of statistics, because you can find statistics out there that pretty much say what you want them to say.

Cancer is a huge, life altering event, to say the least. Try concentrating on keeping yourself in the percentage, whatever that is, of those who survive. Just make it 1 more day than some say you "should," and you've already beaten the stats!!

Sorry you have to be going through this. Please try not to take every single thing you read or hear as fact. You'll find your way just as the rest of us do -- one step at a time.

My best wishes to you.

Di

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I just refuse to be a statistic. I have never been one, I have always, reached outside the box. I have strove to be someone that doesn;t have limitations, or fit into lifes sterotypes. So I look at this disease, this way, that I refuse to fit into the mold of 3-5 years. I will fight to stay and prove them wrong. I have already exceeded the expectations. PLEASE oh please. do not get caught up in how long...Focuse on exceeding that and living really living, like its just a chronic illness...and who knows a CURE just may be out there and I want to be here when it arrives..Best wishes to you....gina

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Hi Lorrie,

We communicated back and forth on another group line. I find this one much better. I Have been thru the same thing your husband is feeling . I have been panicking my self sick for 11 months now. But after I came here I have a better feeling. I wish I had never gotten hold of alot of the material I got last year after I was first diagnoised. I have found myself feeling better just from reading about these people on here . They sure make me feel better. I am praying for your Husband and you ,I know his surgey is coming up soon. Sandie

Thank you Sandie

I to am so glad that I came to this board. What great advise we are getting. These people are truly the best. We can learn a great deal from them. At another time i have to address the fears I have but that will be later.

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I'm another success story that will not allow anyone to make me a statistic. I wear my lcsc tee shirt - I am not a statistic - with great pride and have seen a number of people wait for me to pass to read the back too.

I didn't read any of the cancer numbers while I was sick and none of my drs ever brought up my chances of survival......I was, and still am, thankful to wake up every morning!

I have planned to not wake up one day when I'm VERY old........there is still payback for my daughters teenage years to collect on!!!

My best to you and your husband

Geri

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I totally agree with what everyone is saying about ignoring the statistics, and that everyone is an individual, and will respond uniquely to the illness and its treatments.

But, I think the point that really needs to be hammered home in this example is that the statistics refer to people living BEYOND 5 years. If the 5 year survival rate for lung cancer (all stages) is 15%, then that DOES NOT mean that those people ONLY survive for 5 years! It means they live AT LEAST 5 years, often many, many more. I think the confusion arising here is grammatical in nature. The main reasons the statisticians only follow cancer patients for 5 years, is that there is a presumption that if you have survived for 5 years, then it is likely that something other than your cancer will be responsible for your ultimate demise!!

So, if your husband is stage 1, and stage 1 has a 5 year survival of, say, 60% (I don't know what the actual figure is), then, statistically, he has a 60% chance of still being here in 5 years time. And if he is still here in 5 years time, then the very strong likelihood is that he has beaten this cancer, and will be sticking around alot longer than that!

Hope this helps,

Karen

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I know I am a little late in posting this but just wanted to put my 2cents in. As Eveyone has said throw those numbers right out the window. They are outdated. The 25th of this month will be my three year mark. I feel great, and work everyday. If I had believed the statistics or what the drs. said, I would not be writing this now. I stayed positive and, I told myself everyday, I'm gonna beat this.

Best Wishes,

Dee

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