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Avoiding statistics.......?

Guest hearrean

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Guest hearrean

I am still waiting to start my treatments which hopefully will still be this week. Of course I still have to get the port put in.

But anyway, the real subject of this post is how to avoid the stats that are all over the place. (Everyone says to avoid the stats & I try so very hard to do so). But I am the type of person who believes in researching all that I can about this disease; what's new in treatments, drugs, etc. Invariably when doing so, I come across what seems to be a good article and then wham! hidden in the text are those dreaded stats. A good example of this is last night; I had been hearing some positive things about Avastin in combo with other Chemo agents. So I decided to "Google" it to learn more about it and if it would apply in my case. Just about every link talked about this being a break-thru drug that was extending lives & how excited the medical industry was in coming up with this drug. And then low & behold, here come the stats, talking about how in recent studies the drug had been shown to extend lives by as much as 2-3 months! This was hardly something for me to get excited about. So my point is that it's almost not worth even researching anything about this disease because, for me, seeing the stats (that pop up out of nowhere) does not help in me keeping a positive mental outlook like we all know we need to do.

I know there are no definitive answers to this, but I just wanted to share my dilema & concerns.


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Ken, I really understand where you are coming from. I did lots of research for my sister too. She would not read anything...She left everything up to her doctor to tell her. I wish she could have been a survivor, but that was not God's plan for her. It may very well be God's plan for you though. Keep coming to this site and read the good news and take the bad news with a grain of salt. There are so many here that care about you and want to help you get through this. You can do this...just take things one day at a time. People do survive this.



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Hey Ken, I've been there, done that myself!!!! When researching pancoast tumors it was grimmer than grim reading ~ that was for sure. My wonderful husband even begged me to stop researching and reading all the bad 'stuff' over and over and over again. But somewhere in my mind it must have occurred to me (probably subconsciously back then) that there were those on the GOOD side of the stats and I guess I was just naive enough to believe I could be on of them.

There is no getting around those numbers and it is important to be armed with all the info you can get. You just must find some way to tuck those numbers someplace where they won't be staring you in the face each day. Maybe look at is this way......if 20% of people blah, balh, blah..........you just assume you are in that group and not the 80% that don't respond or whatever. I know this is all much easier said than done, but you're doing great and no reason that you shouldn't continue to defy those blasted numbers. Sorry we all have to face them. Just remember those right here on this board who are beating them every day......and I am one of them.

Good luck.


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Hi, Ken:

Keep in mind that x-number of months is an average (median?) for a very large number of people. A few will get no benefit at all and may even be harmed, a considerable number will get somewhere around x-number of months benefit, and another group will get far more benefit and some of them may still be alive when the study ends. Expectations count, so expect to be in that third group!

Maybe you can't avoid seeing/hearing the statistics, but with more complete knowledge of how they're determined and who actually needs them (Medicare, FDA, etc.) you'll realize they can't be directly applied to any one individual such as you or me.



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Ken, I understand completely - hence my post in SCLC yesterday. I am an obsessive researcher as well, and, the negative information just destroys me sometimes.

I have a couple of tricks to deal with it - one, I have researched some very positive articles about long term survivors - people who have lived for 5, 10 years or more. Those I have saved to my hard drive and a couple of them printed - I carry one of the printed ones with me, so, if I am, say, on an airplane, and that cold sweat comes over me - you know the one I mean, when LUNG CANCER just hits your psyche very hard - I pull out the article, I read it, it sends the fear back in its cage. I have to admit that sometimes I read the same article six times in the same day, just so that I can feel better.

Then, I try to read as many survivor stories as possible. This helps me more than anything else - real people who have actually come through this.

Also, when I read stories/posts about people who are not doing so well, typically I can find some differentiating issue that allows me to intellectualize that they are not me and so their outcome is not going to be MY outcome. Usually this is going to be something like they still smoke and I don't, or, they are 20 years older, or, they have other serious health problems. I know that soumds terribly unfair - and I intend no ill will to anyone else, and I certainly don't want to be judgmental re people who smoke post-diagnosis (and I certainly do NOT want to be cheering myself on and not someone else), but, I offer this strictly as a "silent" coping mechanism. It helps me feel better, temporarily.

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Hi Ken,

I don't know what the answer is to avoid the statistics but do your research, as you said somehow the numbers keep poping in there.


I have learned to read quickly over the statistics when I see them. Yes I know what the numbers state, but I have decided to concentrate on me - not the people in the studies. I always remind myself that the numbers are typically very outdated.

I also have been blessed to have read about many survivors here that have far exceeded the statistics and know that there is HOPE for each of us.

By the way, I am also one of those survivors that had Avastin almost 2 years ago and I am still cancer free. I could have fit into the 2-3 month range - but I don't.....

All my best,


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One more thought on this subject of those stats, remember the length of time the drug has been out. Avastin is not that old and the combinations of treatments adding Avastin is changing constantly, it seems. So, that being taken into account, it appears the drug and or combinations haven't been used long enough to create very accurate stats . I think it will take more time to get the full picture. Another, way to look at the two to three month scenario is that every day is another day to bring us closer to a cure for this disease. The longer a patient can fight the closer they are to a cure being found.

Keep up the positive thoughts and never forget that there are no two cases alike and no stage of cancer that hasn't been cured.


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