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How much do you buy into this? My boss was talking to me today and she is knowledgable about medical issues because she has defended tons of doctors and hospitals in med mal cases, and of course some cancer related.

She commented to me that the low 5 year survival rate statistics for lung cancer are outdated because they are taken from a few years back, over a 5 year span when treatments were different and chemo was never considered before and after surgery; and in general chemo treatments were just much different that long ago. She said that it is impossible to get an accurate statistic for 2003/2004 for 5 year survival b/c so much has changed and therefore not enough time to do an accurate study.

That kind of made sense to me. Or maybe I just wanted it to make sense so I let it.

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Sounds like a plausible conclusion...

I know when my oncologist explained the (low) statistics to me, he ALSO followed up with the fact that ANY cause of death during the five year time span studied was basically attributed to cancer, even if it was not related to the cancer (i.e. car accident, heart attack, etc.). Sounds to me like the statistics are skewed (screwed?) all around...

Kinda follows along the lines of the college placement boasts - if a college brags of "92% placement" but does NOT specify placement as "in field of study", ANY job is considered "placement".... For example, if a student is studying to be a teacher and cannot find a job as a teacher yet still NEEDS money (novel thought) and gets a job flipping burgers, they are considered "placed". Not exactly what the statistics have prospective students thinking.....

Would be nice to have a generalized updated number or two...but why limit yourself due to what "they" say? Let's all assume the 5-year survivor stats are at least 98% and avoid those random beer trucks!


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Guest Karen C

Well, Dave's philosphy has been from the day he was diagnosed that statistics don't apply to him. if the five year survival rate is 10% then why not be in the 10%? But also, I hate to say this because it sounds so unsympathetic towards older people, but so many deaths are older people who had other health issues which inhibited their ability to fight the lung cancer. In addition to, as Becky pointed out, if you die during that period, even from a car accident, you didn't survive lung cancer for five years.

I told Dave if you just took people between the ages of 30 and 40 (he was 38 at diagnoses) who got limited SCLC and looked at their five year survival rates, you'd have a whole different perspective.

But the bottom line is, no matter what the statistics say, never let statistics rule your own personal outlook. It never means you're doomed.

Karen C. (Dave C's wife)

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Agree 100% with your boss, new treatment methods and technologies are way outpacing statistical studies; It's only my opinion, not based on any fact but I like it!!! :)

God bless and be well

Bobmc- NSCLC- stageIIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

MRI's taken 12/18/03 - 2 brain mets found- named em Frick & Frack

PET taken 1/5 - hot spot in mediastinum May be cancer??

"Absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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I have to agree about not looking at the statistics as they are now. I know that after my surgery I was reading everything I could get my hands on about my type of lung cancer and stage and I just about gave up after reading about the survival rate for stage llla. It made me very depressed and scared. Something to watch out for.

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I absolutely agree -- I recently attended a session with an oncologist specializing in lung cancer and he said virtually the same thing -- some of the top lung treatments available right now were not even AVAILABLE 5 years ago and we will need to wait 3 or 4 more years to get accurate "stats" for current treatments.

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There was a gal who was on the Lung Onc group that worked in the area of STAT'S and she did say 99% Stat's are 5 to 7 years behind in publications. I then asked (2) Onc Doc's and (3) Pulm. Doc's. and a Rad. Doc and they all said YES to this same comment, that all these Stat's are way behind in publication. As well as a freind of mine who works at Amercian Lung Assoc, so too agreed on the Stat's being years behind in there publications. SOOOOOOO....... I'm going to have to agree with your boss on that one as well. There was something in writing on this remark as well and someone had put this information on the Lung Onc Board a LONNNNNG time ago. I wonder if ALCASE would have something on this? I feel that all Stat's should be documented to when they were put together as well as the age group of these Stat's. Gotta share with you that my OBGYN was soooooo upset last year when they made a BIG TA DO out of the Hormone Replacement Meds. Reason she was soooo upset, was they had just repeated all the same results of those Stats years before, and that NOTHING Really changed in those Stat's. And she also mentioned they ALWAYS leave out the AGE RANGE of these Stats. (food for thought)!

Just my 18 cents worth. :roll::roll:

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