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wondering about a statistic I read


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I saw the following statement on the Early detection page of this web site:

70% of (lc) patients (late stage) who might benefit from non-surgical treatments never see a medical oncologist

This is appalling. What is the reason for this? Are patients just sent home or what?

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I have read that many older people are not really offered the option of any treatment. They are told that it is not worth taking chemo, and since such a high percentage of people are not diagnosed early that surgery is a viable option this also ads to the stats. I have also read with chemo now there really are less problems than years gone by , which would be what these older people would be thinking about. Donna G

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I have heard similar statistics myself. Of course -- there is probably another factor there as well. My 76 year old Aunt was diagnosed w/ NSCLC about 6 months ago. I have no idea what stage because she DOESN'T SEEM TO KNOW. I don't think her doctor is very forthcoming with information, but I also don't think she asks any questions. Her doctor did recommend radiation and chemo, but my Aunt said there was no way she was going through chemo, she didn't want to be in "that chair". I think that a lot of older people have heard horror stories from years back about chemo and think it is still the same. She had radiation and follows up with her radiatation oncologist, but has never seen a medical oncologist.

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