CSN Login
Members Online: 10

stage 4

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

I was diagnosed with stage 4 in 1/21/05. It was spread to my ovaries. Pet and cat scan show no more tumors.I will be on chemo for 6 months. My question is, if I have no more tumors why is it still more dangerous than a stage 1 or 3...because cell keeps on reproducing faster ? When this started I though that with chemo everything will be ok..it will kill the cells and that's it. But the "stage 4 " is the one that make me nervous. Why are the chances of survival less ? By the way...I know i'm going to beat it...but of course we like to have answer to our questions. Thanks.....ileana

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Great to hear your positive attitude and desire for more knowledge- both will help you fight this monster.
Your question about stage four is very valid. If the tumour has spread to one other site and that is removed why are the stats still so bad. This is mainly cos the stats are based on a range of stage four patients including those with one met that can be removed (like you) through to those with multiple mets to various sites that can't be cut out.

Thus there is a huge range within stage four that the stats don't diferentiate between.

The general reason for the worse stats in stage four is that it indicates that the tumour has entered teh blood system and so spread. Stage three means it has entered the lymph system and spread that way and stage two is it entereing neither but spreading locally into the bowel lining. It is known that spread into the blood system does increase the chance of furhter mets so vigilance is needed with regular scans and checks. More aggressive tumors or tumours taht have been around longer are also moore likely to be a hihger stage (but not always).

Your case is at teh better prognosis end of stage four. You are being actively treated and have a good attitude. Tehre are many here who are testiment to the fact you can beat stage four not matter what so keep fighting and let us know how things go,
Steve.

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya ileana. I think Steve pretty much covered it so don't ever go thinking all is lost....you are not allowed to think that way here!!
Welcome to our family and keep the questions rollin on. Staistics are just that....I don't think there are too many here that have been given a definative all clear by their doctors.Unfortunately that is the nature of the disease but we all hang on to the faith and hope that just around the corner will be some advancement in medicine that finds the complete cure. If you browse the personal pages you will see that many here were dx'd many years ago...but they are still here!!!
A friend of mine was dx'd with stage 2 and has a colostomy.....he is still here 18 years on!(and he did no chemo back then)
Keep the "beat it attitude" ileana...thats tha stuff!!!
kanga n Jen

MUGGINS
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2004

HI, ILEANA,
WELCOME TO THE GROUP AND SO SORRY WE HAVE TO MEET THIS WAY. MY SISTER-IN-LAW WAS DIAGONOSED WITH THE SAME THING YOU HAVE A YEAR AGO. SHE HAD PART OF HER COLON REMOVED AND A TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY (SP?) SHE HAS DONE NINE MONTHS OF FULL CHEMO AND NOW IS ON A MAINTENANCE REGIMIN.
I AM HAPPY TO REPORT SHE HAD HER FIRST COLONOSCOPY THIS WEEK AND ALL CLEAR AND SHE WILL
HAVE A SCAN NEXT WEEK WHICH WE ARE HOPEFULL IT TO WILL BE CLEAR. AS I SAID ITS BEEN A YEAR AND WE HOPE THE GOOD NEWS CONTINUES. I HOPE THIS HELPS AND GOOD LUCK, KEEP US INFORMED AS TO HOW YOU ARE DOING.

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Thanks, thanks, thanks....Your words do help. Thanks God I also have a wonderful husband that will NOT allow me to be sad for a minute. He believes 100 % that keeping a positive attitude will do half of the job and chemo the other.I do have anothe question...yesterday I had my first visit with the Dr. after my first 2 chemo treatment. hey did some blood test and the Dr. said that everything looked good and that we were going to continue with the same treatment. What does these blood test shows. Does it shows in any way if the treatment is working ?
Muggins....your words also helped a LOT...Hope you keep on getting good news about your sister.
Thanks again, Ileana

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi lleana: I think they are concerned with platlet count and Hemocrit, but also other items. Because the chemo depletes these items, and they can't continue chemo if they fall below certain levels..ask for copies of your labs, and go to http://carbonbased.com/cbcblood.htm for a laymans definition of all the tests. Nanuk

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Nanuk has answered your question well- the tests initially are to keep an eye on the effects chemo has on the normal cells of the body which include teh red cells(carry oxygen to tissues), white cells (your immune system) and platelets (for clotting blood). Because chemo is toxic mainly to cells that reproduce quickly like cancer cells these cells which are constantly made by the body are also affected and their levels can drop. It sounds like your body is coping with chemo well so there isn't anything to worry about. Tests to see if there has been a response will come later but in post op chemo there aren't reallyany tests to look at the effects of chemo accurately except looking at scans of any visible tumours and doing CEAs. Both are a bit blunt and neither any good if they were both normal to start with.
Hope this is helpful,
Steve

BusterBrown's picture
BusterBrown
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

Alta...
I was diagnosed 12/17/04 w/ Colortectal cancer and liver mets...I have just finished my 5th round of chemo and I was given some great news last week...The three leasions that were on my liver are no longer visable via a ct scan...There is hope, systmic chemo along with a positive attitudes works. I wish you well.
Buster

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Thanks for your reply.....we really need to hear this often....What will keep me with the best attitude will be my 2 teenage girls, my mom and my wonderful husband.....

rejoyous
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Welcome, Alta,

As often happens on this site, many others have covered your questions more knowledgeably than I could. So I just wanted to welcome you and congratulate you on your spirit. That will take you a long way. This is a great place for information AND encouragement, so if you start to lose it, don't hesitate to write. Most of us have trouble being 100% optimistic 100% of the time. Meanwhile, I'm wishing you all the best. My husband and two teenagers have been so great for me, too. I really resonated to your sense that they'd help see you through. One thing you can count on cancer for: it really helps us all apapreciate life!

madu
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2005

Ileana,

I was diagnosed with stage IV rectal/sigmoid cancer with a met to the liver at age 31. On Thursday I will be 38! and will reach my 7 year anniversary in 5 months with no reoccurences (knock on wood). I am in very good health and have little to no long term side effects. It's a scary time but keep positive and know that it's possible to beat this thing.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network