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5 Year Survival Rates by Age?

terry45
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2009

I find many stats regarding survival rates but have not come across even one that breaks down those stats by age group. I am a 43 year old non-smoker diagnosed this year with stage 3B lung cancer. I'm trying to convince my wife that the stats skew in my favor but can't locate any backup.

Are there any relevant tables out there?

Thanks

Jager's picture
Jager
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Terry45

I am 38 yo, diagnosed 3B lung cancer.

When I knew I had cancer and staged 3B I started my research, odds seemed not good and all statistics said nothing clear as for me to know or to have an idea of my prognosis.

I started kemo and after I noticed how the news affected my wife, I decided just to ignore cancer, it can take my life but it for sure will not take my time left.

Actually I live for today, feeling healthy (kemo seems to be doing great) and the only inconvenience is to have to go to the hospital once every four weeks to get my kemo session.

I am able to work, share quality time with my family and we have choosed to live our life not allowing cancer to be in the middle, we do what we have or can do to fight it (once every 4 weeks) and that´s all the time it will take from us, the rest of the time, we choosed to be happy and to live regular lifes.

So instead of getting worried trying to find your time left and get trapped in mind traps allowing cancer to get more of you than you would like to give, do what you have to do to fight it, live everyday and don´t allow it to take it all of you.

I am going to add you as a friend and we can share our experiences or anything else.

I don´t know which treatment are you receiving but here in Mexico I am getting Avastin with my kemo, well, avastin is made by Roche laboratories and they have a support program here in Mexico available by phone. Actually I don´t use it but you are subscribed automatically once you start to use their medication, they send support information in hard copies to your address and also in electronic format, additional to that, you have access to a family support group line where you or your family can be oriented in all aspects of the disease.

You may need some help to get your wife to accept your disease and to learn to deal with it. This forum is great as we have some great examples of possitive people living "normal" lifes fighting cancer, we also have some possitive feedback of people who have survived cancer for years and some people who actually have been living without cancer, and the most impressive is that some people had worst prognosis than us in the beggining.

So be possitive, fight hard but still remember that you have a life, a family and a lot of things to do so don´t allow mind games to take that away from you.

Cheers

Mario.

terry45
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Mario - Solid words of encouragement...

38 years old? Wow! I thought I was on the short side at 43...

Sounds like you're staying positive. I also try not to focus on the prognosis, but find it diffucult not to try to work through the odds.

I also am on Avastin and have found the kemo challenging but able to get to work most days and am aggressively walking 5 miles a day with my wife to keep up strength.

Keep fighting.

Terry

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

WOW Terry....you walk 5 miles a day? That's just great! Please don't listen to statistics on lung cancer survival. Most doctors base there prognosis on 30 year studies which is not right because cancer treatment has come a long long way in 30 years. Ignore all of it and just take your treatments and enjoy every moment of your life.....be happy and keep us updated please because we care!

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Another place you might find really helpful with a lot of support is "Cancergrace.org"

terry45
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Michelle... Will do!

wicker_woman's picture
wicker_woman
Posts: 19
Joined: Aug 2004

Terry,

Don't look for survival rates, fight your own battle and win. They told me "at best I would have 18 months." I fought my battle and on August 30th I will be an 8 year Stage III-B NSCL - Large Cell Survivor. I was dx's at 47, too young in my mind.
I have issues with radiation stenosis but I keep on going like the energizer bunny. You can beat this with the right attitude and doctors. When I was diagnosed I couldn't find much hope but as the years pass I meet many more survivors! Good luck to you in your battle!

terry45
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks - This is exactly the kind of story I was hoping to hear.

Congratulations on your success!!! Keep it up.

Terry

chrissyg
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

hi terry, I am new to this site and the storys from everyone have been so helpful. I was diagnosed with stage 3bt cancer 53 year old smoker and still bloody smoking when I first got diagnosed the lung specialist said 5 years then I was sent to cemo specalist they gave me 8 to 15 months with cemo so I still really confused, Beacuse it is also in my lymph nods. I t blew my husband and family both away but me I just stay positive carrying on with day to day life.I started chemo last week with out any side affects. I am sure they get there stats out of a book. So make your own stats up. thanks chrissy

Jager's picture
Jager
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2009

I am amazed after reading your post.

I am 3B and am under kemo, my doctor never gave me a prognosis (time left), she refuses to do that as only after first set (06 rounds) kemo she will know how my tumor is reacting.

I am a smoker but have the most common between no smokers type of cancer (Adenocarcinoma in my upper lobe bronchio) and I still smoke, actually, have the same living as before knowing I had cancer, same diet, same routine, same vice, I think the only thing I am not doing is drinking alcohol anymore (not a problem as never was a heavy drinker) and really trying not to overload my liver and kidneys as they are the most important parts to process and eliminate kemo chemicals.

I also had two lymp nodes inflamated in my neck but they dissapeared already (I have had only 3 kemos) so they may be there just for the infection in my lung as it is or was blocked by the tumor and fluid was accumulating inside the right upper lobe. So don´t allow all that words to beat you down, the only way they can for sure to say you have cancer spreaded to your lymp nodes is after extracting one of them and do a biopsy.

Stay strong, stay calm and keep your will in the high end, we can beat this beast.

Here.. Once again
There´s a battle to fight
Come alltogheter as one for the right
To be free once again
Tonigh we will win.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

Jager, you'll protect your liver, but not the lungs that have this disease? That doesn't make sense to me! It is incredibly hard to quit, I know, especially when you have this kind of stress in your life, but it can be done. The nurses hopefully have told you the effect smoking can have on the efficacy of your chemo...

I had to quit, after 30 years of smoking, and boy, was that a time and a half...I found out the meaning of panic attacks and depression and loss, but at the same time I regained my taste buds and sense of smell and knew that I was upgrading my options. It all got better, eventually. I used the Patch to quit...not to toot a commercial horn or anything, but it really does work if you allow it to :)

Please, Jager, give yourself the present of better odds against your cancer.

Jager's picture
Jager
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2009

I know Stayingcalm, it´s just that it is so hard for me to quit, I don´t know why, maybe been at work in the middle of the ocean under a lot of pressure (I am the Project Control Engineer of a very expensive and complicated contract for the oil industry in my country, dealing with my disease and away from my family is pushing me to keep smoking.
I already dropped from a packet a day to a packet every 4 days because I know it is bad so I am trying to lower the cigarrete consumption every day until I quit, I know it may be a mind trap but can´t just quit, I have tried hard and when at home, I am not allowed to smoke and my 3 women are the best police, the problem comes when I am offshore away from home.

I appreciate your words and still trying hard to drop it.

Cheers

Mario

MarykayUSMC's picture
MarykayUSMC
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

I too am having a REAL hard time trying to quit smoking. I've tried the patch, the gum, and others... the mind over matter -- I just can't beat it!!!!

justmewells
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I was a 40 year smoker and Chantix really helped me. For the first month after being diagnosed I just cut back and then I tried breking those routine ones like lighting up after a meal, getting in the car, getting out of the car, you know the ones. Then I went a month smoking 2 or 3 a day and now I smoke none. Chantix helped the most of all the other things. Ask your doctor. Wish you the best with it.

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Never forget that statistics can only describe set populations. With cancer, research changes so much that by the time a book is published (a two year process), it is already out-dated the first week on the shelves. A year even makes a difference too. So statistics you find from five years ago are not really meaningful today. Even if the current odds are 99 to 1, whose to say if you are one of the 99 or the other "1"? The stats can only describe past populations, not your particular outcome. So if you are given bad odds, get your papers in order so that stress is out of the way, but don't give up! Those odds can't describe you (you weren't in that particular sample when it was tested) and therefore those odds can only suggest possible outcomes. Good luck!

C. Abbott

greeneyes41
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

My brother is a kidney transplant patient. I gave him his new kidney 12 years ago. In February of this year he was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Half of his stomach was all cancer. He proceed with 3 chemo treatments and then everything fell apart.

Long story short, he has spent the past 3 months in the hospital. All kidney anti rejection drugs were stopped. Chemo was stopped, and at one point he was in a coma and the family was called in. They were going to send him home with hospice.

Today, and I do mean today, he is going home!

His kidney, without the anti rejection drugs is working perfectly normal. The cancer, as if it has been waiting for him to catch up, has stopped growing. He has gained back a lot of the 70#'s that he lost. We are in hopes to soon be able to resume chemo to fight the cancer.

I too was diagnosed this year with cancer. Shortly after he was. I have had more troubles with the one kidney than he has, but I too am doing good.

Each person is different, each situation. I know how you feel, you feel as if you need that number. That time frame. I did too in the beginning. I got really hung up on it until a friend of mine was in a car accident and was killed.

None of us really knows how, when or why.

We are both going to fight this till the end and that's the best survival rate that there is!

Good luck and hang in there.

ARobben's picture
ARobben
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2009

Well put, greeneyes, well put. Statistics are for statisticians, not for me.

Heck, I got you all beat on the "too young for this" side of things. I was 26 when I was diagnosed. Even if I had been a smoker, the doctors said there wouldn't have been enough time for the smoke damage to turn cancerous. Statistically, there is no reason I should even have lung cancer, so I'm not worried about what the stats say about how long I'll live with it. I do know that stats. Like most people I looked them up shortly after I was diagnosed. But since then, I've chosen to ignore them and live each day to the best of my ability...one day at a time.

So hang in there! Stay positive! Stop by here when you need some support. And I'm sure you'll get by just fine!!

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