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life expectancy

ally bongo
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2011

what are the chances of surviving 25 years after successfull treatment.
every where i look and everyone i speak to who has been through this seems incredibly brave but nobody talks about life expectancy.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

With the stage I was and tumor at 2.5 cm stage T2NOMO I have an 80% cure rate. On 6-30-09 I have 2 years showing no evidence of disease. I plan on living to hopefully at least 85, as theres longevity in my family. In other words this is a curable cancer, with high cure rates. Hopefully more survivors will chime in. I wish you well Lori.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

Stage I also - finished treatment 2/08 and have cancer free since. This cancer is curable and treatable - I agree and so does my oncologist. I plan on being around for a very long time!

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sephie
Posts: 523
Joined: Apr 2009

great question . one that i have never even thought to ask my docs. i think they do not really know but i believe that anal cancer is being looked at now more than ever due to increase. the tx is the same as 25 years ago. yes, i have heard about the 75-80 percent cure rate. and i like to hear that. so we will all be in that percentage. mine was also stage 2 no metastisis no nodes. i will be 2 years post tx july 20, 2011. 9still have pain bleeding AND inflammation but i get checked at least every 6 months with dre and procto.) so at least we have made it further than farrah fawcett. sephie

Captain11
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2011

I was diagnosed stage 3B in June 2009. My first onc told me it was a curable disease, but then mine spread to the lymph nodes and he all but looked at his watch for my life expectency. I changed oncs right then and there. My 2nd onc said it was not good news for me, but, he has had people respond well to the treatments; so, it is just up to the Powers-that-be. I responded well to my second round of chemo, which was 6 months of cisplatin and 5fu infusions. I completed treatments in March 2010 and I am now 15 months clear. I was diagnosed when I was 58-- I am now 60. I have been in great health prior to this. No signs or symptoms of anything wrong. No risk factors for any type of cancer. Coming from an Italian background, where all we eat are the greens, tomatoes, fresh fruit, dandelion greens, and pasta, you know the Mediterranean diet, I have always loved fresh fruit and veggies. I have always been a walking anti-oxidant. But, I still got cancer, and no one knows why. My onc and all my drs believe that a diet rich in fruit and veggies and fiber are key to surviving this thing. So, I may not have done as well with the treatments if I didn't have such great eating habits. Other than that, I haven't heard any life expectency info. My drs think of this as a relatively new cancer, or a more rare one, with a lot more unanswerable questions than say breast cancer. Sorry I can't be of any more help or insight. I wish you all well. God bless.

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

I don't know about anyone else...but i plan on being here for the next 25 years!!!My doctors told me it was 80% curable...even if there is lymph node involvement.Also this cancer ...if it comes back..it's usually in the first two years.I have been NED for 34 months.This cancer is rare but a good cancer...Thats an oxymoron...isn't it??? Hugs..alyse

TuffCookieHere2
Posts: 32
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello Ally bongo,

I understand your fears, as I have the same ones at times. I am also a breast cancer survivor, I also have disabilities, many of them. I am only 50. I hope this gives you some inspiration and courage. I am a 9 year breast cancer survivor and a 6 year anal cancer survivor. I was Stage 2 Anal cancer. What I can say is, bring your mind to a place of absolute positive thinking, think you are a survivor and will survivor, you are here for a reason and survived for a reason, bring nothing but positive energy to your mind and body as they say both work together. Even though fear is a normal thing, try to reverse it and bring nothing but positiveness to your way of thinking, sometimes, the more worry and fear we induce in ourselves, can bring negative results. The mind/body connection work together, if you think yourself well and that you will live a long life, you probably will, of course nothing is a guarantee, sometimes, we can think positive til the cows come home, whatever Gods will is his will, but, there has been studies that, positive thinking and thinking good thoughts, can bring great results. Plus, nutrition, good rest, exercise, prayer and much more, all help, to keep our bodies healthy and to hopefully, live a long life. I hope this has helped, believe me, if anyone fears it is me, I suffer on a daily basis with edema of my lower extremities, I have high BP, DIABETES, i am obese from body changes due to illness and medicines, I have a nose and ear problem, damage on inside and inflamation that doctors messed up, so i have pain and pressure, daily chronically, all over my head, neck, down my back, sides of lung breathing muscles and chest, and sides of neck....now they found a 9cm tumor in pelvic, that they cant get to, due to the scar tissue from the anal cancer rads. Oh and there is much more..through all this, I dont know what holds me together, but, one thing is, I will not, will not give up, and pray for a long life, and hope, I can at least improve or eliminate some of the health problems, like the high bp, and diabetes and edema, and obesity. I feel, I rather have 3 problems say, rather them 8...it is all in the way we think. I am greatful I am a survivor 2x of 2 primary cancers and I try to stay in the now, and let tomorrow happen when it comes. Stay in the now, enjoy your life today and do not worry about what tomorrow brings. Let it take care of itself. Be happy to be alive today! Love you and God bless you always....wishing you a happy, long life, Nina~ from NY State

melbas2
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

Good Lord Nina, how can you stay so damn positive?? I've been post tx for a year now, and I can't stand the fatigue, the pain in my muscles and joints, the inability to walk more than a half a block before my breathing makes me stop, the bloating, the bleeding, etc. I've read and sent so many posts, I hear the stories about no lingering problems, the recurring problems, and I try to stay positive. Sometimes it's just too hard. I went in last week, had 2 liters of fluid drained from my stomach, recieved 2 more units of plasma, and after 2 days in the hospital, the bloating came back and the exhaustion is worse. Some days I take my meds and some days I blow em off. I woke up yesterday and turned my alarm clock off so I missed my onc appt. What's the point anymore? Nothing they do helps. I'm tired of dr appts every week, hosp stays are getting closer together and I keep hearing "Well...let's see if THIS treatment works. NOTHING is working. And I am too tired. Melodie

NYinTX's picture
NYinTX
Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2013

I feel exactly like you do.....see my post today under "Mitomycin side effects"; I've accepted limited life expectancy and have dropped everything in my life, like career, etc.,and focusing on what i have always wanted to do and projects I have put off and now have the luxury to pursue....

Worden4's picture
Worden4
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2009

I was diagnosed with stage 3A cancer in 2008. It will be 3 years this fall. The life expectancy I was given was 60%-85%. There were four doctors and 3 of them leaned closer to the 60%-80%, one had higher expectations. Two leaned closer to the 60%, one was saying 70% with a chance it may go as high as 80%. The last one said 75%. They disagreed because I have had another cancer(in 1998). This is my second. First one was "cured" with surgery. This one was with radiation, chemo, and a blood transfusion. My cancer was 14 inches(yes inches not centimeters) which made it harder for them to help me. They did well though and have bought me more time with my family. Positive thinking in my opinion helps. Never give up on the hope, and the dreams, keep the faith, and peace will come from overcoming this. Best of luck to all. I have had polyps removed...twice..since, but I am still positive toward the future. I do have multiple health problems from having this cancer, but I am still breathing and enjoying my family. I will be 45 this fall. (I was 31 first time, and 42 second time I got cancer).

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

I don't think it really matters what they say about life expectancy. I'm of the school of thought that you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. So why dwell on how long you'll live after having anal cancer. Course those with bad side effects may have a different story to tell.

The only statistics I've seen are after 5 years out - I may be wrong, but I think they (the folks who come up with these statistics) stop counting after that.

It only matters HOW we live, whether it be with or without cancer.

M1234
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2012

Has anyone found any articles or studes for life expectance past 5 years?  If so, please post.  I quit my job in June 2012 due to what I thought was 'job burnout'.  Found out I had anal cancer in October 2012. I am attempting to plan for retirement. I know there are no absolutes and we all need to keep positive attitudes, ect., etc., etc.  I would just like sme additional information to draw upon.  Thanks 

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2011

Diagnosed with anal cancer in July 2011.  Stage 2.  I am planning for retirement as though I have not been sick.  I'm 62 and plan to be around a while!  I mean, just like anyone else, I may not live very long....BUT WHAT IF I DO?

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I think that the survival rates only measure up to five years? SEER data is what they look at. I really don't want to look at this point. I also thought my symptoms were caused by stress( Gastro doc said so). Shortly after treatment for anal cancer, I was diagnosed with another cancer. Incurable, stage 3. I think what we should do is plan to live. Sometimes I think that it would be a great time to run up the credit cards and go on a world wide tour, like in the movie, Bucket List. But, being a sensible person, I am still prudent in my spending. I just might take a trip to Ireland with my daughter though! I mean, you only live once! :)

eihtak
Posts: 834
Joined: Oct 2011

Thats an opportunity you should NOT pass up!! My husband and I went to Ireland about 25 yrs ago. We put off some work on the house to afford it, still have not done some of those things on it but guess what....house is still standing and raised 5 happy kids in it. The memories I have from that trip are priceless.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am doing the research now and I have to go! Any suggestions about what not to miss?

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2889
Joined: Jan 2010

It's my understanding that cancer cases are only followed for 5 years.  I do not know what is magical about 5 years or who decided that was the stopping point.

Tyson
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2012

just Wanted to comment on what I know about all this statistic stuff. I'm certainly no expert but as I understand all this it isent folllowed pass the five year mark. It's kind of when they turn us loose. And I certainly am planning on living to a ripe old age. Stats are funny. when you look at it as an individual basis. You have to tweak some things. As some of us have other health issues that can affect our outcome. But all in all I never pay attention to the numbers. They do not mean a thing to me. 

horsepad's picture
horsepad
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2012

i am stage 4, everything i read said 12-15% chance of living 5 years.  had liver resection which up'd my chances by 20-30%   i give thanks to God every day and every night for giving me another day.  dr. said to me only God knows how long i have, and he ain't god.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 447
Joined: Apr 2011

For me, it was, the Rings of Kerry.  I also loved the giant sequoias at the Dublin Botanic Garden.  Where is your family from?  I loved Ireland every time I went.  I always feel as if I'm finally home.  

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I really want to go soon. My grandparents were from County Kerry, not sure exactly where, but I can find out. It does feel like a longing to go home, even though I am second generation American!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

My mom took a bunch of us to Ireland in 2007. We visited our ancestors' area - the very northern tip of Ireland, a place called Malin Head. What a wonderful trip - I'll never forget it. Such a beautiful place, and so much history.

jena58
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2013

Like you, I was stage 4. Diagnosed April 2010, finished treatment July , November had left lobe of thyroid removed (cancer), May 2011 back for another 6 weeks of treatment when lymph nodes in neck showed up on PET , metastasis from AC which showed up after completion of first treatment. Given a very low chance of survival and the tactful suggestion to get my 'affairs in order' I was guttered. I had a moment of clarity on the way home and thought - just because that's what the statistics say doesn't mean I have to conform to their number game. That's all they are, numbers. I dug my heels in kept saying "I'm ME, not a number". I think I thought (believed) that if i dwelled on those stats and got 'my affairs in order' , I would fall prey to them. I finished treatment in July 2011 and so far all scans have been clear. I guess those stats are referring to the chances of recurrance. That is something I dread and fear everyday. Like you I wake up every day and go to sleep every night counting my blessings.......neuropathy, chemo brain, diarrhea... LOL. Glad to be here and plan on kicking Those stats to the S*** H**** !!!!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2889
Joined: Jan 2010

You have the right attitude for sure!  It is hard to get sucked into thinking the statistics apply to all of us, but they don't!  I hope you can keep on kicking cancer's ass!

NYinTX's picture
NYinTX
Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2013

Right on.....stats are based on group averages not on individuals, so you are so right in not succumbing to the numbers game, which MDs, poorly educated in stats, are often bound to do. However, I didn't know that metastasis occur after end of treatment....they were there during trreatment and not picked up by scan? No that concerns me as I just completed stage 2-3 radiation/chemo treatment 3/18/13.....metastasis can still occur?

jena58
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2013

I believe it was there all the time but missed either because it was so far away or maybe because it wasn't big enough at the time of the first scan to show up. They didn't really have an answer. 

horsepad's picture
horsepad
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2012

Jenna, I like your attitude!

NYinTX's picture
NYinTX
Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2013

so that means that if they were there during treatment, treatment didn't get them.....and that the scans have limited diagnostic ability (which we all know but which the MDs donot really honor), and that we must be vigilant....thanks for sharing your experience with us

jena58
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2013

The scans usually are chest, abdomen and pelvis, I believe. This node was in the neck area above the collar bone. It was picked up when I had a scan for the thyroid cancer. I guess having thyroid cancer was a blessing in disguise! Sorry if I didn't explain this clearly,  chemo Brain - I just don't think or remember clearly sometimes. Luckily I kept a journal during treatment.

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