NGC1514 Member Posts: 46 Member
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1
In the thread I started about "9 years post-op" some mention was made of statistics and that while they may be grim, they have absolutely NO bearing on an individual.

The best article I've seen concerning statistics and cancer is the piece by Stephen Jay Gould written after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. It's a short essay, but it contains a very important message about dealing with statistics. You can find it at:

Gould was diagnosed in 1982 and discovered the median survival for those with mesothelioma is 8 months. The piece, entitled "The Median isn't the Message" may be a bit confusing to those not accustomed to working with statistics, but it is worth the time for a couple of readings until you see what Gould is trying to say.

Most of us would see that 8 month figure and decide it was about time to order up a funeral. Gould looked at the number and saw a great deal of hope in it. The essay explains why.

By the way, Gould lived another 20 years after his diagnosis.

Eric in Atlanta


  • K_ann1015
    K_ann1015 Member Posts: 500
    Thanks Eric----your outlook
    Thanks Eric----your outlook and perspective are much needed and appreciated. We have had a rough stretch lately. Thank you for the "shot of hope" from someone who has been there!
    (my dad and uncle have stage 3 EC)
  • unclaw2002
    unclaw2002 Member Posts: 599
    Read the essay --- a


    Read the essay --- a wonderful and positive piece. Although a little dense at times it is well worth reading. I certainly agree with the analysis of Gould - here is to being on that right tail :) Thanks for sharing.