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I had a scare

Posts: 63
Joined: Jan 2011

My CEA jumped from 4.2 in April to 5.2 in July. My previous high had been 4.6 so I thought my cancer had come back. I just had another CEA and it dropped to 5.0 so I guess I am OK. My doctor has cancelled the Sept. CEA and I am back on quarterly CEA testing. I have gone over 3.5 years NED. I have a question for the Board. Has anyone experienced or heard of a "cure" for someone who is Stage iv and has only had chemo? I know that people that have had mets to their liver and had them removed surgically have been "cured". The reason I ask is that I recently read about a theory that cancer tumors can produce stem cells that are not killed by chemo and that is why there is recurrance after chemo.I am Stage iv and my tumor in the liver disappeared after 10 rounds of Folfox and so far has not come back.

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1195
Joined: Oct 2010

Yes, there are durable, complete responses, for a small perhaps increasing percentage in the literature.

Some rare ones are along the lines, that one shot of 5FU/chemo poisoned them so badly the cancer actually died out - lucky survivors where most similar others did die quickly from the chemo itself. Chemo tries to achieve that level of extermination over a longer time. One CSN long timer, Scouty, did 16 rounds of FOLFIRI, then switched to juicing, diet and supplements from desperation due to cumulative toxicity, where she thrives today over 8 years later. Her surgeon did some colon and node removal several years afterwards, just to be sure.

Blood tests and analyses more thorough than standard practice may give a more detailed picture over time.

Posts: 63
Joined: Jan 2011

Thanks. Where did you get yourinformation? I can never find any statistics other than 5 year survival rates. Do you know what the 10 year survival rate is for Stage iv? Its encouraging to know that there are some other survivors of Stage iv that have done only chemo.

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

Chemical therapy was designed to knock down cancer tumors, not
seek and destroy -individual- cancer cells. Once a tumor is brought
down to the point it can no longer be detected, some cancer cells
will remain and possibly live on undetected.

The immune system (if healthy enough), can become sensitized to
the chemicals given off by the dying cancer cells, and learn to
attack and remove the balance of cancer cells.

As far as looking for 10 year or more survival rates? It's all out there,
but you'll find many individuals telling you that the information is
not accurate, since it's old information. How anyone can expect
10 year "statistics" that are based on 5 year (or less) studies to be
"real", is beyond me.

You can do yourself a major favor, and accept the fact that cancer is
a terminal disease. Understand it, and plan for the worst case scenario.

Once that's out of the way, you can get down to business fighting
the cancer in whatever way -you- choose to. Your vision will be clearer,
and your determination won't be clouded by false statistics. You
will see and understand success as it happens.

Life with cancer isn't pleasant, and never will be. But fully understanding
the seriousness of it all, can help you move forward, and perhaps help you
win your battle with it; knowing the enemy's power, is always a plus in battle!

You'll do OK Randy, but do yourself a favor and don't seek out
all the "good statistics"; most all, are only industry hyperbole.

Don't leave yourself vulnerable from the complacency that comes
from believing false statistics.

My best hopes for you!


danker's picture
Posts: 1109
Joined: Apr 2012

Mark Twain quoting Disraaeli said" there are lies, damned lies, and statistics." It's still true today. Since we are each one unique, statistics
don;t apply to us individually. Best of luck to you!!

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