For kidney cancer, this cure's worse than the disease

John23
John23 Member Posts: 2,122
edited February 2013 in Colorectal Cancer #1

For kidney cancer, this cure's worse than the disease

By Marilynn Marchione, Associated Press -
In a stunning example of when treatment might be worse than the disease, a large review of Medicare records finds that older people with small kidney tumors were much less likely to die over the next five years if doctors monitored them instead of operating right away.

Read the whole story here:
http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/12/16940992-for-kidney-cancer-this-cures-worse-than-the-disease?lite

 

Comments

  • PatchAdams
    PatchAdams Member Posts: 271
    kidney cancer

    John,  a neighbor lady had kidney cancer found by 'accident' during a CT after a fall.  She's mid 50's now.  Her doctor froze and thawed, froze and thawed, froze and thawed the tumor until it could easily be clipped off.  She had no follow up chemo and is cancer free for about 7 years now.  

     

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    I imagine the age of the patients makes a difference...

    even a slow-growing cancer is a problem for someone in his/her 50s, but if you're in your 80s, the risks of treatment may outweigh the threat posed by the cancer (see:prostate cancer in old guys).  I'm lazy, John, too lazy to click!  Do you know what age group they were looking at in this study?

  • RobinKaye
    RobinKaye Member Posts: 93

    I imagine the age of the patients makes a difference...

    even a slow-growing cancer is a problem for someone in his/her 50s, but if you're in your 80s, the risks of treatment may outweigh the threat posed by the cancer (see:prostate cancer in old guys).  I'm lazy, John, too lazy to click!  Do you know what age group they were looking at in this study?

    Here you go...

    After five years, 24 percent of those who had surgery had died, compared to only 13 percent of those who chose monitoring. Just 3 percent of people in each group died of kidney cancer.

    The study only involved people 66 and older, but half of all kidney cancers occur in this age group. Younger people with longer life expectancies should still be offered surgery, doctors stressed.

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122

    I imagine the age of the patients makes a difference...

    even a slow-growing cancer is a problem for someone in his/her 50s, but if you're in your 80s, the risks of treatment may outweigh the threat posed by the cancer (see:prostate cancer in old guys).  I'm lazy, John, too lazy to click!  Do you know what age group they were looking at in this study?

    Ann –

     

    Robin summed it up nicely: 66 and older. And they do stress that younger individuals should have surgery, etc!

     

    It does make me wonder just how many of all age groups and types of cancer would benefit more with not doing much aside from surgery, instead of the aggressive toxic route (with an effort to kill cancer cells that can’t be seen or identified).

     

    In recent years, oncologists have been using lower dosages and find that there is better results when you don’t kill one’s immune system… ha…. Go figger!

     

    Oh well.

     

    Be good; be well!

     

    John

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    John23 said:

    Ann –

     

    Robin summed it up nicely: 66 and older. And they do stress that younger individuals should have surgery, etc!

     

    It does make me wonder just how many of all age groups and types of cancer would benefit more with not doing much aside from surgery, instead of the aggressive toxic route (with an effort to kill cancer cells that can’t be seen or identified).

     

    In recent years, oncologists have been using lower dosages and find that there is better results when you don’t kill one’s immune system… ha…. Go figger!

     

    Oh well.

     

    Be good; be well!

     

    John

    I believe some docs...

    are taking the "wait and see" approach when there is no visible cancer.  I think Craig may have mentioned this (are you out there, Craig?  Is this your present approach?).  Mine certainly didn't, and I kind of wished he had, given that no chemo worked for me, and I was left with many side effects.  But hind-sight is always 20-20, of course.  At least, I'm in wait and see mode now, and for the rest of the journey!

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member

    I believe some docs...

    are taking the "wait and see" approach when there is no visible cancer.  I think Craig may have mentioned this (are you out there, Craig?  Is this your present approach?).  Mine certainly didn't, and I kind of wished he had, given that no chemo worked for me, and I was left with many side effects.  But hind-sight is always 20-20, of course.  At least, I'm in wait and see mode now, and for the rest of the journey!

    Hey Ann

    Yes, that's my current approach...watching and waiting with no visibile cancer...almost 21 mos clear....longest stretch of clear time ever...8.8 years now.

    I get up every morning...work hard...and go to bed....that's my approach. Surprisingly, it's the one that has netted me the most success.

    It's not a popular story among our viewers...because it scares some of us...the prevailing theory is that one must do Something...Anything....

    My hopes are that I can show that this path can be a viable option for some...my onc is in complete agreement.

    In 3-weeks, we'll know if this stragety still has any merit.

    -Craig