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47% chance of getting cancer in our lifetime...

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

This is what we were told when we went to the first cancer 'talk' after I was diagnosed. To me that's basically 50%, half of us. Last weekend the friend that I went to the cancer retreat with was telling me how upset she was because her doctor told her she had a 50% chance of recurrence. I told her that then she's like everyone else out there, they all have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with it. It's easy to skew numbers. Am I looking it it the right way? Or is she 50% more likely than before her cancer when she had a 50% chance of getting it anyway? She was quite revieved when I said that. She told me she hadn't looked at it that way and it made her feel a lot better. I'm glad for that but I'm wondering if I'm correct.

Then it got me thinking of how my onc said that if I did mop up chemo it would reduce my chance of recurrence to around 50% but because it was so long after surgery it would increase to 65% but she thought I should still do it. I'm not sure how she could know this or if she was just pulling numbers out of her butt but it scared me enough to go for the mop up and now I feel like I got shystered into it. 

Any thoughts on this? Am I looking at this the right way or am I confusing myself. I'm pretty good at doing that so I'm not sure.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5511
Joined: Jan 2013

I know I've told the story about my friends dad. He had Pancreatic Cancer. They told him 18 month. He was doing really well, and then, when his 18 months came along, he sat down. He sat down and he stayed sat down. My friend asked him what was wrong, and he said to her 'I'm waiting to die' He literally took the Doctor's words to heart. He sat down and died two months later. 

The moral to that story is, don't sweat the stats.  The way I look at it, if there is a 85% chance of reuccurance, then there's a 15% chance that there won't be, and I'm going to be a part of that 15%. 

Glass half full. Glass half empty. 

I like stats as a guideline, but I'm definitely not tying myself to them. 

TRU

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Reality?     The water's polluted.

I've posted the explanation of what a cancer cell is, what it isn't, why it is what it is..... It's all really very simple, but I have attempted to condense the explanation slightly more here:

Any dead, dying, or severely damaged "good cell" that can no longer "hear" the body's instructions regarding how to live, and is not removed by the immune system's T cells, can begin a "new life" using the very, very basic process known as the fermentation process.

Once that cell begins using the fermentation process, it just grows aimlessly and totally unrestricted like mold inside a damp wall. It has no brain, and (I doubt) any intention of killing it's host; it just survives and grows like a blade of grass in the middle of a throughway.

The body continually produces severely damaged cells in it's effort to get rid of the "old cells" for new growth, repair, etc. To "kill" anything, it has to be damaged beyond it's ability to survive. External life-damaging chemicals, radiation, etc, etc, can add to the "problem", but it should be fully understood that it isn't the damaged cells or what's damaging them, it's the immune system's neglect to remove them that is the actual problem.

The problem of properly identifying a defective cell in an effort to kill and remove that cell has to date been fruitless. Our immune system has the capability, but effort is instead spent on replacing what we have built-in, rather than find the reason why what we have isn't working properly.

*I would usually ramble on about Traditional Chinese Medicine's advances with immune system projects regarding cancer, but will save that for another time....

Every living thing produces dead or dying cells. Every dead or dying cell can survive using the fermentation process. It is the immune system that plays the key role, not what you eat, drink, or breath. Yes, it all can be contributing factors, but not everyone subjected to the exact same environment has cancer cells growing within them. The reason? Their immune system works as it should. You have cancer?..... the reason and answer for it is within.

No, do not become depressed over this, work towards having a healthy immune system regardless if it's "doing it's job" or not. Eventually it will; eventually, if it's healthy enough, it will do battle for you.

Never, ever leave "the learning curve", knowledge is what can save you. Allow knowledge, not fear, to guide you. Listen to thyself, your survival instincts; your intuition, is the best guide you have.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish".

Do not fear cancer.

Best wishes for all.....

           John

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

John, you know I love your responses but I'm not sure how this responds to my question. Am I missing something?

Jan

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Although I truly appreciate your enjoyment in reading my posts, no one should take anything they read on the web as fact. Yes, I attempt to substantiate what I type whenever possible, but it's up to you, the reader, to discern fact from hype. We all make mistakes; I am not excluded....

That said, let's do this:

Re:
"I'm not sure how she could know this or if she was just pulling numbers out of her butt but it scared me enough to go for the mop up and now I feel like I got shystered into it."

When you fully understand what a cancer cell is and how it got to be a cancer cell...... And once you fully understand that there is no present technology to easily (if at all) identify a single cell as being "defective", you should also be able to very easily discern a physician's hyperbole from fact.

Since you appear to feel that you were scared enough to be convinced to totally disregard your own instincts for survival...... and your question was:
"Any thoughts on this? Am I looking at this the right way or am I confusing myself."

The answer is evident and you have answered it.

You/'re running scared Jan. You've been running scared since your diagnosis. You're allowing fear to guide you, and cancer is a fear driven industry.

There is nothing wrong with feeling the fear that you do, it's normal. You're faced with the very real possibility of your life ending much sooner than you had ever considered. Why wouldn't that cause anxiety? And anxiety, with it's "panic" overtones, results in a "fight or flee" attitude with all its emotions in tow.

The only way to fight the fear is through education. Know the enemy; you can not battle successfully against what you know nothing about. Fear is instilled best in those that refuse to learn about the enemy.

The figures you have posted as "quotes" from the physician make little if any sense. I'm not doubting your physician has made such claims, or that you did not relay the actual quote, since I have had physicians state more ridiculous claims than those. I had them repeat their statements several times to make certain they heard their own words. Insane. They get paid well; I'm on a fixed income. They have a college degree for what they specialize in; I am a "jack of all trades, master of none". And yet....... I correct them in front of their peers and there is no argument, just the promotion of a very uncomfortable situation. They agree that my facts are correct when confronted, but have no answer for their "errors" and misstatements of fact.

Knowledge is a "must have", Jan. You're fighting a battle; there's no room for ignorance if you expect to gain ground. "Ignorance" is only a term that is defined as "not knowing the facts". It is not an insult, it is simply a definition of a situation.

Your physician misled you. "Inside"; in your intuition, in part of your gift for self-survival, you knew the answer. It's water under the bridge now. You still have plenty of time to gain the knowledge you need, so do not rush into anything. You have loads of options! I mentioned RFA (Ablation) to you, and its availability in Canada. I would push TCM as a viable option, but there's just too much resistance on a board designed for those seeking "conventional", approved FDA treatments whether they work or not..... I haven't given up. If anyone is interested, they can read my profile and blog here.

You have options Jan. And you have the right to refuse anything that does not "feel right" to you. It is your right to take whatever course you decide to in your fight for survival.

Do not allow fear to drive you. Unless a tumor has grown quickly and is about to kill you if not removed ASAP, you have time to make EDUCATED decisions.

You'll do fine if you give yourself a chance to do fine.

My best wishes for you,

John

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Big hugs 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks for clarifying John, your response is appreciated, as always. :)

Jan

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Stats are always 5 years behind.

According to one of my oncologists I should have a reoccurrence. So that's always been in the back of my mind.

I was stage 3, 10/11 lymph nodes CV back in 2009, had surgery and treatment within the same year. 

2016 *touch wood* still here.

I still try and take each day as it comes. Tomorrow is never guaranteed for anyone, but you have today. Big hugs

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mar 2010

But there isn't really a reasonable treatment to diminish those odds.  However, I view everything in life as 50/50:  either it happens or it doesn't.  Statistics don't apply to individuals, but rather to groups.  Statistically, the likelihood of getting appendix cancer is about 1:1,000,000.  I was the one.  The likelihood of having particular problems, side effects with my treatments about 1:500.  I had them.  My drs called me "The Outlier" for all of the statistically improbable events/issues I had, and my history was built into my dr's feeling that I not chance brachytherapy at this point.  It could possibly help, but they don't know; but he knows that I keep having the problems no one expects.  And scarring from it would make surgery that much more difficult if I do need it again in the future.

I'm just going to live my life, and what happens happens.

Alice

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1170
Joined: Aug 2013

This site lists "lifetime odds of getting and dying from cancer", and it what we've all heard. One out of two men, one out of three women, will get cancer, and 1 of 4 and 1 of 5 will die from it. Just those numbers should scare regular people, I suppose, but to try and calculate the compounded risk for those of us who've had chemo, radiation, and other harsh treatments, is really asking to live in fear. And to what end? I buy the occasional lottery ticket, so I've already established that I'm capable of believing I can beat ridiculous odds, and that's where I mostly leave it. Like Trubrit, I'm willing to just believe I'm a "lucky one", so even if some one can accurately calculate my risks, it doesn't matter or apply to me. I'm happy to leave it at that, I know it's not addressing Jans question either, but if whatever was said gave a friend some comfort, why worry about the math.................................Dave

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

I hate the 50% of this and 50% of that or if you don't do this 75% of this will happen.  We are people not numbers.  Those % are broad stroke guesses in many cases.

I will be 5 years NED in Jan and that's all that matters!

I am not a number!

 

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