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Stage 4 lung cancer adenocarcinoma Watch

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    Does anyone know what the 5 year survival rates are? Most sources seem to imply (although they never state) that it is incurable. Hopefully this is not true.

    Also there is variance:

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/canc...val-statistics

    Says there is no 5 year survival rate. Please tell me they are just doing this because they have an agenda.

    But

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/canc...or-lung-cancer

    Says it is 13% who survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

    Which should I believe? (Please 13%!!)
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    Does anyone know what the 5 year survival rates are? Most sources seem to imply (although they never state) that it is incurable. Hopefully this is not true.

    Also there is variance:

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/canc...val-statistics

    Says there is no 5 year survival rate. Please tell me they are just doing this because they have an agenda.

    But

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/canc...or-lung-cancer

    Says it is 13% who survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

    Which should I believe? (Please 13%!!)
    I don't think CRUK are likely to have any sort of "agenda" that would involve lying about survival rates. I think the reason that first graph has no survival rate shown for stage 4 is that it is from the Anglia Cancer Network, so only contains data from one part of the country (in which there may not have been enough patients with stage 4 lung cancer to collect statistically significant reults) whereas the second set of results is from a much larger worldwide survey so they were able to get data. So 13% is probably closer to reality, although do bear in mind that is for ALL non-small-cell cancers which include some which are more or less aggressive than adenocarcinoma, and for many different countries, whose cancer treatments may be better or worse than the UK's.

    I assume from your posting that somebody close to you has recently been diagnosed? It is a nasty disease and sadly does have a very high mortality rate; even if 13% is correct it is unfortunately not great odds. Hopefully you and your relative(s) are getting the support you need to handle this difficult news, and there are treatment options available to them.
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    (Original post by Helenia)

    I assume from your posting that somebody close to you has recently been diagnosed? It is a nasty disease and sadly does have a very high mortality rate; even if 13% is correct it is unfortunately not great odds. Hopefully you and your relative(s) are getting the support you need to handle this difficult news, and there are treatment options available to them.
    It's my mum and she's getting radiotherapy. The doctors are wording things quite carefully "we're trying to treat the symptoms as a priority..." I think to avoid any false hope of a permanent cure. Surgery to remove the tumour hasn't been raised.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    It's my mum and she's getting radiotherapy. The doctors are wording things quite carefully "we're trying to treat the symptoms as a priority..." I think to avoid any false hope of a permanent cure. Surgery to remove the tumour hasn't been raised.
    Really sorry to hear this.

    My understanding (and I'm not an oncologist) is that stage 4 means that it has spread outside the lung itself, and may have invaded other tissues, which would mean that surgery is not possible. Hopefully the radiotherapy will shrink it and not cause too many side-effects.

    I expect you and the rest of your family may have lots of questions at this stage, and in the stress of clinic appointments it can be easy to forget some. It can be helpful to write them down, and then write down the responses, so you have something to refer to afterwards. You may also want to contact Macmillan for support, both emotional and practical, as they have loads of experience with these horrible situations.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Really sorry to hear this.

    My understanding (and I'm not an oncologist) is that stage 4 means that it has spread outside the lung itself, and may have invaded other tissues, which would mean that surgery is not possible. Hopefully the radiotherapy will shrink it and not cause too many side-effects.

    I expect you and the rest of your family may have lots of questions at this stage, and in the stress of clinic appointments it can be easy to forget some. It can be helpful to write them down, and then write down the responses, so you have something to refer to afterwards. You may also want to contact Macmillan for support, both emotional and practical, as they have loads of experience with these horrible situations.
    But I don't understand why they won't give me a survival rate. If she is going to die, I want to know.
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    I guess the problem is that survival rates are an average and no person is 'typical' so its hard to say, and I think whatever treatment they decide will be down to lots of things - ask them and really sorry to hear the bad news
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    But I don't understand why they won't give me a survival rate. If she is going to die, I want to know.
    It posted as anon so I will repost....

    I am sorry to hear this, my dad was diagnosed with the same.

    Honestly it varies from patient to patient and different people react to treatment with varying degrees of success. My guess would be they are waiting to see how she responds to treatment beforehand.

    It is a horrible illness and has one of the lowest 5 year survival rates of any cancer, that is the harsh reality.... But that doesn't mean you need to give up.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    It's my mum and she's getting radiotherapy. The doctors are wording things quite carefully "we're trying to treat the symptoms as a priority..." I think to avoid any false hope of a permanent cure. Surgery to remove the tumour hasn't been raised.
    The words "as a priority" are tautological in this instance; if only symptomatic (palliative) care is being provided, this means that full remission is highly unlikely. I would suggest you ask what they mean by the word "symptoms". Cancer symptoms (with one exception) do often negatively correlate to prognosis, so palliating the symptoms may mean slowing or reversing the progress of cancer.

    The only exception here is "pain". If "pain only" palliative treatment is being given, this means, essentially, that the doctors have given up and it's all in God's hands now. (Scratch that, you said radiation treatment was being given, this does reduce tumour size, so the progress of the disease will be slowed or reversed).

    Don't be scared by the word "palliative" here though---that simply means treating the primary symptom, not the cause. Palliative treatment can be given for a broken leg too; in that case, it would be a box of Sevredol (come to think of it, a box of Sevredol would work for cancer too!), while the curative treatment would be surgery (again, in some forms of cancer, surgery would similarly work as a curative).
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    But I don't understand why they won't give me a survival rate. If she is going to die, I want to know.
    They won't because adenocarcinoma has a highly variable survival rate even in the same stage. One patient may have a 25% chance of remission, whereas another's chance may be nil. Also, the term "survival rate" is something of a quagmire---one man's definition may be "rate of survival to five-years post diagnosis", whereas another man may define it as "rate of total cancer remission".

    The median survival time of stage IV lung cancer post-diagnosis is eight months. That said, this estimate would need to be adjusted upwards in your mother's case. The reason for this is that your mother is a young(er) woman (assuming you are a university student). Life expectancy post-diagnosis decreases with age and with the male sex.
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    (Original post by honeywhite)
    That said, this estimate would need to be adjusted upwards in your mother's case. The reason for this is that your mother is a young(er) woman (assuming you are a university student). Life expectancy post-diagnosis decreases with age and with the male sex.
    She's 59. Would that be younger than the average lung cancer sufferer?
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    She's 59. Would that be younger than the average lung cancer sufferer?
    Yah, I'd say so. Lung cancer in general seems to be more common later in life (65+).

    The more significant thing is that she has two X chromosomes. Being a man might be great for a lot of things, but, unfortunately, cancer survival rates, as well as life expectancy in general, are not one of them.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    She's 59. Would that be younger than the average lung cancer sufferer?
    Unfortunately trying to estimate on a student forum is not the best place, the only person who is going to be qualified to be able to say is your mothers oncologist who has seen her scans.

    The best thing you can do now is try and support your mum through her treatment and try to spend as much quality time with her as you can until a point where they know how well she is responding to her treatment.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    But I don't understand why they won't give me a survival rate. If she is going to die, I want to know.
    Possibly several reasons: -
    • They may genuinely not know. If she responds to the radiotherapy then the answer could be very different than if she doesn't
    • They want to focus on what they can do, rather than making guesses based on population statistics. Projected survival times are notoriously unreliable.
    • They don't want to make promises they can't keep, either too optimistic or pessimistic
    • They may not think your mum (who is the patient, and as a mentally competent adult is the one who should be receiving the information directly and finding out what she wants to know) is ready to hear potentially bad news yet, or she may not want to discuss it in front of you.


    I'm afraid that the prognosis is likely to be very poor, but beyond that we can't say with any degree of certainty, even less than her oncologists. Make sure you are looking after your mum and yourself.
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    A little update:


    Her cancer has spread to her spine now to the extent that she can no longer use either of her legs. Chances are, she will never walk again. I've been told that she can't have any radiotherapy for the next 8 weeks as she's just had an operation to strengthen her spine (which sadly seems redundant now).

    My biggest struggle on a personal level has been trying to be open about all this. I have only told my two closest friends and some relatives about all this. I find it almost impossible to be open to my colleagues at work about this and sometimes I look like I really want to cry and they ask me what's wrong and I just say "I'm tired" or "hayfever" or another bull**** excuse. I don't want to attention seek and that's the main reason why I don't want to talk about it. I also find it impossible to talk about it to some of my friends even when they talk about cancer (e.g. Stephen Sutton) and I try to change the subject. But deep down I really want to talk about it.

    I'm male so not sure if that makes it more difficult to be 'emotional' in front of others?

    I don't know if anyone could offer advice on how I can be more open about how I feel?
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    A little update:


    Her cancer has spread to her spine now to the extent that she can no longer use either of her legs. Chances are, she will never walk again. I've been told that she can't have any radiotherapy for the next 8 weeks as she's just had an operation to strengthen her spine (which sadly seems redundant now).

    My biggest struggle on a personal level has been trying to be open about all this. I have only told my two closest friends and some relatives about all this. I find it almost impossible to be open to my colleagues at work about this and sometimes I look like I really want to cry and they ask me what's wrong and I just say "I'm tired" or "hayfever" or another bull**** excuse. I don't want to attention seek and that's the main reason why I don't want to talk about it. I also find it impossible to talk about it to some of my friends even when they talk about cancer (e.g. Stephen Sutton) and I try to change the subject. But deep down I really want to talk about it.

    I'm male so not sure if that makes it more difficult to be 'emotional' in front of others?

    I don't know if anyone could offer advice on how I can be more open about how I feel?
    I think you need to find the right balance, I was rather open and there were times I regretted it, I'd go out for a drink and the first topic of discussion was how my dad was and inside I was thinking "Ffs, I've come out for an escape and to take my mind off it, not to talk about it more" although everyone does need support! If you want to talk about it though it might be best starting with a couple more and taking it from there, if you feel you can't talk to people you know there are a range of services for those dealing with a close relative having cancer who might be able to help.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    A little update:


    Her cancer has spread to her spine now to the extent that she can no longer use either of her legs. Chances are, she will never walk again. I've been told that she can't have any radiotherapy for the next 8 weeks as she's just had an operation to strengthen her spine (which sadly seems redundant now).

    My biggest struggle on a personal level has been trying to be open about all this. I have only told my two closest friends and some relatives about all this. I find it almost impossible to be open to my colleagues at work about this and sometimes I look like I really want to cry and they ask me what's wrong and I just say "I'm tired" or "hayfever" or another bull**** excuse. I don't want to attention seek and that's the main reason why I don't want to talk about it. I also find it impossible to talk about it to some of my friends even when they talk about cancer (e.g. Stephen Sutton) and I try to change the subject. But deep down I really want to talk about it.

    I'm male so not sure if that makes it more difficult to be 'emotional' in front of others?

    I don't know if anyone could offer advice on how I can be more open about how I feel?
    It's posted me as Anon and I am too tired to change it
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    you know there are a range of services for those dealing with a close relative having cancer who might be able to help.
    Are there any particular you'd recommend?
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    **** man, may she find a long and pain free remainder to her life as much as possible, what she needs more than anything is people there for her right now (I've been down the cancer road) had leukemia. The most important thing to me was not feeling alone. Morphine should ease the suffering alot. It's the gold standard for this.
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    (Original post by Autistic Merit)
    Are there any particular you'd recommend?
    Personally I didn't use any of them but some of the more well known ones are:
    http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerin...hascancer.aspx
    http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/patient...support/?Tab=2
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/familyfriends

    If you talk to your GP they are also to likely know about local groups etc..
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    (Original post by Dumachi)
    **** man, may she find a long and pain free remainder to her life as much as possible, what she needs more than anything is people there for her right now (I've been down the cancer road) had leukemia. The most important thing to me was not feeling alone. Morphine should ease the suffering alot. It's the gold standard for this.
    She's being moved closer to home today so this should help me spend more time with her.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Personally I didn't use any of them but some of the more well known ones are:
    http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerin...hascancer.aspx
    http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/patient...support/?Tab=2
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/familyfriends

    If you talk to your GP they are also to likely know about local groups etc..
    Thanks. I will keep the details close to me at all times.
 
 
 
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