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angela

Percentages!!

Hi all, I had my first meeting with my oncologist yesterday following surgery 5 weeks ago to remove a T3 sgmoid colon tumour and lymph nodes.The biopsy showed that I had cancer in 25 out of the 40 lymph nodes removed and that it was highly likely that there are further cancer cells in remaining blood vessels. I have been offered chemo intravenously and tablets on a 3 weekly cycle for up to 6 months initially.The real big issue for me was understanding fully the statistics for success. I asked what my chances were for survival at this stage and was told that I had a 20% chance of surviving for 5 years if I don't have the chemo but if I have the chemo I have a 25% chance of surviving for 5 years,surely that means only a 5% difference for having treatment? I am 52 and in reasonably good health apart from the cancer,does anyone else understand the numbers?!! Cheers,Angela :x:

charleyb
Quote from @belinda66:
@charleyb:

" My husband was initially diagnosed and told an 8% chance of making 5 years, he then had a second opinion and it went up to 70%."

Blimey, what a huge difference.

I know!!!!

Our local hospital said the first percentage, and then told me he would only live 3 years! We are now at year 2 and he is cancer free........... We had a second opinion in London and he said as long as everything is resectable, which it was even before chemo, then there is a 70% chance of making 5 years. We obviously chose to run with the latter!!! But to be honest since then i realise that the stats really are irrelevant. Our surgeon always says but if you are in the 30% then what help was it worrying about all this, its a waste of life. :x::x::x::x:

Sasa

Hi @angela, my only thing to add to all of the above is that prognosis could also depend on where the mets are. So for my hubby, the onc said that Mark would not last more than a few months because the liver mets meant that without treatment he would soon go into liver failure. Mets elsewhere are perhaps (Iโ€™m guessing) not as immediately critical. So going onto chemo for him (plus having surgery) turned his prognosis into 33 months from 2-3 months. We are up to 29 months so far..... ๐Ÿ˜–

Sarah :x:

angela
Quote from @Lirio345:
Good morning @angela, to be absolutely honest no I do understand the numbers because they are generalisations and do not apply to individuals. These statistics are based on populations of patients of all ages, some of whom will have other serious health conditions. I would suggest that you bin the 5 year statistics because of this. The difference in outcome between those who have chemo and those who donโ€™t may be relatively small but you are a fit and young person and there are so many people on here (many of us stage 4) who are totally defying the โ€˜oddsโ€™. Have you read the recent post started by @TeacherS discussing whether to have chemo or not when considering the statistics? Makes for interesting reading! Take very good care, Kim

Hi Kim thanks for your reply I will read the post started by @TeacherS and I am feeling in a stronger place today.It is very reassuring to hear of many people beating the odds I need to read on from the people who really know about this stuff,us!! thanks again,stay strong,Angela :x:

angela
Quote from @jj:
@angela
Donโ€™t bother about statistics, am sure all the members of this forum will tell you the same. Be positive and let your own will power and strength guide you through this. So many hear have fought the odds and doing well.
Regards

Hi JJ thanks for your kind words of encouragement and support I am in a far better place today and ready for the battle! cheers ,keep strong,Angela :x:

angela
Quote from @cyclingjohnny:
Hi Angela, please don't become a percentage you are a unique human being and none of us are going to behave like statistics want us to,by all means take the chemo if it ups your chances ,but above all just be you all the best. John.

Hi John, thank you so much for your kind words and support you brought a tear to my eye, you are very right in all that you said and I am ready for the battle,bring it on! Keep strong,Angela :x:

angela
Quote from @charleyb:
I have to agree, the stats are not relevant to you as an individual. My husband was initially diagnosed and told an 8% chance of making 5 years, he then had a second opinion and it went up to 70%. Our team now refuse to give any numbers and just say that he is young, fit and had excellent treatment there are no stats for that. If you flip it the other way statistically he should not of got stage 4 bowel cancer at 39yrs old.......anyway he did and he took all treatment given and is currently cancer free (we have results monday to see if that continues) Trust you team and take what ever they will give you to beat this disease

Hi Charleyb, I will do exactly what you have said,thank you and good luck with your husband's results,my thoughts will be with you,keep strong,Angela :x:

ch7091

Hi @angela, I had a T3 tumour and 13/32 lymph nodes involved. I was told chemo would give me and extra 15-20% chance of it not coming back so I don't see how you're can be so different! My nurse showed me an online รงalculator that suggested around 72% chance of it NOT coming back in the next 5 years. Did you have spread anywhere else, or was it only in your bowel and then removed?

angela
Quote from @Tiffany:
@angela

Hi there...I agree with everything above. Don't worry about stats and percentages......they are just numbers and as the others have said try not to relate them to your situation. Best way to deal with it is by putting your trust into your oncology team and move forward with the best plan that will ensure you get rid of this cancer in its entirety. You really don't want to be in a situation in a few years time when you regret not having the treatment and then your options become limited as the cancer spreads.

My husband was told he was inoperable and incurable and when I asked about life expectancy I was initially told he did not have long left to live. Luckily we got a second opinion and our wonderful oncologist wouldn't talk about anything like that and kept us positive. Miraculously Mike is now cancer free...click on my name to read story.

Hope that helps a bit and best of luck with what you decide.
Tiffany

Hi Tiffany I am so glad your husband is now cancer free it gives us all hope, I will read your story too,thanks for your encouragement,keep strong, cheers,Angela :x:

angela
Quote from @Sasa:
Hi @angela, my only thing to add to all of the above is that prognosis could also depend on where the mets are. So for my hubby, the onc said that Mark would not last more than a few months because the liver mets meant that without treatment he would soon go into liver failure. Mets elsewhere are perhaps (Iโ€™m guessing) not as immediately critical. So going onto chemo for him (plus having surgery) turned his prognosis into 33 months from 2-3 months. We are up to 29 months so far..... ๐Ÿ˜–

Sarah

Hi Sarah , I am glad that your hubby is defying the statistics that's great !by Mets do you mean metastatic?if so my cancer was in the bowel and lymph nodes but ,fingers crossed,no other place ,hope it stays that way! I am in a stronger place today I think we all find strength to fight on that I never thought I would.my hubby died in 2017 after battling with renal transitional cell carcinoma from 2014,he was given 18 months to 3 years to live.what I saw him go through made me think that I would just collapse in a heap if it was me but up to now I seem to have found strength ,thank goodness,take care,xAngela.

angela
Quote from @ch7091:
Hi @angela, I had a T3 tumour and 13/32 lymph nodes involved. I was told chemo would give me and extra 15-20% chance of it not coming back so I don't see how you're can be so different! My nurse showed me an online รงalculator that suggested around 72% chance of it NOT coming back in the next 5 years. Did you have spread anywhere else, or was it only in your bowel and then removed?

Hi the tumour was contained in my bowel and lymph nodes but was told that it may be in blood vessels that cannot be seen hence the need for chemo, I am going to take whatever I am offered and fight on, cheers,Angela :x:

ch7091

Mine was found near a blood vessel too. I would ignore that doctor! My oncologist described me as 'very curable.' And so will you be!

Sasa

Hi @angela yes I mean the metastases. I personally know someone who is 7 years clear of this disease, so it is treatable and curable. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Sarah :x:

1234annie

I had cancer cells in the blood vessels too and my oncologist and consultant categorically told me if I didn't have chemo it would come back! I'd take the chemo all day long. :x: :x: :x: :x:

AMM31

@angela
I had 11 nodes involved and vascular invasion too.
I think I was quoted about 15% extra for 5 year survival with chemo. I took the chemo.
I have just had a clear ct, and will be 3 years clear on 24 May!
Best wishes
:x::x:

angela
Quote from @AMM31:
@angela
I had 11 nodes involved and vascular invasion too.
I think I was quoted about 15% extra for 5 year survival with chemo. I took the chemo.
I have just had a clear ct, and will be 3 years clear on 24 May!
Best wishes

Thank you that's great news and very encouraging,keep strong,xAngela.

angela
Quote from @Sasa:
Hi @angela yes I mean the metastases. I personally know someone who is 7 years clear of this disease, so it is treatable and curable. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Sarah

Hi Sarah thanks for your reply and thanks again for your encouraging words, I am definitely going to go for the treatment ,cheers,Angela :x:

angela
Quote from @1234annie:
I had cancer cells in the blood vessels too and my oncologist and consultant categorically told me if I didn't have chemo it would come back! I'd take the chemo all day long.

I agree I am definitely going to be going for the chemo, thanks,Angela :x:

terri m

Hi @angela .. I was stage 3, had four cancer nodes, & in my vessels with a grade 3 cancer.. Im doing ok since November 2017.. You go for the chemo. Who is your best friend at this time.. ๐Ÿ‘... All of us with this disease will never know the outcome.. I wont feel safe until I get to the 5 year mark, but I try & have little things to aim for in life.. Focusing on these things help me to forget that I had this illness now.. Good luck to you & lots of love๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’ :x::x:

angela

Hi Terri m thanks your reply was lovely and very encouraging , I am definitely going to be going for the chemo will update on how it goes but having seen my husband go through it from 2014 to 2017 there were few side effects other than tiredness so all though I know everyone is different I am going to keep him in mind!Good luck to you too ,smash that 5 year Target and keep strong!X Angela :x::x::x::x:

determinedjoan

So v sorry to hear about your dear husband; no wonder you have been feeling anxious.
All the v best with ur treatment,
Thinking of u & sending love ๐Ÿ’— & hugs ๐Ÿค— :x: