Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Case of the Disappearing Cancer

I've been sent articles several times already about this Norwegian study that concluded that some breast (and other) cancers may spontaneously disappear, without treatment. I don't really have much comment of my own, because before I could really think deeply about the study, I read this fantastic response by a "skeptical OB-GYN," who writes a terrific, point-by-point analysis. Some highlights:
The study only looks at incidence of cancer. It does not look at outcome and life expectancy. If it turns out that the women in the study group have a much lower incidence of death from breast cancer, because they are treated early and aggressively, it will justify the apparent over diagnosis of breast cancer.
And,
there is no way to tell the difference on mammography, or by any other technique, between the cancers that will disappear and the ones that will go on and kill the woman.
To me, these two quotes really say everything we need to know at this point. However, as winter comes and my summer tan fades, and I note in the mirror greater evidence of the premature aging effects of chemo; as I read on the web that a close family member's kind of lung cancer is often treated with Taxol, and I think back on the bone pain and the horrible allergic reactions; as I think about the months of my life "lost" to sitting miserably on the couch; as I think of the awfulness that is cancer treatment, I certainly hope that researchers follow up on this study and find a way to make the important distinctions. Let's get rid of chemo for anyone for whom we can!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well put, bravo, IVPOY!

Anonymous said...

Better put, bravoer, IMPOY!

genetic cancer testing said...

It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor. In most cases, a brief delay in starting treatment will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Sometimes women with ovarian cancer need treatment right away.

naoma said...

About 14 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. Six months later on the other breast was another lump. I had a bilateral mastectomy. Doctor said
"chemo or radiation" would "do you no good." I did not take any pills either. I have not had a problem since and no reconstruction. I assumed his diagnosis was a "death sentence" but perhaps not . . .

calvin said...

The vast majority of Phase II cancer therapies go nowhere, according to researchers investigating the fate of 200 drug trials. Only 13 percent of the cancer drugs make it to Phase III, they say, with the rest often the victims of a lack of trial volunteers or money. The real culprit, though, could be the career demands of young oncologists. Many are encouraged to publish the results of studies in order to advance, says this study, prodding them to advance therapies into small mid-stage trials with no real expectation that they will go on to Phase III. They get the "lead researcher" billing and the drug goes nowhere.also for a better life use Generic Cialis this will take ur stress away and u will feel better . It is clearly impossible for a young investigator to run a large Phase III study," lead author Ian Tannock noted. "And they just don't get the academic kudos for entering patients into a potentially practice-changing phase III study that they do from running a 20-patient phase II study.

Sagar said...

Women had inadequate knowledge of their relative risk of developing breast cancer, of related risk factors and of the multiplicity of potential breast cancer -related symptoms. Older women were particularly unfortunate at identifying symptoms of breast cancer, risk factors related with breast cancer and their personal risk of developing the disease. Women are very cognizant about their breast care. Beautiful and healthy breast are one of the most esteemed dream of women.
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