Why are cancer stats for the most part always determined within a five-year survival rate? My opinion would be due to the fact that cancer is difficult to predetermine and providing five-year stats gives a better perspective. Here is a link from The Mayo Clinic as well as Wikipedia
Here is a link posted on The National Cancer Institutes site where you can determine the stats for your paticular type of cancer based on a rate from 1988 to 2006. For the most part, especially if you look up kidney cancer in males in the 50+ age range, there is a dramatic decline in the survival rate of patients during that time. Now however, based on my post of yesterday, and from all ages and genders of patients, it shows an increase in the survival rate of kidney cancer patients from 60% now up to 67%. I personally think the latter is great news and I also personally know that kidney cancer patients are living longer and are also living with a very good quality of life for the most part.
How do I know? Well, back in 2006, the medical experts in our area knew very little about kidney cancer - we know that for a fact! Maybe it's because they have so many other types of cancer that they deal with on a daily basis - still no excuse though in our fast paced technological world where information can be obtained in an instant at the touch of a computer keyboard.
One thing I know for sure is:
- Kidney cancer patients are living longer now because of new treatments that have been introduced since 2006 - as my husband was among one of the first ones in our area to begin Sutent treatment back then.
- Patients are becoming more informed about their type of cancer and their caregivers/advocates are asking more questions of the medical specialists and not giving up until they find the right answers.
- Patients with kidney cancer and other types of cancer are obtaining more support from other patients/caregivers through mediums such as blogs, chat forums, etc. and they can now obtain information on types of treatments that are available and how to get them, even if your oncologist cannot!
- Patients are looking at their cancer as a chronic disease more and more, and not thinking of their cancer as a death sentence. It's all in the attitude - and the patient's determination to never quit!
The main thing for cancer patients to keep in mind, is that cancer stats are improving for the majority of the different types of cancer. Survival rates are going up and any patient with cancer in today's new technological innovative society, is in a much better place, then they were five years ago!!!