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Author Topic: Why is cancer survival measured in five years?  (Read 227 times)

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Offline hypochondrius

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Why is cancer survival measured in five years?
« on: January 23, 2014, 08:50:02 AM »
I've never understood this. Is this because people never really live beyond five years after diagnosis? Or because if they've lived five years with it chances are it won't kill them because its too slow to progress? Has there been people who've lived like 20 years after cancer diagnosis?
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Offline MOchp

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Re: Why is cancer survival measured in five years?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 09:42:05 AM »
I'm not sure about the reason why 5 years is used, but I wanted to answer your second question. There have been people on here with relatives that have survived that long after having it, and I've read elsewhere of people surviving that long or more.
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Offline marc

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Re: Why is cancer survival measured in five years?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 09:54:40 AM »
The theory is, if you are cancer free for 5 years, than the odds of survival are
much greater.
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Offline Air Nomad

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Re: Why is cancer survival measured in five years?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 01:18:12 PM »
I was told that each year within 5 years, you are statistically less and less likely to have a recurrence after treatment.  If there is no recurrence within those 5 years, after 5 years is up you are statistically back in the general population in terms of likelihood of developing cancer.
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: Why is cancer survival measured in five years?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 02:37:35 PM »
I had cancer for the first time 5 years ago this month.  I was clear for just under 3 years and then they found a small spot on my liver.  My stats are still based on 5 MORE years but they won't use the word 'cured' for 10 years.

Stats are based on five years for several reasons.  Treatments and medications change pretty quickly so when I was first diagnosed, none of the stats were based on the chemo I had.  Also, those stats could not be released until 5 years AFTER the people in those studies had completed treatment and papers had been written.  The American Cancer Society's newest stats (unless they've changed in the last few weeks) are from studies on people who started treatment in 2006 and ended in 2011.  In 2006, many of today's chemos were not in use.  Just 8 years ago I would have never been offered liver surgery, which certainly will give me many more years and offers a 50% chance of CURE!   They didn't know how to deal with all the issues the liver has back in 2006!

Stats will ALWAYS be at least 5 years old.  If new stats came out right now, they'd be based on a study started about 6 years ago.  Some studies follow people for longer and those papers can be found on teaching hospital websites but I've not seen many just put out there for public use.

My stats for my liver resection said:  Solitary Colorectal Liver Metastasis Resection Determines Outcome FREE
Thomas A. Aloia, MD; Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, MD; Evelyne M. Loyer, MD; Dario Ribero, MD; Timothy M. Pawlik, MD, MPH; Steven H. Wei, MS, PA-C; Steven A. Curley, MD; Daria Zorzi, MD; Eddie K. Abdalla, MD


Researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas prospectively studied patients with a first solitary liver metastasis who were treated either with hepatic resection or radiofrequency ablation. .

Present study shows an 80% 3-year survival rate (and a 71% 5-year survival rate) after HR and well-established data showing 10- and 20-year survivors after HR of solitary and multiple metastases, even without adjuvant chemotherapy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This study was PUBLISHED in 2006 and submitted for review in 2005. 
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