Discussion Board Forums General Discussion Palliative survival timeframes?

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    Thank you for posting your question regarding survival rates. And thank you to everyone for posting their thoughts. When you look on line and do research it really is very grim. I am filled with hope and determination when I hear stories from people who have been diagnosed and are still fighting.


    I would not be too concerned about the statistics you read (which I admit are alarming at times), CC typically effects older people who may have underlying medical conditions which skews the statistics. Out of the total population of CC patients, it may be worth identifying those patients that are like you; Young – at 32 your quite young to have CC (I’m 49 and I consider myself young) and responsive to treatment (your tumour reductions and disappearance of some mets is very encouraging).

    Lisa is right – don’t be worried about the stage, focus on the fight – have the best team of medical professional in your corner and seek/maintain the support of your family, friends and work colleagues.

    Keep us posted on how your doing.



    Rick, I was diagnosed with a 6 cm tumor in August 2007. Radiation and chemo shrunk it to about 2.5 cm. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 over a year ago with numerous mets to the lungs. I don’t pay much attention to the Stages, I just pay attention to the fight. I’m still here, still going strong, not giving up and not giving in. I lost my hair but not my will to live. I am in relatively good health except for cancer. In fact I went to a hockey game last night and am going to a company party tonight.

    As Lainy likes to say, Attitude is Everything!

    And as I like to say, “pray and don’t give up hope!”


    Considering the services provided I am not able to define the timeline for a person being treated in palliative care surroundings.

    These are my thoughts:

    I believe for the term of Palliative Care to encompass many things such as:

    It being a medical specialty focusing on relieving pain, stress and other deliberating symptoms of a serious illness.
    It is provided by a tem of experts
    It is not dependent on a prognosis.
    It is to relieve stress, pain, and other debilitating symptoms of a serious illness.
    It can be used in combination with a treatment for a cure.
    The focus is to relieve suffering.
    It provides the best possible quality of life for not only the patient but, for the family alike.
    It is provided by a team of experts including palliative care doctors, nurses, and social workers. This may include the services of a massage therapists, nutritionist, and pharmacist amongst other.
    It helps navigate the healthcare system
    It provides guidance with difficult and complex treatment choices
    Provides spiritual and emotional support

    Hospice care generally uses a multidisciplinary teach approach.

    Although, it does not aim for a cure of a disease it can and often will treat potentially curable conditions exceeding a 6 months time period.
    It may include nurses, doctors, social workers, clergy
    It may include additional services such as:
    Providing drugs to control pain and to manage other symptoms,
    Physical, occupational, speech therapy, medical supplies and equipment,
    Medical, social services, dietary and other counseling,
    Continuous home care at times of crisis,
    Bereavement services.
    Volunteering care is part of the hospice philosophy
    It will offer respite care workers (usually trained volunteers who take over the patient


    I have had stage 4 since at least Dec of last year when the reoccurance was detected. I am at 1 year now and trust me, I aint going anywhere anytime soon! I think alot depends on your outlook, your physical condition before, and just plain luck. I know my doctors will fight with me as long as 1) I want to fight and 2) I am able to fight. That puts me automatically in a different group than someone with less willing doctors or someone who for their own reasons dont think pain or bad life quality is worth the fight. My perspective is one never knows what will happen so go ahead and hit me with it.

    There are several people who are long term survivors and just keep on ticking. Unfortunately, we lost several last year…Kathleen, Peter and Ron were at 5 or there abouts. Jeff was at 10. And stage 4 now, doesnt mean stage 4 next June. I think Suzanne got it right when she did chemo, surgery, RFA, more chemo, more RFA. I think her mixing treatments kept the cc on its toes and now she is NED (no evidence of disease).

    I was completely stressed a couple of days ago because I know that statistic you just quoted and I thought..D#mn, I am already at a year and I heard the tick tock of my life clock. But then I thought, NO I AM NOT A STATISTIC! And if I were on, I would be the one that added time to your life with each laugh.



    Rick, are you reading our posts? We have a ton of Miracle survivors. I just posted about my husband who for no apparent reason has 2 newer tumor shrinking. There is no reason that we know of but the news was very welcome. We have also had people who were given months and are here 2 years later. Our own beloved Jeff G beat the odds for 10 years! This is one disease that time frames are never depended upon. It sounds very positive when you talk shrinkage. I would suggest trying not to think in terms of how long do I have but rather how can I use my “life” to the fullest. Shrinkage is a beautiful word!


    My sister was diagnosed in March 2008 Stage IV with mets to liver and bones. She responded at first to chemo with tumors shrinking and a few disappeared. By October they had stopped responding and did not respond to the new chemo. She died in January 2009. She survived 10 months. And they called her chemo palliative from the beginning.


    I wonder if there is any kind of concensus here on survival timeframes for different stages of cancer? Most of the literature out there and from Dr’s paint things very grim for us and I’m wondering if it could possibly be better for some of us than science tells us. My instinct is that survival times are extremely variable, but it would be helpful to hear about some of the success stories out there who have made it longer than expected.

    For example, I am stage IV with mets to the peritoneum – but I seem to be responding to chemo for now and a repeat CT scan showed a fairly significant response for tumor shrinkage and even disappearance of some mets. I’d like to believe/hope that I’ll make it longer than the standard 3-6 months that advanced CCA patients are often given. I’ve made it 3 months already and feel fairly good overall except for the chemo side effects.


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