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Old 03-02-2007, 02:20 PM   #1
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organicgirl HB User
chemotherapy success rate?

My dad is 65 and has several cancers. Lung, skin, lymph..
He was told to start chemo and radiation.

While briefly researching this I read that only 2%-4% of patients are successful in this. Many die from chemotherapy itself. I could post the link, but not sure if that is allowed here.

I have been reading that leaving cancer untreated gives you a better chance of living longer!

Any thoughts or knowledge of this?

 
Old 03-02-2007, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

I think it depends on the type of cancer to know what the success rate is. For me, if the success rate was too low like that, I'd look for alternative treatments. I'm not saying that they would work, but I'd look for them, just the same. In rare cases, some people have claimed to have cured themselves with nutrition and herbal remedies and so forth...like the woman doctor that had a huge lump in her chest. To be cured like that, a person would have to very aggressive on changing to a completely positive lifestyle as much as possible.

 
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:19 AM   #3
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

I second rhody.
If the rate of success of certain chemos is really low, I would look to other alternatives.
My husband was "unofficially" diagnosed with metastatic cancer to the lungs, from the cancer he had in the kidney 11 years ago.
When the CT results came back he said he would not proceed with more tests since he would not take any chemo or radiation because the prognosis is really not good at all, so he actually didn't have the biopsy done.
Well, this was in the begining of November and right now he is doing really well, and has no symptoms.
I give him Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions about 4 times per week (that is acupressure).
I also agree with rhody, that to go for alternative treatments one have to be 150% into them. Just doing a little here and there does not work. (BTW my husband decided he is not doing any alternative anything besides the acupressure).
I met a woman at the Optimum Health Institute, Lemom Grove, Ca, about 10years ago that had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4 and was given maximum 4 weeks. Well, when I met her she was cancer free and it was 2 years after the diagnosis. But.... she had spent all that time devoted to the alternative treatments, she had no other commitments or activities.

 
Old 03-03-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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organicgirl HB User
Re: chemotherapy success rate?

If I was diagnosed I know I would totally change my lifestyle. exercise, eat extremely well etc. And look into other ways of treatment.

My dad being 'old school'.. just listens to the doctors and assumes they know best. I just hate to sit back and watch him suffer through chemo then die shortly after.

I do know this for sure! Cancer Sucks!

 
Old 03-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #5
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canadadiva HB User
Re: chemotherapy success rate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by organicgirl View Post
My dad is 65 and has several cancers. Lung, skin, lymph..
He was told to start chemo and radiation.

While briefly researching this I read that only 2%-4% of patients are successful in this. Many die from chemotherapy itself. I could post the link, but not sure if that is allowed here.

I have been reading that leaving cancer untreated gives you a better chance of living longer!

Any thoughts or knowledge of this?
What is your dads primary cancer? I think that needs to look at and the type of chemo he is getting. I don't think its necessarily the chemo that kills people, although there are some chemo's that people can have severe reactions to. Its more the side effects of the chemo such as neutropenia (knock out immune system, can pick up infections easy). As far as the stats, you never know, everybodies responds differently to treatments, and there is no reason why your dad can't be one of the lucky ones. It really depends on the type of cancer and treatment, but yes sometimes getting the chemo can lead to other problems and decrease quality of life and possibly shorten the life. While not having chemo and living the last days to the fullest being comfortable is also a possibility. But we don't know the future and hope is so important. Its important for the cancer patient to weigh the risks/benefits and the stage of disease and treatment available. I have seen people who have a less than %10 chance of survival go home and are still well years later. But then of course is the other end of the spectrum. Good luck to your dad, I hope things work out for him.

 
Old 03-05-2007, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

I believe the primary cancer is lung. One tumour the size of his fist and four other smaller areas around it. then its in his lymph nodes and stomach. several skin cancer areas as well.

A friend of mine is a nurse at the hospital where he will be doing his radiation. I gave her as much info as I could on him and she predicts 6-12 months for him and possibly as much as 18. I DID NOT tell my dad that!

 
Old 03-11-2007, 03:24 AM   #7
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

Definitely depends on type of cancer and the know effectiveness of various chemo drugs. I knew two men who both had stomach cancer, one of whose cancer had already spread and who had lost a massive amount of weight. The other was still in relatively good health when diagnosed. The first man was told there was no chance of cure and decided not to do chemo; he lived for 18 months after diagnosis. Most of that time he was up and about, even able to be back at work for a while, to go shopping, walking, visiting. The other man was told chemo would hopefully shrink the tumour and then surgery might be possible, but the chemo made him extremely ill and unable to have any sort of normal life at all. He got sicker and weaker and died before the chemo course was finished. Scans while doing the chemo showed the chemo wasn't shrinking the tumour as hoped.

Another woman known to me was diagnosed with colon cancer which had already spread to her bones. She opted for chemo in spite of being told it wouldn't be of much benefit to her - she too died before the course was finished, when she took a heart attack. She hadn't had any heart trouble before this and the consensus seemed to be that the chemo was responsible. She hadn't reacted too badly to the chemo, so this outcome was both unexpected and a dreadful shock to her family.

None of us knows how we would react to the news that we had cancer, I suspect. But I think I would only have chemo if there was a reasonable chance that it could lead to cure or long-term remission. Or if it could relieve pain or other distressing symptoms, though in that case the chemo itself would have to be free of bad side effects itself.

 
Old 03-11-2007, 09:35 PM   #8
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

As someone who has been cured, I thank God for chemotherapy every day of my life!

Was it a picnic...heck, no. But it saved my life, as it does many others every day.

I don't know where you got that 2-4% cure rate, or survival rate, but that can't be for chemo in general.

Your dad's cancer is, unfortunately, quite advanced, having already spread beyond the lung. You also didn't mention which type of lung cancer it is...small cell lung cancer has a greater chance of being cured that non-small cell lung cancer. But now they even have some treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, and that is very recent. There are new therapies being tested every day.

I suspect that at this time chemo (possibly combined with radiation) is probably his only hope. Please also keep in mind that sometimes, even when chemo can't cure a specific type of cancer, it can often prolong life. People frequently get enough remission to live another 2-3 more good years (or even longer...but at 5+ years they condider us cured). And during that 2-3 years, or however long, a better treatment and/or cure may be found.

There are many types of alternative treatments that can be used in conjuction with chemotherapy; some enhance the immune system, some alleviate some of the side effects of the chemo. You can do some research and probably find a lot of info out there...just be careful and look to the source of the info. A "study" done by someone who is trying to sell you something is often of little value. You might be much better off at reputable sites such as the National Institutes of Health, and I believe they may even have a section on alternative treatment for cancer.

Getting a diagnosis of cancer is, I believe, one of the worst things in life, both for the individual who has it, and for their families. I wish you all the best of luck in fighting this terrible beast.

Ruth

 
Old 03-12-2007, 07:44 AM   #9
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

I remember reading an article by a well known Health Author who mentioned that only 3% are cured with chemo. This author sent a survey to Oncologists with the question: "If you had cancer would you take chemo." 75% said No due to ineffectiveness and unacceptable toxicity. I have read over the years a significant number of cases where cancer patients were cured using an all Natural Approach especially a Microbiotic Diet.

 
Old 03-20-2007, 05:24 PM   #10
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Re: chemotherapy success rate?

Hi,

I just posted a quick note about my dad in another post - but he is a success story for Chemo. My dad (dx with Cancer of an Unknown Primary) was 65 years old and basically healthy (other than cholesterol) when he was dx and was given the maximum dosage of Chemo they felt he could handle. He went through 6 rounds spaced at 3 weeks apart and given radiation near the end of his treatment. He has developed Neuropathy from the treatment but he is still with us and looking better every day!

As I found with trying to gather as much information as I could, each case and individual can be so different. Looking at stats can be scary, but remember, they're just a group of numbers. They didn't give us a very good outlook for my dad, but here he is in remission!

Best wishes,
Lynn

 
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