Fighting Stage 4 Lung Cancer With Precision Oncology
We had a chance to talk with Thomas the other day from his home in Newfoundland. Heres what he said
CTOAM adds something into the cancer equation that nobody else has, and that is bringing medical science. There is no other organization or group that I have come across that talks about medical science. And that is the huge addition here.
Another thing is support. The availability of Alex and Michelle just being able to call them and get the support I need going forward.
So those two things in particular and their determination to get things done. And then looking ahead further from here
You know, I believe that CTOAM is prepared to support me to get the job done and get me into remission. I believe that youll do whatever it takes. And that if anyone can do it, you can.
And so those kinds of things are my takeaways at this pointand that gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of hope.
Ill say it even makes me kind of excited about the possibilities going forward but I hesitate to use the word excitement when Im talking about cancer.
But I feel hopeful, very hopeful, that you guys are the people who are going to make my life worth living. And, you know, five days ago I celebrated my 75th birthdayand I want to celebrate my 90th for sure. And you guys are my hope.
Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Thomas.
Survival For All Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Generally for men with prostate cancer in England:
- more than 95 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- more than 85 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
- almost 80 out of 100 will survive their cancer for 10 years or more
Survival of prostate cancer is also reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But it is difficult to compare survival between these countries because of differences in the way the information is collected.
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account the background mortality that they would have experienced if they had not had cancer.
Experimental Treatments For Advanced Prostate Cancer
Researchers are currently testing many new approaches and treatments for prostate cancer, including new medications. These include the following:
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
The immune system uses âcheckpointsâ to stop it from attacking the bodyâs healthy cells. These checkpoints are proteins on immune cells.
Cancer cells often use these checkpoints to keep the immune system from attacking them.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that can these checkpoints on cancer cells. Inhibiting these checkpoints can allow a personâs immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy
This treatment involves taking immune cells from the personâs blood. A scientist then alters these cells in a lab to have receptors called chimeric antigen receptors on their surface.
These receptors help the cells attach to proteins on the surface of prostate cells. A scientist then multiplies these altered T cells in a lab before putting them back into the personâs blood.
Scientists hope these T cells can then find prostate cancer cells and launch a targeted immune attack.
However, this treatment is complicated and may have some serious side effects. This means it is currently only available as part of clinical trials.
Targeted drug therapies
Targeted drug therapies can act on specific parts of cancer cells and the environments surrounding them.
Two possible targeted therapy treatments are:
Treating prostate cancer that has spread to the bones
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Stage 4 Cancer Survival Rate
A patient whose cancer cells have invaded other organs aside from its origin is said to be in Stage IV cancer, which usually carries a grim prognosis compared to earlier stages of the disease. The five-year survival rate for patients in this stage may depend on different factors such as the type of cancer he has, his overall general health, the type of treatment used and the patient’s will power to overcome the disease. As mentioned above, the five-year survival rate is expressed as the percentage of patients who will probably live up to 5 years after diagnosis of the disease based on research on patients with the same type and stage of cancer. A 60% 5-year survival rate therefore indicates that it is estimated that 60 out of every 100 patients will live for 5 years after diagnosis while the rest will probably die. This is just an estimate and not an exact number, since many factors influence the progress of one’s disease. The following is a summary of the 5-year survival rates of different types of stage 4 cancer based on research:
What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need
There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.
The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- Your age
- Any other health problems you might have
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- Your feelings about the need to treat the cancer
- The chance that treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your feelings about the side effects that might come with treatment
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Stages Of Prostate Cancer
In order to determine the stage of a patients prostate cancer, most doctors start by using the TNM staging system, which helps describe different aspects of the cancers growth.
- T the T category measures the size and extent of the Tumor
- N the N category measures whether and how far the cancer has spread to the Lymph Nodes
- M the M category whether the cancer has spread to other organs in the body (a process called Metastasis
The score for each of these categories is determined based on a pre-determined set of criteria. Your doctor cannot feel or see the tumor with a score of T1. A score of T3 means that the tumor has begun to grow outside of the prostate.
After calculating the TNM categories, doctors will combine the TNM score with the patients Gleason score and PSA levels assigning of a specific stage to the patients cancer.
Prostate cancer prognosis and survival rates can help give patients an idea of their chances of surviving the disease based on the stage and time of diagnosis. While some patients may find this information helpful, others may not want to know.
Is Stage 4 Cancer Always Terminal
More severe cancers are more likely to be terminal. However, that is never a certainty. For example, the American Cancer Society say the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer that spreads to distant body parts is 27%, or 86% when it only spreads locally.
Determining the severity of cancer and its stage is a complex process. Doctors are still learning about all the factors that affect how cancer develops and affects the body.
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Advocating For Your Health
- After seeking medical attention for a sore throat and a papery whisper of a voice, Jen Hardy was eventually diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
- Metastatic breast cancer is technically not curable, but with ongoing advancements in treatments and options to dramatically reduce symptoms, there are many reasons to be hopeful.
- Being your own advocate can be key to coming to a correct cancer diagnosis and obtaining the best treatment possible while dealing with a diagnosis.
Cancer diagnoses always come as an unwanted surprise. Take Scottish mother Jen Hardy, for example. Her metastatic breast cancer diagnosis came about after seeking medical attention for a symptom more unusual than most: a sore throat and a papery whisper of a voice.
Hardy, 54, went to the doctor thinking she had a throat infection and left with a diagnosis of laryngitis and a recommendation of rest. Unfortunately, this would prove to be a misdiagnosis.
After five weeks of barely being able to speak, she returned to her doctor and was sent for a CT scan. The results that came back were shocking.
I had lost my voice for weeks, but I never thought that it would be cancer and had no concept of the urgency when I was told to come straight home,she told BBC Scotland. And even when I was told it was incurable I still didnt appreciate what it meant.
When To Stop Treatment
While we have better treatments than in the past, and sometimes can even treat metastases, we know that many people with stage 4 colon cancer will reach a time at which the risks and side effects of treatment outweigh the benefits.
The advent of new treatments is a double-edged sword. These newer treatments can extend life and provide options not available just a few short years ago.
In the past, we often simply ran out of treatments to offer, but today we have reached a point in which the choice to discontinue treatments often needs to be an active decision. If you are at this point in your journey, make sure to ask a lot of questions, and carefully contemplate the answers.
In addition to having to make decisions about when to stop treatment, people have to learn about and consider taking part in clinical trialssome of which have been changing the outlook for stage 4 colon cancer considerably. It’s important to learn all you can about your cancer.
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Prostate Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Prostate
The prostate is agland in the malereproductive system. It lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra . The prostate gland makes fluid that is part of the semen.
Survival Of Prostate Cancer
Survival depends on many factors. No one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
Below are general statistics based on large groups of people. Remember, they cant tell you what will happen in your individual case.
Survival for prostate cancer is generally good, particularly if you are diagnosed early.
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Jeanne: Pancreatic Cancer Survivor
Jeanne Czel went from enjoying retirement and playing golf in a benefit tournament in North Carolina, to a month later undergoing what would be one of the most difficult years of her life. It started with an uncomfortable feeling in her chest that she attributed to heart burn or acid reflux, although she had never experienced either before. She was still not feeling right, but had no alarming symptoms such as pain, or weight loss. Normally a very active person, when she started noticing loss of energy, she made an appointment to meet with her gastroenterologist. On July 21, 2011, after undergoing blood work, an MRI and a CT scan, Jeanne received a diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer it had metastasized to her liver and duodenum.
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Treatment Options For Stage 4 Cancer
Stage 4 cancer is challenging to treat, but treatment options may help control the cancer and improve pain, other symptoms and quality of life. Systemic drug treatments, such as targeted therapy or chemotherapy, are common for stage 4 cancers.
Often, a clinical trial may be an option, offering new treatments to help you fight stage 4 cancer.
Below are the prevailing treatment options for the five most common cancers.
Treatment of stage 4 breast cancer: For cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes, systemic drug treatments are typically used. These include:
- Hormone therapy
They may be used alone or in combination, and they may also be determined by the hormone receptor and the HER2 status of the cancer.
Surgery and radiation may be treatment options in specific cases to help improve symptoms caused by a growing tumor, not to get rid of the cancer. The tumor may be removed with surgery or shrunk by radiation therapy if, for example, its:
- Blocking a blood vessel
- Causing a wound
- Affecting the spinal cord
Treatment of stage 4 lung cancer: In general, stage 4 lung cancer is also treated with systemic drug therapies.
Stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to one distant area tends to be treated differently than lung cancer that has spread more widely. For stage 4A cancers, treatment tends to focus on the one site where the cancer has spread.
There may also be clinical trials assessing new treatments for stage 4 melanoma.
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Binet And Rai Systems
Binet and Rai are the staging systems used to specifically diagnose Chronic LymphocyticLeukemia , a non-tumorous cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Both of these systems use the patients white blood cell count to determine how far their cancer may have spread and what areas of the body are being affected.
Victory Over Stage Iv Metastatic Prostate Cancer
I am Jeff Poole, my diagnosis is stage IV metastatic prostate cancer. My journey began in the winter of 2014 when I started experiencing pain in my groin. I would later discover what I assumed was a pulled groin muscle to my surprise would turn out to be cancer.
My pain seemed to be getting better until I slipped on the ice in January of 2015. In February, I went to my Doctor and after finding no muscle issues my doctor ordered blood work. When the blood work results came back, they revealed that my Prostate Specific Antigen was 11, with 4 being normal for my age.
In March, I had a bone scan and a prostate biopsy confirming my cancer with a PSA that was now 26. During the next couple of months my wife, Sherrie and I did a ton of research. I read enough to scare myself, so I decided to let Sherrie research and then discuss her findings with me.
When we met with my Surgeon he sat with us and explained everything one might want to know about prostate cancer and my options. We had decided that prostate removal would be the smart choice if the cancer had not metastasized. The surgeon questioned an issue on the bone scan report, which led to more x-rays and the discovery of two lesions on my pubic bone. I was then referred to my Oncologist. When we met with the Oncologist he sent me for a bone biopsy. The biopsy confirmed the lesions were prostate cancer metastasis.
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Cancer May Spread From Where It Began To Other Parts Of The Body
- Lymph system. The cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
- Blood. The cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if prostate cancer spreads to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone are actually prostate cancer cells. The disease is metastatic prostate cancer, not bone cancer.
After Prostate Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Prostate Or To Other Parts Of The Body
The process used to find out if cancer has spread within theprostate or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. The results of the tests used to diagnoseprostate cancer are often also used to stage the disease. In prostate cancer, staging tests may not be done unless the patient has symptoms or signs that the cancer has spread, such as bone pain, a high PSA level, or a high Gleason score.
The following tests and procedures also may be used in the staging process:
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Are Older Men Undertreated
Schwartz and colleagues44 reviewed the treatment decisions and factors influencing them in a cohort of men with localized prostate cancer. Age, comorbidity, and Gleason score were found to be independent predictors of suboptimal treatment. It was concluded that most men older than 70 years with moderately or poorly differentiated tumors and no to mild comorbidity were given suboptimal treatment. Most of these men were undertreated, receiving watchful waiting therapy when potentially curative therapy could have been applied. With optimal treatment, clinical outcomes could have been improved.
Thompson and colleagues46 investigated otherwise healthy octogenarians diagnosed with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. At the last follow-up visit, 10 patients had survived more than a decade after surgery, and 3 patients had died within 10 years of surgery. The remaining 6 patients were alive at less than 10 years of follow-up. Seventy-four percent of patients were continent. No patient had died of prostate cancer, and the 10-year, all-cause survival rate was similar to that observed in healthy patients 60 to 79 years old undergoing radical prostatectomy. These findings indicate that careful selection of patients even older than 80 years can achieve satisfactory oncologic and functional outcomes after surgery. It is important to note, however, that the rate of urinary incontinence after surgery exceeds that of younger counterparts.