If you go to Adjuvant! Online - make sure you have obtained a copy of your histopathology report and have it beside you - register on the site - anyone can register as a Dr - its not illegal to do so - and get your log on - confirm your log on via your email - then log into Adjuvant! Online again, put in your log on name and password, click on breast cancer, input all your stats from your histopathology report and hey presto, up comes the survival stats for your particular situation. You can play with the reporting data by selecting different treatments to see what stats come up - which ones extend life and those that don't. You can also present your stats in different ways eg., how long the disease statistically reduces ones overall lifespan, how long statistically as breast cancer specific free, and so on. I found Adjuvant! Online the most useful tool especially as many on line forums on this issue tend to present [to my mind] overly optimistic anecdotes because of course only those who survive are here to post. Similarly I found most health care professionals prefer to turn themselves inside out than give a straight forward answer. Their usual line is everyone is different/what would be know/it depends - then they always tell you some uplifting anecdote about someone who is still going after 23 years! That of course is true - as far as it goes - but the reality is the survival stats are well established and while there can be enormous variation, some patients such as myself find it enormously informative and empowering to know exactly what the stats say is the normal or average course of my disease. Patients right to know is not , however, given the respect legally,ethically and morally entitled due. If you are over 18 and not so mentally ill you cannot make rational decisions for yourself, if you want to know this information, then you are entitled to it.3
Hi Jackie, I'm stage IIIc and have spoken to several stage IV ladies that have been living with cancer for years. There's an awesome discussion group on breastcancer.org that has helped me a great deal. It's nice to be able to share your story with someone that's been in your shoes. The ladies there are awesome.
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