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Nov 30, 2015 06:00AM
Nov 30, 2015 06:33AM
All along, I've been having a bit of a problem syncing those cancermath sites with recurrence statistics. Assuming I stick with an anti-hormonal treatment for the next couple of years, I have about an 8% chance of distant recurrence (it leaps up to 15% without treatment) and, should that metastasis take place, I'd sure expect my life expectancy to be shortened by more than 30 days. So what gives? Well, I just checked out an actuarial life expectancy table. If you are female and age 20-70, your plain, ordinary life expectancy will get you to about age 85 (84 at 20 and 30, 85 at 40,50, and 70, 86 at 60). At 80, it's 91, and at 90, 96. Those statistical numbers include all causes of death, including breast cancer.
So I'm thinking that if the bc mortality statistics (along with all other causes of death) are already firmly ensconced in our actuarial life expectancy, then an already-accounted-for diagnosis is not going to skew those numbers very much. What might skew the numbers (favorably) would be an absence of diagnosis of bc, heart, lung, diabetes,circulatory, or any other ailment or condiditon.
Anyway, for me, especially considering the quality of life issues consequent to a mets dx, my statistical recurrence probablility/possibility seems a more valid (and personal) predictive and decision-making tool than the life expectancy predictors.
I stuck with AI's for over two years, had a hard time with them, recently switched to tamoxofen, and am very happily side effect-free and looking forward to keeping this drug going as long as my onc recommends.
I'm hoping that sticking with the statistically-recommended treatment removes breast cancer from my personal life expectancy table, skewing the numbers up.
11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/6/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel
3/31/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
7/3/2014 Aromasin (exemestane)
11/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
9/27/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)