From Cured To Stage 4
Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.
Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.
âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â
In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.
âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â
Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.
âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â
And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.
The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.
Stage 4 Liver Cancer Coping And Support
Stage 4 liver cancer can be a challenging diagnosis, whether its you or a loved one. The prognosis isnt good, so its important for the patient to make preparations such as a will or end-of-life plan to prepare for the future. Of course, everyone in this situation needs support, whether it comes from friends and family or qualified professionals. Any support can help when coping with terminal cancer. As much as possible, the individual should also focus on living the best life possible through a healthy diet and regular activity when he or she feels up to it.
Understanding Liver Cancer Survival Rates
Its understandable to be alarmed about the prognosis for stage 4 liver cancer. However, its also important to understand that other factors are involved in these rates. For example, the American Cancer Society notes that treatments are improving all the time, so these numbers are likely to get better. In addition, these rates only account for life expectancy at the time the cancer is first diagnosed. Survival rates also tend to be higher in general among younger, healthier individuals who respond better to treatment than among older and more frail patients.
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What Is The Treatment For Stage Iv Colon Cancer That Has Spread To The Liver
Stage IV colon cancer is difficult to treat. Stage IV cancers don’t have a good prognosis as their relative survival rate for 5 years is about 11%. However, survival rates are only estimates do not predict what can happen in any individual. Consequently, the patient and their doctor need to discuss how to approach this new problem of metastasis to the liver. Some people may even want to get a second opinion. However, there are still treatment options that may allow symptom reduction and perhaps increase the 5-year survival rate even with the spread of colon cancer to the liver, but there are no guarantees that this will happen. In fact, some of the drugs utilized specifically to treat metastatic colon cancer show that on the average, some lifespans were only increased by a few months.
Basically, physicians attempt to treat metastatic colon cancer cells in the liver like colon cancer and not like liver cancer. The main treatment options are:
The Limitations Of Survival Rates
Survival rates are estimates and are based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. They also dont take into account multiple factors that could play a role in survival such as age, overall health, and how well a person’s cancer responds to treatment.
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Stage 4 Liver Cancer Symptoms
The initial stages of liver cancer may not show any signs of the disease. After stage 3 liver cancer, as the disease extends its stay in the body, the signs and symptoms are more prominent and arent always directly related to the diagnosed cancer stage. The effects of cancer on a person is subjective, but some of the symptoms include
What Is Stage 4 Cancer
Stage 4 is the most severe stage of cancer. Metastatic cancer is another name for this stage. It conveys that the cancer has metastasized spread to distant areas of the body.
Cancer is a group of diseases that cause rapid cell growth. Cancerous cells grow and reproduce uncontrollably in a certain area of the body, forming a tumor. As a tumor grows, the cancerous cells can spread to other areas of the body.
Doctors typically use a to determine how severe a case of cancer is. This helps them determine the best course of treatment.
A range of tests can help determine the stage of cancer. They include:
Doctors take other factors into account, too, including:
- the size of the primary tumor
- whether cancerous cells have entered the lymph nodes
- how far these cells have spread within the body
- the type of cancerous cells
- the persons overall health
Together, this information helps determine whether cancer is less advanced, at stage 1, very advanced, at stage 4, or somewhere in between.
Cancer can take an enormous emotional and physical toll. In the U.S. and other countries, many sources of support are available for a person with cancer and their family and friends.
Big organizations such as the provide a wealth of resources, including:
- information centers
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Liver Metastases: Symptoms Diagnosis And Outlook
Liver metastases are cancerous tumors that have spread to the liver from another part of the body where the cancer originated. Some healthcare professionals may call liver metastases secondary liver cancer.
The cancer cells that develop in liver metastases are not cells from the liver. They are cells from the part of the body where the cancer first developed.
Since the cancerous tumors have spread to the liver from another part of the body, a doctor may refer to liver metastases as stage 4, or advanced cancer.
Primary liver cancer is less common than liver metastases. Typically, people with primary liver cancer have risk factors such as cirrhosis or hepatitis.
may not present any noticeable symptoms. However, as the tumor in the liver advances, the liver may swell.
The swelling can cause an obstruction to blood and bile flow. When this occurs, a person may experience symptoms such as:
- jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes
- nausea and vomiting
- pain in the right shoulder
- pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
A person with cancer in another area of the body who notices new symptoms should let a healthcare professional know as soon as possible.
Factors That Influence Survival
A prognosis is a prediction made at diagnosis of how the disease will progress. The prognosis for every case of cancer is different and is affected by many factors not reflected in the SEER statistics. Chief among them is the stage and type of cancer, but other factors can also contribute.
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What Is Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
The fourth stage of prostate cancerdefines a tumor that has progressed to other regions of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, bones, or bladder. The 5-year survival rate for these tumors is 29 percent.
Keep in mind that each case is unique, and figures like these are merely suggestions. As advances in prostate cancer treatment become more common, your odds of surviving this disease improve.
In general, prostate cancer has a very good survival rate one of the greatest of any cancer type. Because prostate cancer is frequently a slow-moving disease, the majority of men diagnosed with it will die from an unrelated reason.
Stage 4 prostate cancer means the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. It is further divided into two substages:
- Prostate Cancer Stage 4A Stage 4A: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes but may or may not have spread to nearby tissues.
- Prostate Cancer Stage 4B Stage 4B: The cancer has spread to another area of the body, such as the bones or distant lymph nodes.
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Potentially Curable If Caught Very Early
Despite the overall poor prognosis and the fact that the disease is mostly incurable, pancreatic cancer has the potential to be curable if caught very early. Up to 10 percent of patients who receive an early diagnosis become disease-free after treatment. For patients who are diagnosed before the tumor grows much or spreads, the average pancreatic cancer survival time is 3 to 3.5 years.
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What Is Advanced Prostate Cancer
When prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate or returns after treatment, it is often called advanced prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is often grouped into four stages, with stages III and IV being more advanced prostate cancer.
- Early Stage | Stages I & II: The tumor has not spread beyond the prostate.
- Locally Advanced | Stage III: Cancer has spread outside the prostate but only to nearby tissues.
- Advanced | Stage IV: Cancer has spread outside the prostate to other parts such as the lymph nodes, bones, liver or lungs.
When an early stage prostate cancer is found, it may be treated or placed on surveillance . Advanced prostate cancer is not curable, but there are many ways to treat it. Treatment can help slow advanced prostate cancer progression.
There are several types of advanced prostate cancer, including:
With biochemical recurrence, the prostate-specific antigen level has risen after treatment using surgery or radiation, with no other sign of cancer.
Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone treatment and is only found in the prostate. This is found by a rise in the PSA level, while the testosterone level stays low. Imaging tests do not show signs the cancer has spread.
Metastatic Prostate Cancer
- Lymph nodes outside the pelvis
- Other organs, such as liver or lungs
Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer
How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Cancer
Doctors usually describe a persons outlook using the 5-year survival rate. These are calculated based on data from thousands of other people with a similar cancer at a similar stage.
The original location of the cancer determines its type. Survival rates vary, depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread within the body.
Below, we describe the survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer in stage 4:
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Better Prognosis For Resectable Tumors
Patients whose tumors are found before they have metastasized or become locally advanced tend to have longer survival rates, on average, because their tumors can usually be resected .
About 15 to 20 percent of all pancreatic tumors are resectable. These include stage I and stage II tumors. Rarely, locally advanced stage III tumors, which are typically considered unresectable , are characterized as borderline and may be removed if the patient has access to an experienced, highly trained surgeon.
Tumors can still grow back in many patients. So, on average, patients whose tumors were resected live for 2.5 years after their diagnosis and have a five-year survival rate of 20 to 30 percent.
Why Choose St Jude For Your Childs Hepatoblastoma Treatment
- St. Jude is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
- St. Jude has created more clinical trials for cancer than any other childrens hospital in the United States.
- The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is unmatched averaging 1:3 in hematology and oncology, and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit.
- St. Jude offers a dedicated team of specialists to meet the needs of children with hepatoblastoma, including: surgeons doctors and nurses who treat this cancer doctors who specialize in pathology and in radiation therapy experts in diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine genetic counselors nutritionists child life specialists psychologists researchers scientists and many others.
- Complete, quality surgery is an important part of treating hepatoblastoma. The expert skills and experience of St. Jude specialty surgeons can help improve patients chances for best outcomes.
- St. Jude has access to new experimental medicines that can be used if the cancer comes back or becomes resistant to the initial treatment.
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Liver Cancer: Survival Rates And Prognosis
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with liver cancer, you may be worried about the survival rates and what the future may hold. We dont often hear much about liver cancer and when we do, it is usually in the context of how fast it progressed. However, if it is caught early enough, survival rates are comparable to other cancers, with similar prognosis. Learn more about the different stages of liver cancer and the prognosis, or outlook.
Prognostic Factors Of Survival
Tables 2 and 3 summarize the results of univariate analysis of the influence of 12 clinical factors and 10 pathologic factors, respectively, on the overall survival among the 106 patients with stage IVA HCC. The four pathologic features characterizing stage IVA HCC were included in the analysis. Presence of cirrhosis, serum bilirubin level more than 20 mol/L, and serum AFP level more than 1,000 ng/mL correlated with worse survival. Tumor invasion of a major branch of the portal or hepatic veins was the only pathologic factor that was associated with significantly worse survival.
Table 2. UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF INFLUENCE OF CLINICAL FACTORS ON OVERALL SURVIVAL IN PATIENTS WITH STAGE IVA HCC
HBsAg, hepatitis B surface antigen AFP, alpha-fetoprotein TACE, transarterial chemoembolization.
Table 3. UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF INFLUENCE OF PATHOLOGIC FACTORS ON OVERALL SURVIVAL IN PATIENTS WITH STAGE IVA HCC
* Tumor size refers to the diameter of the largest tumor.
Multiple tumor nodules refer to any macroscopically detectable nodules, including macroscopic satellite nodules around the main tumor but not microsatellite nodules that were seen only on histologic examination.
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How Would I Treat Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
- I would stop all the foods that cause cancer, and stop using all the household and bodycare products that leach toxins into the body.
- I would change to those foods that resonate with my body through personal testing as I describe in my book.
- I would only eat fresh organic foods, grains, nuts and seeds properly prepared and soaked to reduce the phytic acid cooked nourishing broths and meats from grass-fed and pastured animals and eat raw, unpasteurized dairy and eggs which have a completely different profile than conventional cancer-causing, factory-farmed and produced foods which are loaded with toxins.
- I would stop all harmful foods listed on this site and in my book. For end stage prostate cancer, I would stop all sugar and its substitutes. Why? They feed the cancer.
- I would undergo cleansing short fasts with freshly made vegetable juices if personally tested Yes. I would do a liver flush, or many, to rid the body of major toxins quickly and easily.
- I would ensure that if couldnt get adequate sun on my skin, I would at least take an adequate dosage of Vitamin D3 levels.
- I would take aloe vera juice each day and test for which supplements my body needed like zinc and magnesium.
End stage prostate cancer could then no longer find a host in my body for I would have changed the conditions that I either knowingly or unknowingly created that led to it.
The Tnm System For Prostate Cancer Stages
As they do for most cancers, doctors use the TNM system to describe prostate cancer stages. The system uses three different aspects of tumor growth and spread:
- Tumor. WhatÃ¢s the size of the main area of prostate cancer?
- Nodes. Has it spread to any lymph nodes? If so, how far and how many?
- Metastasis. How far has the prostate cancer spread?
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How Is The Survival Rate Determined
For the five-year survival rate, SEER uses data from different areas throughout the country. When SEER was first developed, there were nine places that data were gathered from, making up the SEER-9 database.
SEERs database has grown to 18 regions now, called SEER-18. But, they continue to use the SEER-9 data as the benchmark to compare survival rate trends over time.
To get the five-year survival rate, numbers must be analyzed over a range of time. This means that the patients included in the analysis received treatment and care that may be different from today. Knowledge and treatment have improved in recent years.
There are many other ways to look at survival. Besides the five-year survival rate, people also measure:
- Overall survival: the length of time from diagnosis to a patients death
- Progression-free survival: how long a person stays on a treatment without their disease getting worse
- Disease-free survival: the amount of time a person is believed to be cancer-free, also known as no evidence of disease
These other survival measurements are often used to judge success of clinical trials.