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Why does cancer get worse after diagnosis?


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Old 27th May 2017, 11:47 AM   #16
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In hopes of a cure cancer patients pump heavy doses of chemotherapy into their bodies which kill the healthy cells along with the cancerous ones.

So when a person gets a late stage diagnosis I'm not really sure if it's just the cancer that kills them at all.
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Old 27th May 2017, 4:55 PM   #17
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As someone said different cancers - different symptoms at different stages.

Both of mine were caught early - in one case I noticed symptoms and got it early. Another due to routine checkups because of the first.

The emotional and stress responses of a some who is told they have cancer all very by the individual. Like those exposed to any life of death battle (say a war) - your going to see very different affects emotionally and physically.

Also sometimes there are even longer term affects of cancer (surgery, radiation, chemo) take a toll on body, health and mind.
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Old 28th May 2017, 8:00 AM   #18
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Stage 4, or sometimes referrred to as 'incurable cancer' by the medical profession, is often approached with aggressive treatment or nothing at all. At this point, symptoms have likely shown the progression of the disease to a point where treatment will unlikely improve the patient's over-all acute condition in the short term. As per minimizing the cancer growth, that is another issue. Most of the cancer treatments today are debilitating and may or may not adequately kill the cancer cells, but most certainly introduce new, negative symptoms and complications.

The chemo, radiation, etc. is toxic to the body's healthy tissue as well, so no wonder a patient's health worstens. After such treatments, efforts have to be made to alleviate symptoms created by the very drugs used to combat the cancer. These drugs actually lower the immune system and its ability to fight. Viscous cycle that too many go through.

Having spent a number of years in cancer research, ALL and MLL, apoptosis, more specifically, and very little time in clinical, I must say that our research program in regards to cancer is woefully inefficient. There are some promising diagnostic tools out there, but not enough attention is placed to advance them. PET, MRI, CAT, immuno, etc. have their advantages, but using one or another is not sufficient to provide a more accurate picture. A medly of all and some new technology needs to be used, but insurance companies will not pay for all and our country (USA) is adverse to preventative medicine as a coordinated, basic component of healthcare.

This is why some are choosing not to go into treatment and instead live out their lives while their health lasts.
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Old 31st May 2017, 6:37 PM   #19
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It can be simply that the person was diagnosed late ..... but in many cases it is the mind body connection.

Western medicine despite overwhelming evidence which has been around for many years .... still hasn't grasped this. They want all the healing to come "externally" from products, tablets, injections. When in reality much of the healing and indeed the original illness comes internally. From our mind, emotions and our perception of our health.

When we have an illness and take a something we believe heals us - we actually do improve and heal. This is well known. When we are told we have stage 4 cancer and gravely ill and about to die .... the body does exactly the opposite. It deteriorates rapidly. The "idea" of having a serious illness and the "idea" of being healed (regardless of whether any real treatment was administered) have profound and measurable effects on the body and health.

Western science has lost the whole concept of "healing" and doing whats best for the patient and gotten caught up in being completely neutral and giving grave and pessimistic facts despite it having a profoundly negative effect on patients.
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Old 1st June 2017, 12:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
There are certain cancers that don't show any signs until Stage 4. Lung, pancreatic, throat, brain tumors, and gynecological cancers like cervical and ovarian cancers are known for this.

Some cancers like thyroid cancer, certain types of breast cancer, prostate cancer in older men, and testicular cancer show signs in the early stages and can be slow growing, so the prognosis is generally good for those.
This always gets me thinking...how could we ensure those get diagnosed early enough then? It's not like we go to the doctor every 6 months and say "hey doc, could you please check all of my internal organs, i want a full x-ray of my lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, etc etc". I mean, at least I don't. I get mammograms done every year because of breast cancer history in the family, but that's about it. I also get my pap done and blood tests every year to check for general things such as cholesterol, diabetes, any lack of vitamins.

What's the best way to stay on top of our health to ensure any potential cancers get diagnosed early enough?
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Old 1st June 2017, 4:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nothingtolose View Post

What's the best way to stay on top of our health to ensure any potential cancers get diagnosed early enough?

Thats a difficult question - pap smears, mammograms are a big part of it - annual physicals. For men - checking prostates during physicals. When you hit a certain age (45-50) you also get colon screenings. These are all big cancer risks depending on age and life style. My first colon screening revealed more polyps than normal, so I got them removed and have to go more frequently for followups.

Another way I suppose is to just be "Aware" of your body and seek medical evaluations if something seems off. Thats how I caught my first one "this is not right". Some people - especially men don't like going to the doctor. Some people (in USA) lacked insurance and would avoid healthcare due to costs.
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Old 1st June 2017, 5:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Nothingtolose View Post
This always gets me thinking...how could we ensure those get diagnosed early enough then? It's not like we go to the doctor every 6 months and say "hey doc, could you please check all of my internal organs, i want a full x-ray of my lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, etc etc". I mean, at least I don't. I get mammograms done every year because of breast cancer history in the family, but that's about it. I also get my pap done and blood tests every year to check for general things such as cholesterol, diabetes, any lack of vitamins.

What's the best way to stay on top of our health to ensure any potential cancers get diagnosed early enough?
There is absolutely no way to guarantee that you will detect every cancer in your body. In fact, all human being have cancer cells floating around in their bodies as we speak. The human immune system is remarkable when at it peak, optimal working condition. There are some things I wish we as a society (including scientific community) would do, etc.

1. Eat as healthy as you can. The American food supply is deemed one of the 'safest', but by no means healthiest. Big difference. Americans pump more chemicals into their food supply than any other society and many of those chemicals are absolutely toxic, mutagens, but our regulating and corporate interests use them for reasons that have little to nothing to do with helping anyone eat healthy.

2. Our insurance companies, b/c of inexplicable cost of health, are not amenable to allowing for adequate, safer cadre of diagnostics to help with prevention. Costs too much.

3. I truly believe, in many ways, that after the BILLIONS of dollars a year over many years of research, that we should have more and better forms of cancer diagnostic tests available. There are some that have been cropped up, but you don't hear about them at all. It's strange. With our advances in molecular approaches, I really believe that the scientific community should focus more on molecular/assay/immuno forms of detection for both prevention-detection and treatment. MINIMIZE PUMPING DANGEROUS TOXINS to fighter disease. Unfortunately, some of the methods we use to help us detect cancer, such as x-rays (mammograms) are themselves potentially mutagenic.

4. I find it astonishing how we come up with this "when you reach the age of 40...blah blah blah" you should start getting such and such test. Cancer DOES NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO REACH THIS MAGICAL NUMBER before it does it work! Think about it, the reason the age range is given is b/c many cancers are diagnosed, statistically, within those age ranges. No one seems to think about that fact that these cancers began BEFORE you turned 40 or 30 or earlier.

5. Going back to #1, eat healthier. Eliminate as many man-made chemicals as you can. Exercise. Contrary to some's crazy idea of the human body (eg. Trump), your body actually gets stronger with exercise, not weaker like a finite battery. Sheesh.
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Old 1st June 2017, 10:19 AM   #23
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4. I find it astonishing how we come up with this "when you reach the age of 40...blah blah blah" you should start getting such and such test. Cancer DOES NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO REACH THIS MAGICAL NUMBER before it does it work! Think about it, the reason the age range is given is b/c many cancers are diagnosed, statistically, within those age ranges. No one seems to think about that fact that these cancers began BEFORE you turned 40 or 30 or earlier.
Before a certain age the risk associated with the test is larger than the benefit.

E.g as you mentioned - the mammograms can be mutagenic, and in younger women the tissues are too dense to detect anything with a mammogram anyway.

There is usually a lot of data/research behind the recommended guidelines of cancer screens. Obviously it is statistics and one can be an outliar but that doesn't make the reasoning faulty.

IMO eating healthy, exercising etc is great but will not save you from cancer - environment is just a small part of it. People feel empowered to think they can control their fate but in the end... a lot of it is just genetics.
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Old 2nd June 2017, 5:43 AM   #24
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Before a certain age the risk associated with the test is larger than the benefit.

E.g as you mentioned - the mammograms can be mutagenic, and in younger women the tissues are too dense to detect anything with a mammogram anyway.

There is usually a lot of data/research behind the recommended guidelines of cancer screens. Obviously it is statistics and one can be an outliar but that doesn't make the reasoning faulty.

IMO eating healthy, exercising etc is great but will not save you from cancer - environment is just a small part of it. People feel empowered to think they can control their fate but in the end... a lot of it is just genetics.
No_Go,

I understand all that. The information you've shared is common knowledge. My issue goes beyond the current guidelines and what and how you can improve your chances of preventing cancer.

1. Nothing will 'save' you from cancer, but eating healthier and exercising will certainly help. Genetics aside, our environmental exposure makes a HUGE difference, albeit, not a guarantee.

2. I certainly understand the mammogram and density of breast tissue. I mention the age factor not b/c it is not based on research, some standard of measure, rather, the age recommendations have placed too many people in jeopardy. This is, for me, directly related to my earlier post regarding the slow progress of safe(r) diagnostic tools. Having been in research for a number of years, we do not spend enough time in diagnostics to add to a preventative-oriented form of medicine.
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Old 2nd June 2017, 11:01 AM   #25
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One of the things that angered me (among MANY) when I got cancer the first time is that I was a young very healthy man. Salads, chicken breast, vitamins, running, weight lifting, all of that...I was a specimen and I was young.

We all know certain cancers are influenced by habits and toxic exposures, and some are not. There are some cancers that have no known cause.
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Old 9th July 2017, 8:36 AM   #26
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I appreciate everyone's input. So my uncle died a week ago. I'm not allowed to talk about it on Facebook because it's "not what he'd have wanted", so I guess Imma just bottle it up.
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Old 10th July 2017, 8:29 AM   #27
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Doesn't mean that you can't talk to family and friends.

You could always post about it on these forums also.
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Old 10th July 2017, 9:06 AM   #28
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I've been currently working on tools for real-world evidence - one application is looking at incidence / prevalence of cancer types at claims data from different age groups... This approach may help of course considering that data is not too biased by undiagnosed patients in some age groups...

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No_Go,

I understand all that. The information you've shared is common knowledge. My issue goes beyond the current guidelines and what and how you can improve your chances of preventing cancer.

1. Nothing will 'save' you from cancer, but eating healthier and exercising will certainly help. Genetics aside, our environmental exposure makes a HUGE difference, albeit, not a guarantee.

2. I certainly understand the mammogram and density of breast tissue. I mention the age factor not b/c it is not based on research, some standard of measure, rather, the age recommendations have placed too many people in jeopardy. This is, for me, directly related to my earlier post regarding the slow progress of safe(r) diagnostic tools. Having been in research for a number of years, we do not spend enough time in diagnostics to add to a preventative-oriented form of medicine.
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Old 10th July 2017, 9:08 AM   #29
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I'm sorry for your loss

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Originally Posted by Pompom View Post
I appreciate everyone's input. So my uncle died a week ago. I'm not allowed to talk about it on Facebook because it's "not what he'd have wanted", so I guess Imma just bottle it up.
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Old 10th July 2017, 1:33 PM   #30
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I've survived cancer twice. Knowing about it doesn't worsen it. Chemo is a godsend for those of us who want to actually live.

Boiling sunflowers and dancing under the stars did not keep me from dying. My doctor and my treatments did.

End of story.
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