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Why are Cancer Improvement Rates Better for Some than Others?


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2/24/2015
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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. Many people seek aggressive treatment but some get better faster than others. Why is that? Do some have physicians that give them more detailed treatment plans or is it luck by chance?

CBS news reports on new information concerning treatment plans. Reports show that some people have a much better recovery rate than others. 

The new data shows that survival rates are fair far better for those who are diagnosed at a younger age.

These people are generally their own best advocates. They seek regular check ups and if anything seems out of the ordinary then they get it checked out. But they are often also those who have physicians who delve deeper into figuring out whether something could be a serious issue rather than assuming that it is not due to the person’s young age.

Technology has also helped improve cancer survival rates.

This includes testing such as radiation; chemotherapy and targeted treatment plans, which experts say are particularly helpful. The types of cancer that have better treatment options now than a couple of decades ago include breast, prostate, lung, rectum, liver, and colon cancer.

But unfortunately not all types of patients see better outcomes than before.

Reports show that many elderly patients still suffer a great deal and have much difficulty surviving many types of cancers. Many experts also found that survival rates often depend on race. The report was published in JAMA Oncology.

How was the study conducted?

“Zheng and his colleagues analyzed data on just over 1 million patients diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon or rectum, prostate, lung, liver, pancreas or ovary from 1990 to 2009. Those included in the study were part of the U.S. National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program,” according to CBS.

What were the results?

The experts found that the odds of survival went up significantly for many patients between the ages of 50 to 64. For example, patients from this age group who were told they have colon and rectum cancer from 2005-2009 had a 43 percent lower risk of death, compared with similar patients diagnosed from 1990-1994.

The researchers also found that among the 50-to-64 age group, the decrease in threat of death was 52 percent for breast cancer, 39 percent for liver cancer and 68 percent for prostate cancer in 2005-2009, compared to 1990-1994. CBS reports,

“For patients aged 75 to 85, however, the risk of death was reduced only 12 percent for those with breast, colon or rectum cancer. For liver cancer, the reduction was 24 percent in older patients, and for those older men with prostate cancer, the risk of death was reduced 35 percent, the researchers found. Researchers found similar, though smaller, improvements in survival for lung and pancreatic cancers.”

Many experts are saying this information shows the importance of treating elderly patients more aggressively, especially if they do not already have any chronic or underlying conditions. They are also suggesting elderly patients to be their own best advocates by discussing their treatment with their doctors to ensure that they are getting the best care possible.

Dr. Zheng, who led the study, noted, “It is important to identify reasons for the slower improvement in cancer survival in elderly Americans and reduced survival rate of ovarian cancer in black women to guide future improvement in cancer care for all.”

 



Category: Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

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