What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer?
This release is available in Spanish . Barcelona, Spain: Many patients with metastatic breast cancer believe that the primary goal in survival with new treatment should be to prolong life by at least a year over the survival they might expect from using current best therapies, a researcher will tell the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference in ...
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Since: Feb 10
#1 Mar 24, 2010
Once again, researchers have a different perspective than the sick people they're studying.
Not only would I want a year's survival, I would want it to be a QUALITY year of survival. From what I've seen (and having had breast cancer, I've had good reason to look carefully), most treatments for breast cancer don't give you a lot more time, and the side effects can be quite significant.
I don't want to have my life extended by a few months, with those months accompanied by lots of diarhhea, lots of nausea, or other significant side effects. I don't want it to extend my life but have me bed-ridden and receiving hospice services, unable to walk or hold things from neuropathy, etc. I don't want to die bald on top of all of that.
If my cancer should come back in a terminal way, my FIRST concern will be quality of life. ANY intervention offered will be weighed against that standard.
Then, since I'm uninsured, I'll have to look at the cost. It wouldn't be worth incurring $100k of bills to live only two months longer.
What I would be willing to do would be to participate in a trial so that maybe we could find a cure, or a really good treatment, for terminal breast cancer. THAT would be worth a fair amount of discomfort.
So that's what I would do: rather than doing something proven to increase life (on average, which means it might be quite shorter for me), say, 4 months, I would rather enter a trial with the hope that the researchers could find something better.
Then at least my death would count for something.
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