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Home Living with Cancer Why I’m Not Worried About the Odds

Why I’m Not Worried About the Odds

by Maggie Jones

So we all have Google. We know the 5-year-survival rate for someone with my diagnosis is less than 1%. In fact, it rounds to zero. It sounds terrifying and, at first, I was pretty down about it.  But then I learned a lot that made me realize those odds don’t really apply to me:

  • The average age of someone diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer is 71.  Mean average, I believe. There are plenty more 20- and 30-year-olds being diagnosed than 120- and 130-year-olds so we can assume there are many more people over 71 than under 71 contributing to that scary-sounding number.  I suspect the 5 year survival rate for that cohort even without cancer is a bit more dire than for a freshly minted 40-year-old like me.
  • By definition, the data for that prognosis is based entirely on people who were diagnosed with cancer over 5 years ago. There have been so many advances in treatment since then that aren’t accounted for.  The first immunotherapy treatments were only approved in 2015. [2019 update: I’m currently responding to a treatment that hasn’t even been approved in my country!]
  • As long a it’s possible for anyone to survive, it’s going to be me. Even though remission isn’t generally considered a goal of treatment for my diagnosis, I’ve found 2 cases. It is possible.  One thousand is zero percent of a million. Alternatively, I’d also be fine living with cancer as a chronic disease for the next 40 years or so.

Please keep positive with me.  Know that I’m enjoying every bit of life right now just like I plan to do for a long time.

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Ana November 11, 2018 - 6:02 am

We love your blog and we love you Maggie

Mandy J Gough August 24, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Kick ass Maggie!

Maggie August 24, 2019 - 2:43 pm

Thanks, Lady!! Ass-kicking in progress! =D


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