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Hi all... surgeon that just did my mom's total hyst and bowel resection, omentum and probably lymph node removal was optimistic. Cited 65% survival rate at 5 years subject to a number of factors, after advising us of the stage. Though I know there are far lower 5-year survival rates cited for 3c elsewhere.
So... I wanted to ask... while I know nobody necessarily has the average survival rate, what stories have you heard or experienced in terms of survival when a stage 3C is successfully removed in entirety (except for microscopic particles) and then aggressively treated at a good cancer center with lots of treatment options? Surgeon says a lot has changed in the last two years in terms of potential treatments.
I don't know what the latest studies show for survival. I do know that stage 3C is the most common, something like 70% of ovarian patients are diagnosed at 3C. I also know that NIH, in Bethesda, is doing a lot of research on ovarian cancer. You might want to check their website for the latest. Johns Hopkins also has a good department on ovarian cancer and a good website.
In reality, the survival rates don't really matter. Some people survive, and unfortunately, some don't, at every stage. We will all be in one group or the other. It sounds like your mom is getting great treatment from excellent physicians. That's all any of us can do to get the best possible prognosis. We just have to take it one step at a time, do what the doctors recommend, and try to be optimistic.
You are a good daughter. You are looking for reassurance. I wish we could guarantee your mother's health and survival, but we can't. However, there is reason to be optimistic. Whether it is 30% who survive, or 90%, the point is that many women do survive for many years with ovarian cancer. We all hope that your mom is in that category. You have every reason to believe that she will be. Don't waste a good worry quite yet!
PS Some of the more 'fluffy' gals seem to do better with treatment than thinner women. So don't worry about your mother's weight.
On the other side of the coin...
My sister was DX'd with Stage II, C ovca, was given an 85% chance survival rate at the time of her surgery, followed by a very aggressive, long term chemo regime...she had a recurrence within 1 month of completion of her treatment.
She has since had second surgery, followed by yet another chemo regime (different chemo combo).
My point being, I'm not at all moved or influenced by the so called stats in either direction!
In any event, I'm just convinced my sister needs to continue being very proactive and I will always remain a strong advocate for her!
Thanks much for your very helpful comments. I clarified with the surgeon and he says again that given advances in the past couple years he thinks a 65% survival rate for ovarian cancer (in the general population) is about right, rather than the lower percentages floating around... of course the 65% means w/aggressive treatment.
I'm not actually looking for reassurance - really just aiming to get the best accurate handle on what is occurring. (Pleased that she seems to be getting such good care from her docs - and of course pleased that if the cancer was going to appear, it did so now rather than before that twoish-years-ago point when available treatments weren't all they are said to be today.)
Wishing you both all the best and really appreciate your help!
I agree with above posters that you can't depend on statistics or a GYN oncologist's thoughts about prognosis (even if they are a great MD!). I understand that you want something to "hang on to" as far as your mom's prognosis, but that is not possible.
I was dxed with Stage 3a (which means it was NOT in my lymph nodes)ovca in 9/03 at age 36. I had a TAH/BSO with appropriate lymph nodes and omentum removed by a great GYN oncologist. I chose to do a clinical trial for chemo so I had more chemo than is recommended after surgery for ovca. My CA-125 dropped into normal range soon after surgery and even went to 4 during chemo. My tumor was not aggressive so my GYN oncologist said my long-term prognosis was good. I went into remission after chemo.
However, I was diagnosed with a recurrence 6 mos after chemo in 11/04. I was on many chemo drugs from 11/04 until 6/05 without success. The tumors grew and new tumors developed. Then I started on Avastin and Taxol 6/05. My GYN oncologist said that I would not be alive now if I hadn't started Avastin and Taxol when I did. That shows that I have a great GYN oncologist, but no one can tell someone with ovca how they will do in the future.
I have a friend at church who just finished her last chemo treatment for stage 3 ovarian cancer. They are declaring her cancer free after the last scan and blood work she had. Her doctor told her that attitude is so important in this battle. I can honestly say that she has believed she is going to whip this from the beginning. And has given God the glory for everything. I will be praying for your mom.
Thanks so much for your care, all of you. Loves pandas, I want to stress that I am not looking for something to hang onto, just seeking to clarify what the best info is. This question of mine is not coming from an emotional place and I am not misunderstanding what a 5 year survival rate represents.
I wish you the best with your situation and am glad you've been this successful!
I know this is a very upsetting time for you and I am not sure exactly what your question is.
Approximately 70% of women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer staged at IIIc will have a recurrence of this cancer at sometime.
That said.... about 80% do achieve that first remission by receiving optimal debulking surgery followed by chemotherapy.
Here are some great web sites: http://ovariancancer.jhmi.edu/ www.ovariancancer.org www.ovarian.org
I also recommend the book Ovarian Cancer Your Guide to Taking Control
I was diagnosed with stage IIIc in May 2001. Thus far, I have not recurred.
Best wishes to your Mom.
It is frightening to be fighting this cancer beast. It sounds as if your mother has an oncology team that is aggressive and will do the best they can for her. My gyn/onc was very clear that statistics are a very generalized measure. There are no promises, and a vast horizon for Hope. My sense is that we do everything that we can to engage the struggle against cancer (and that may vary by person) and then we wrap that in family, community, and hope. It's not an easy time, but it is a time for learning, growing, and finding our mettle. I wish you and your mother the very best.