It’s a Numbers Game….

Cancer is such a numbers game.

Think of how long it takes for new cancer drugs to finally make it to the pharmacy? It seems like forever, but I guess it needs to be that way.  Trials are so critical.   I’m not talking about human trials.  That’s the final step.  Phase one is just as important as the last phase.  How much to give a patient, how much toxicity can a human body can take and what are the effects of the drug?  If it works for one cancer, will it work for three others?   

Whether in pill or liquid form, chemo therapy is measured so precisely….by the numbers.  Radiation is an exact science.  So exact, a patient has a set-up appointment, where tumors are scanned, images are measured so the computer is programed to guide the radiation directly at the cancer, sparing other tissue that is cancer free.

 All of this, by the numbers.

The numbers game begins, when the doctor says “You have cancer.”  That’s when you hear your treatment options and how the odds land in your favor…or not.  You fit into a certain age group for your cancer, that presents certain odds.  Sometimes ethnicity changes the numbers.  Genetics can roll the dice one way or another.  Male or female, healthy or “un.”  

Doctors like to run the numbers and give you an idea of a time line.  It’s probably their biggest mistake in cancer care.  What’s the point?  This is your cancer.  You’ll fight the best way you know how and that’s that.    

There’s really only a single number that counts in cancer…the number ONE.  That’s YOU…the ONE and only YOU.


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