There’s a frequently asked question on certain forums along the lines of “how will I die of my Cancer?“. Personally, I find it slightly unsettling, although I can understand why certain people might ask. I accept it as a question but I believe there are times and places for it and that a public forum is not the place to have it. I don’t tend to dabble in death – it’s just quite difficult to talk about it in a blog which is part designed to be positive and offer hope.
So why am I talking about death inside this positive blog? Well, apart from thinking the thread mentioned above might scare readers who are already frightened by their diagnosis and treatment to date. I also think it’s a bit ‘glass half empty’. Both of things are not good, thus why I believe the question should be between the person wanting to know and a specialist.
I also believe the “how will I die of NET Cancer” question is a really big assumption about the cause of death. Why? There’s an increasing chance a person with cancer today will die of something else. For example, in UK today, more than one in three (35%) of those people who die having had a cancer diagnosis will now die from other causes. This is up from one in five (21%) 20 years ago. By 2020 this will improve further to almost four in 10 people (38%). This means the number of people who get cancer but die from another cause has doubled over the past 20 years. The cancer story is changing and a quick but of research confirms it’s changing on a worldwide basis.
On a similar subject, for those looking for NETs prognostic data, I offer the following advice:
- Be careful surfing the internet, some sites have NETs prognostic data from the ark.
- Even if you find new data, interpretation is difficult due to the heterogeneity of NETs, different stages and grades, comorbidities, age and no doubt many other factors.
- It’s a difficult question even for a specialist.
- I’ve lost count of the number of people who have been told a period of time from their specialist and they are still here a significant period after, in some cases 5 x what their specialist said.
Here’s a much better question people should be asking ……“How do I live with cancer?”
Thanks for reading
Ronny Allan (Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer)
Fear won’t stop you dying but it might just stop you living.
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