Cancer a chronic illness not a death sentence always

Even though the diagnosis of cancer sends the chill up our mortality spine and we start preparing for the end of this mortal life, it does not have to be so. According to recent reports, there are more people living with cancer today than 20 years ago.  Some cancers are more difficult to arrest than others one such cancers is lung cancer. However, it does not have to be a death sentence and when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

The study defined a survivor as anyone who ever received a diagnosis of cancer who was alive on Jan. 1, 2007, and it did not indicate if the person was cured, undergoing treatment, afflicted with a chronic cancer-related illness, or in the process of dying at that time.

Dr. Frieden said the increase in cancer survivors was due to several factors, some of which varied by type of cancer. In some cases of breast cancer and colon cancer, for example, improved treatment and increased follow-up after treatment have helped increase survival. In others, like prostate cancer, an explosion in screening has identified many men with the disease, but the cancer is often so slow-growing that they would be unlikely to die from it. And other cancer diagnoses are simply the consequence of the country’s aging population and improved care for other diseases — in other words, people are living long enough to develop cancer.

About a million more of the survivors were women than men, partly because women live longer than men, and partly because breast and cervical cancers are often diagnosed and treated at younger ages. About 22 percent of the survivors had breast cancer, about 19 percent had prostate cancer, and about 10 percent had colorectal cancer

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/health/11cancer.html?ref=health

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