Posted: Jun 03, 2012 8:25 pm
by Shrunk
AlohaChris wrote:Chemo & radiation involve poisioning & burning the patient with the hope that the cancer dies before they do. Any decision made by the patient involves weight the risk/benefit and quality vs. quantity of life that might be achieved by any treatment.

A 5-10% chance of survival for another year or two might be very meaningful to a 50-year-old who wants to see his son graduate from college, his daughter marry or his first grandchild. It might not be meaningful/worth it to an 80-year-old who's in pain every day.

True. It may also mean one at least has a much greater chance of joining the long tail of the right-skewed survival curve that Stephen Jay Gould describes in that article I linked earlier, where one lives long enough to die of another disease altogether. In Gould's case, that meant he lived an additional 20 years after being diagnosed with an illness that had a median survival time of eight months.