Monday, July 24, 2017

How Soon To Start Treatment?

I never realized how important starting cancer treatment quickly was. I remember my surgeon telling me at one point I had plenty of time to wait before making decisions for my treatment. I guess that wasn't true.

There is a new study (because we always need new studies) to focus on the TTI (Time to Treatment Initiation) from date of diagnosis. As that increases, the cancer death rates increase as well. How nice. So don't wait, start NOW!

Research by the Cleveland Clinic showed a increase from 21 to 29 days showed increased mortality.

"Longer delays between diagnosis and initial treatment were associated with worsened overall survival for stages I and II breast, lung, renal and pancreas cancers, and stage II colorectal cancers, with increased risk of mortality of 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent per week of delay, adjusting for comorbidities and other variables.

Prolonged TTI of greater than six weeks was associated with substantially worsened survival. For example, five-year survival for stage I non-small cell lung cancer was 56 percent for TTI of less than or equal to six weeks, versus 43 percent for TTI greater than six weeks, and for stage I pancreas cancer was 38 percent versus 29 percent, respectively."


If I think back to when I was diagnosed with breast cancer officially at my biopsy on May 31, had my first surgery June 19, my second surgery July 5, and began chemo at the beginning of August. I would assume that the TTI is from May 31 to June 19 which is a whopping 19 days so maybe I was on the safe side.

But what if I had stalled and gone for a second opinion before surgery? That would have pushed it all out for much longer. Maybe its a good thing I didn't wait.

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