Although everyone will face death sooner or later, when you are truly terminally ill and face the threat of death, it may be difficult to calm down. As a doctor, facing cancer patients and their families, one can always hear this unanimous question: How long can I live with cancer? How long can you live with cancer is indeed a difficult question to answer simply. The answer involves many factors.
1. The malignant degree of cancer determines the mileage of life
The so-called cancer is the result of the unrestricted proliferation of human cells after mutation and infringement of normal tissues. The biggest feature of this abnormal proliferation is rapid growth and metastasis. Its growth rate is much higher than that of normal human tissues. It is often compressed, infiltrated, and seizes the human body. Normal nutrition can quickly lead to death. The degree of malignancy of cancer is directly related to the degree of differentiation of cells derived from growing tissues. Generally speaking, tumors with a high degree of differentiation have slow growth of cancer cells and therefore have a low degree of malignancy and slow metastasis; those with a low degree of differentiation have high malignancy and early metastasis. For example, papillary thyroid cancer has a low degree of malignancy and good treatment effect, but undifferentiated thyroid cancer and medullary carcinoma have a high degree of malignancy. Most of them have severe local invasion and distant metastasis when the diagnosis is established, and the mortality rate is high. For example, small cell lung cancer is the most malignant among lung cancers. At the time of diagnosis, more than half of the patients have cancer cells in the blood. Among them, about 30%-40% have brain metastases, and about 50% of patients have abdominal lymph node metastases.
Therefore, the "good" and "bad" of tumor cells determine the growth rate, metastasis rate, and therapeutic effect of the tumor. It is not difficult to understand why cancers in the same organ have different treatment results and different life miles. The pathological type of tumor cells is one of the decisive factors.
2. Early diagnosis and treatment are the premise
Early diagnosis and early treatment are our magic weapon to defeat the cancer. With the renewal of medical equipment and advances in cytology and immunology, early detection and diagnosis of cancer has become a reality, but what is not optimistic is the carelessness and carelessness of the patients themselves. It was discovered that head masses were only for inflammation, random antibiotics, blood in stools for hemorrhoids, inappropriate stomach ulcers, blood in sputum for tuberculosis, etc. They refused to accept regular system inspections and treatments. After a relatively long period of time, I moved to the oncology department. At this time, my illness was too late and I had lost a good opportunity for treatment. I could only ask for palliative treatment next, turning possible cure into incurable.
Therefore, suffering from a tumor does not mean being sentenced to death, and there will be a world of difference between early detection and late detection.
Third, the choice of treatment is the key
In clinical practice, there are many patients who believe in folk remedies, secret remedies from ancestors, or are afraid of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and undergo random treatments in small clinics and other places for a period of time. When the condition is not controlled, metastasis or recurrence occurs, they will be transferred to specialist hospitals, which is undoubtedly delayed. After treatment, the effect will of course not be satisfactory. Cancer patients should realize that surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunity and other treatment methods should be organically combined to achieve the best results.
4. Improving your own immunity is fundamental
In the process of cancer treatment, the most important thing is to protect the patient's immune function, which is to protect the patient's resistance. Almost all treatments have an impact on the immune function of patients, and the decline in immune function is one of the reasons for the resurgence of residual cancer cells. From a clinical point of view, to evaluate a patient’s immune ability, one can observe the patient’s general conditions, such as physical strength, physical fitness, appetite, weight, sleep, mental state, etc., which can be summed up as the patient’s quality of life.
5. Preventing cancer recurrence and metastasis is the goal
Cancer can cause death because of its aggressiveness, recurrence and metastasis. The key to preventing recurrence is to obtain a radical cure during the initial treatment, and to follow up regularly after treatment. Cancer recurrence often occurs within five years after treatment, especially within 2 to 3 years. Of course, follow-up visits during this period are important, but regular follow-up visits are lifelong. The closer the treatment ends, the shorter the interval between visits.
Patients and their families should be made aware that "radical surgery" and "cure" are relative terms, and don't think everything will be all right after treatment. It can be said that to prevent recurrence and metastasis is to prevent death.
6. Establishing confidence in fighting cancer is a guarantee
For every patient, they will not face cancer without fear. Of course, they are very painful. But since it has become a fact, the sorrow and pain will not help. Only by actively cooperating with treatment and establishing the confidence to overcome the disease can they have the hope of continuing to survive. Holding the attitude of peace and stability, and firming the confidence that "I will definitely win", building confidence is to raise the sail of life.
In fact, cancer is a chronic disease. If someone asks "how long can I live with cancer", I think this answer is written in the patient's body, and the initiative is also in the hands of the patient. The notion that cancer cannot be cured has passed. It is a consensus that cancer does not mean death. How long is life? Pursue it all by yourself.