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can you tell me the life expectancy of my 40 yr. husband with stage4 met. melanoma. it's in his liver, lungs, lymph and omentum

Posted by jenniperry

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No, but I've run across some statistics in more general terms. I am a stage 4 melanoma survivor so your question has a long history of relevance to me. As it turns out, the number were vastly inaccurate for me. Stage 4 melanoma survival rates vary (a lot), but these statistics will give you a general idea of stage 4 melanoma survival rates for people who live in the U.S. The five-year survival rate represents the percentage of patients alive five years after their initial diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma. Five-Year Survival Statistics for Stage 4 Melanoma:
  • Skin, lymph nodes, colon, or rectum: 14%
  • Lungs: 4%
  • Liver, brain, or bone: 3%
Average Survival Statistics for Stage 4 Melanoma:
  • Skin, lymph nodes, colon, or rectum: 13 months
  • Lungs: 8 months
  • Liver, brain, or bone: 4 months 
These stage 4 melanoma survival statistics were derived from a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Researchers analyzed data from approximately 15,000 patients treated for stage 4 melanoma at the John Wayne Cancer Institute between 1971 and 1993. I was diagnosed with the primary melanoma in late 1984, more than a quarter of a century ago. I was 28 at the time and finishing my Ph.D. following an MA in a separate discipline. My “logic” told me I would likely be dead soon. So much for logic. I had a metastatic recurrence in late 1993, 9 years later. At that point I “knew” I was not likely to survive much more than a year, and possible not nearly that long. So much for “knowing.”  

I’ve just had my 53rd birthday and I remain cancer free. Clearly my survival had nothing to do with optimism, since I didn’t have any. I am now living with gratitude. My advice is learn about psychological trauma (PTSD) and get treatment for it. The trauma treatment I used is called EMDR. It is strange but incredibly effective. EMDR is now first line treatment for returning combat vets because it works. In my mind trauma treatment is mandatory for all patients and their family members. Psychological trauma impairs immune system functioning to a massive degree. Don’t live with trauma! The science is clear: Trauma is a killer for cancer patients. Too often for family members the trauma can numb your soul as well as compromise your body. Second, build exercise into your life-style. On this too the science is clear. All the best.

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