By Marie Harlech-Jones
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Additional info for Dangerous Journey: Living with cancer, surviving cancer: a personal memoir
For many cancers, this is true, but there are many exceptions, so it is important to avoid generalizations. For example, if lung cancer has spread to the liver or brain, then it is rarely curable (note that I did not say “never curable” because there are people who have beaten advanced lung cancer). In contrast, testicular cancer that has spread to the same locations is potentially curable, as evidenced by the cyclist Lance Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer that spread to his brain. Another common reason to ask if the cancer was caught early enough is that many people have fears about chemotherapy and hope that if their cancer is contained, then locally directed therapies, such as surgery or radiation, will be all that is required for them to beat their cancer.
3. What stage is the cancer in? The stage of a cancer has to do with its extent in the body. For most of the common cancers, stage is divided into I, II, III, and IV. The higher the stage, the further the cancer has traveled in the body from its original starting location. Stage is determined after a “staging workup” that may include surgery, imaging tests such as CT, MRI, and PET scans, or other specialized tests, such as endoscopic ultrasound for gastrointestinal cancers (esophagus, stomach, rectum) or a bone marrow biopsy for those diagnosed with a blood cancer.
He wore jeans and a T-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in one side. His hands were rough, his talk straight. I would later come to know him as a happy, garrulous, backslapping man, a man’s man who would do anything for his friends and family. In time, he would come to treat me as a son and endlessly philosophize about life, women, and what counted, hoping something would sink in that might do me good; sometimes I even managed to get a word in edgewise about his health. ” Two weeks before we met, he had gone to the emergency room complaining of sudden, severe abdominal pain.
Dangerous Journey: Living with cancer, surviving cancer: a personal memoir by Marie Harlech-Jones