It is common in the media to refer to the five year survival rate when talking about breast cancer. Oncologists hospitals and cancer charities do it too. The five year stats are presented in such a way that we are clearly meant to be overjoyed and grateful.
Ok I get that cancer medicine has come a long way, and more people are surviving breast cancer. That makes me happy.
So. The stats say that around 90 percent of people survive hormone positive breast cancer for five years. And 77 percent of triple negative cancers will survive 5 years.
To me it’s kind of like saying, hey you, it’s ok you won’t die of this cancer straight away, you probably have at least 5 years left, aren’t you lucky! I always aspired to live longer than 40. Who wants to die at 40? So this makes me think, are they thinking about all ages when they are writing these stats? Maybe a 70 year old wouldn’t mind an extra five years? But what about for a 25 year old? I would imagine anyone at at any age wants to live a lot longer than 5 years.
I’m dissatisfied. And the bad thing is I don’t even have a solution and I don’t know what I would prefer to hear instead. A ten year survival stat? A twenty year survival stat? Perhaps I would never be satisfied, that is unless they gave me a 99.9 percent survival stat of living until old age and dying of, well old age I guess.
I know I sound flippant and moody and a complete bitch, but it’s how I feel. I’d like to know why doctors and the media choose to shove the 5 year stat in my face. If it’s not for big impressive 90 percent numbers to make the big men in the board rooms go “Ooohhh yeah that sounds great, then what is the point of it?”
Whilst on the subject of being a bitch.. If people are going to talk or whisper about you, they should perhaps be more discreet i.e not in earshot or your line of sight. Rolls eyes.