Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards' Prognosis Improves

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The AP's Nedra Pickler reports that Elizabeth Edwards found out yesterday she has a type of cancer that is particularly manageable with the use of anti-estrogen drugs:

Mrs. Edwards had her first post-diagnosis doctor's visit Friday and emerged encouraged. She said her doctor expected she had the most aggressive "triple-negative" cancer, but testing found that she had two of the three key hormonal receptors estrogen and progesterone. She said her the original diagnosis was "slightly estrogen heavy," but this time it's a strong marker and she also has the second marker.

"I consider that a good sign," Mrs. Edwards said in an interview in an art classroom before appearing with her husband at the Prairie High School gymnasium. "It means there are more medications which I can expect to be responsive."

That fact increases Mrs. Edwards' chances of living 10 years or more -- and she pointedly rebuked armchair medical specialists in the media who have been predicting an early death for her within five years:

Mrs. Edwards, pointing out a large bruise on the back of her hand and another on her forearm from her IV, said she got an initial course of a bone-building drug. She's also taking Femara, an aromatase inhibitor, but is not undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

She said the development of drugs like Femara is one of many reasons that reports that she's likely to die within five years are not accurate.

"Femara didn't exist five years ago," she said. "I don't expect to get yesterday's medicine. If I can help it, I'd like to get tomorrow's medicine."

Several news organization have reported an American Cancer Society statistic that says the five-year survival rate for Stage IV breast cancer that spread to other organs is just 26 percent. But the cancer society put out a statement saying that is not applicable in her case because it only applies when a woman initially walks into a doctor's office with Stage IV breast cancer, not when she had treatment and the cancer later spread.

1 comment:

Swan said...

I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment, but this is important: There is a great post on The Carpetbagger Report from a few days ago about the mainstream media's (specifically Time magazine's) ignoring the prosecutor purge scandal.

What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldn’t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?

It wouldn’t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldn’t talk about it.