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How New Cancer Treatments Are Shaping Lives

Readers of the New York Times share their personal stories about cancer diagnosis and treatment.

For a number of Times readers, receiving a cancer diagnosis was just the beginning of a long sojourn through the world of new cancer treatments. Some readers found great success with advanced therapies, while others struggled to see whether the treatments offered better results than conventional ones.

What follows is a selection of responses we received from readers sharing their stories of navigating the new frontier of oncology. They have been edited and condensed.

What is your experience with a new cancer treatment? Keep the conversation going by sharing your thoughts here.

An Exceptional Response to a New Therapy

I was diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer in April 2005. I was 45 and had never smoked, and the youngest of my three children was only 7. The lower lobe of my left lung was removed, followed by four rounds of adjuvant chemotherapy. However, my cancer returned almost immediately. By the summer of 2008, I had more than two dozen tumors throughout both lungs and was told there was nothing more to do and that I had three to five months left to live. My youngest child and I both began counseling to help us prepare for my death. However the biopsy used to confirm metastatic spread revealed a newly identified driver for lung cancer, a gene called ALK. In October 2008, I became the fourth person in the world with non-small-cell lung cancer to take an experimental therapy called crizotinib. I hoped it would extend my life for several months, but instead I had an almost complete response — not a cure, but a respite. Since then, I have returned to chemotherapy briefly and enrolled in two more Phase 1 clinical trials for ALK inhibitors. My cancer is currently stable, and in several weeks I shall watch my youngest child graduate from high school, and in the fall, he will enroll at M.I.T. where he will study human biology with an emphasis on cancer research. We are truly living the dream (I’m alive!) made possible only by advances in cancer research. Linnea Olson, 56, Lowell, Mass.

Read Full Article: How New Cancer Treatments Are Shaping Lives – The New York Times

Read Full Article: How New Cancer Treatments Are Shaping Lives – The New York Times

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

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