Monday, November 24, 2014

Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States

When I talk to victims and caregivers and friends and family members of brain tumor victims I get a lot of questions, questions like:
  • What are my chances? (Of survival)
  • How many people get this!? This is usually asked loudly or poignantly or despairingly so I added an exclamation point.)
  • Why me? (What did I do wrong?)
Horribly and embarrassingly, I usually have no answers or, at best, pretty bad answers.

Worse yet, as a society/national/people don’t seem to have many answers to these pointed questions begging to be answered.

But today I did stumble across the “Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States“ which provides some answers to those who live in the US and worldwide:

The answers it provides tend to be the cold, heartless facts of brain tumors, how many cases per year, which age groups, males versus females, etc.

Here’s some numbers that jumped out at me and hit me hard right between the eyes: “An estimated 68,470 new cases of primary malignant and non-malignant brain and CNS tumors are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2015. This includes an estimated 23,180 primary malignant and 45,300 non-malignant that are expected to be diagnosed in the US in 2015.”

I found that depressing. 68,470 is the population of a good-sized city. The idea of an entire city of brain tumor victims makes me cringe.

Perhaps most depressing are the bleak five-year survival rates which are tiered by age. For example, the five-year relative survival rates following diagnosis of a primary malignant brain and CNS tumor for somebody 55 to 74 years old is 17.7%. 17.7%? 17.7%!

Since my wife and I have a very, very good college friend who fits that demographic, right now I’m very, very sad. L

If you’re interested go to the link and have a look. Personally I found a lot of data and not hardly any answers.

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