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Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has leukemia

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I have no idea what "treatable" is supposed to mean. Initially, we were told that Joe Paterno had "treatable" lung cancer and he was dead within two months or so. I'm sure I could find other examples of "treatable" in which the patient was in remission in short order. Just a word that seems to lack content.

    Anyway, this is awful news. Just don't know how awful with scant information:

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's been a bad year to be an NFL coach between what Reid went through, Philbin in Miami and now Pagano. Kind of makes it hard to feel bad for Sean Payton.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Don't talk crazy now.
  4. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i, too, share your concern about what 'treatable' means; i worry that 'treatable' means there are treatments that can buy you some time but... the word we long to hear is 'cureable' and would fear the distinction between the two.

    if they mean the same thing, docs, i believe most of us would prefer to hear you say, 'cureable.'

    no matter. regardless of the definition, prayers go out to him and his family. hope to see you back on the sideline asap, coach.
  5. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    A couple sites I perused said about 70 percent of patients diagnosed with APL (a type of AML) are "cured," which I assume means the five-year disease free standard with cancers.

  6. JeffRoper

    JeffRoper Guest

    Oncologists loath to use the word 'cure' when it comes to cancer because of how unpredictable the disease could be. I didn't click on the link but it very well could be 'treatable' although leukemia rarely has a positive outcome
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    I sent DocTalk a PM to see if he could weigh in on this for us.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I've known several people with varying degrees of leukemia. Even at its most treatable, the disease, along with the treatments, is enough to put you out of work. And I don't know anyone with jobs as demanding as NFL head coach is for six months.
  9. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    Define positive outcome.

    Of the cancers, some leukemias have among the highest five-year disease free rate out there. On the relative scale of horrible, it seems like APL is a much "better" option than, say, metastatic melanoma, which has something like a 10 percent five-year survival rate with an average life expectancy of less than a year.

    I'm probably sensitive to this because I volunteer with a lot of kids with cancer, but leukemia is hardly the death sentence now it was 40 years ago. Yes, it's a terrible disease with a long, arduous treatment that may very well have consequences down the road. But it's also something that many, many people survive because of advances in treatment. And this particular subset of leukemia has a much more effective treatment than standard AML, it seems. His particular prognosis is based on a number of things we don't know, such as how advanced the cancer is and a few genetic traits, but, again on a relative scale of horrible diseases, it's something that often achieves both remission and five-year disease free status with treatment.

    I wish him the best. Treatment for any cancer sucks pretty hard and makes you feel like trash for one to three years. He's probably not going to be anywhere near up to coaching an NFL team during that time, and it's far more important to focus on his health.

    He's facing one hell of a battle, but at least it's a battle with the odds in his favor.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, the Indiana media has dealt with cancer all too recently with a football head coach and it ended badly. IU coach Terry Hoeppner died of brain cancer in 2007.

    I covered Hoeppner's last game. IU lost at Purdue with bowl-eligibility on the line. It was extremely melancholy because you knew Hoeppner might have just coached his last game.
  11. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I do know of one person who survived "treatable" leukemia -- a now 13-year-old girl who had it when she was 8. She was amazing. She would get chemo treatments, then come pitch for the girls softball team I was managing.

    That said, every case is different. I hope for the best for Pagano.
  12. DocTalk

    DocTalk Active Member

    There is significant difference in the rods "treatable", "cured" and "in remission". This is a nice definition from the National Library of Medicine. Therapies for AML change frequently and numerous studies are ongoing and I hope Mr. Pagano has a successful and easy treatment course.

    "When a bone marrow biopsy shows no evidence of AML , you are said to be in remission. Complete remission occurs in most patients.How well you do depends on other your overall health and the genetic subtype of the AML cells.

    Remission is not the same as a cure. More therapy is usually needed, either in the form of more chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.

    With treatment, younger patients with AML tend to do better than those who develop the disease at an older age. The 5-year survival rate is much lower in older adults than younger persons. Experts say this is partly due to the fact that younger people are better able to tolerate strong chemotherapy medicines.

    If the cancer does not come back (relapse) within 5 years of the diagnosis, you are likely cured."
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