Lou Rell Has Cancer

According to the Danbury NewsTimes Governor Jodi Rell's husband has cancer:
Lou Rell, husband of Gov. M. Jodi Rell, will undergo surgery Tuesday for removal of a small cancerous growht on his esophagus. He is expected to be hospitalized for a week to 10 days.

I wish him the best and good luck in his recovery because he will very likely have a battle on his hands. According to the American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society estimates during 2007, 13,940 deaths from esophageal cancer will occur. Because esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed at a late stage, most people with esophageal cancer eventually die of this disease. However, survival rates have been improving. During the early 1960s, only 4% of all white patients and 1% of all African-American patients survived at least 5 years after diagnosis. Now, 17% of white patients and 12% of African-American patients survive at least 5 years after diagnosis. These figures refer to patients with all stages of disease, so survival rates in earlier stage disease will be higher.

These survival rates are called relative survival rates. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percent of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. This includes people who die of other causes. Five-year relative survival rates assume that some people will die of other causes and compares the observed survival with that expected for people without the cancer. That means that relative survival only talks about deaths from the cancer in question. This is a more accurate way to describe the prognosis for patients with a particular type and stage of cancer. Five-year rates are used to produce a standard way to discuss prognosis, or outlook for survival.

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