Recurrence of major health issues..

Not a need answer fast and not asking for medical advice, but just a general observation.

It seems to me that when someone has a major medical problem like cancer, heart disease, a stroke, or something similar that you may hear/read that they “recover” but 10 or 15 years later it kills them.

As I typed that I realize that there are breast cancer survivors lasting longer than that, etc.

Perhaps my ignorance in my thoughts will help someone in the know understand my question better.

Does a health problem like this eventually kill you? Take Bill Clinton, just for example. Is there a chance that his heart will be healed 100% and he will die at 110 from a gunshot by a jealous husband? Or will his particular heart illness do him in, either next year or when he’s 80?

And I would guess that Dick Cheney will almost certainly, short of getting hit by a bus tomorrow, die from his heart ailment.

I guess I’m doing a poor job of articulating my point. Sure, we will all die, but is a major diagnosis a death sentence, not by date, but by method?

Why do you think they wouldn’t recur?

Most of the time, these health issues come about from decades of minor abuses and neglect. Dick Cheney might be genetically prone to heart troubles, but decades of presumably unhealthy food, inactivity, high cholesterol, smoking (?), obesity, etc are all likely factors that exacerbated it. He most likely has plaques in his arteries, high blood pressure, poor cardiovascular health in general and other chronic problems that will always make his heart have to work harder than an average person’s.

Breast cancer may be a slight anomaly, because there are certainly many women who are largely healthy, and when they receive prompt and complete treatment they might catch it early enough to prevent it’s spread, but by no means do they just leave it 100% behind them in their past.

If you have ‘failing’ blood vessels in your brain and one ruptures, causing a stroke, just because they fix that one particular artery doesn’t mean all of the rest aren’t still susceptible to the same exact problem. All they can hope for is to lessen aggravating factors and cross their fingers that the others hold.

I’d like to see an insurance company’s chart of existing/previous conditions as to how they pertain to life expectancy.

Even though they’re all dicks, they have good data for it.

No, certainly not as a matter of ‘routine’.

I recognize that anecdotes are hardly proof, but I think my experience illustrates an important point. Specifically, about half of the patients I treat are over the age of 80. And most of them are not a “good 80”. Rather, they tend to have a whole collection of illnesses which they’ve accumulated over the years. Things like coronary disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, cancers (of many types), heart failure, etc. And, let’s not forget Alzheimer’s. Despite this health baggage, the fact is that they are still around. At 80+.

OTOH, their quality of life is often quite poor - housebound (or bedridden), frail, living from hospitalization to hospitalization. But still living.

Of course, when death finally does occur, then, by definition, it can only be from one of their multiple diseases (well, generally). I suppose, this outcome - dieing from just one of their many possible causes of death - does prove that neither “date” nor “method” is invariable.