What is Cancer Prognosis & What Should You Know About It?

February 28, 2023

If you have cancer or someone in your family has the disease, you will have many questions about the chances of survival. The estimation of how the disease will take form for the patient is referred to as prognosis. So, what exactly is cancer prognosis, and what are the things you should know about it? At My Cancer Journey, we would like to shed light on this topic.

What is Cancer Prognosis?

A cancer prognosis provides you an insight into your disease whether it can be cured and what you can expect in the future. Such a prognosis answers the following questions:

  • How likely your cancer is to get cured?
  • What are your chances of having a full recovery?
  • How many years you are likely to live if your cancer doesn’t get cured?

Factors Affecting Prognosis

There are many factors that affect a cancer prognosis. They include:

  • Cancer type you have and its location in your body
  • Cancer stage, which indicates its size and the body parts it has spread to
  • Cancer grade, which indicates the level of abnormality of the cancer cells. It provides insights into how quickly your cancer is likely to develop and spread.
  • Your age and health
  • How effectively your body responds to treatment

It is important to realize that seeking details about your cancer prognosis is a personal decision. When you understand your disease and know what you can expect, it helps you and your loved ones in making certain decisions. The types of decisions you can make include:

  • Whether you want treatment
  • The best treatment for you
  • Addressing financial matters
  • Best ways to take care of yourself and manage the side effects of treatment

Many cancer patients and their families want to know about their cancer prognosis. It becomes easier to cope with the situation when you know more about your cancer. You can further learn about relevant survival statistics. Without a cancer prognosis, this can often become confusing for patients and their families.

Types of Statistics for Cancer Prognosis

When estimating a patient’s prognosis, doctors will take into account factors such as:

  • Characteristics of the disease
  • Existing health problems that may affect the disease and treatment
  • Treatment options available to the patient

Different forms of statistics can be used by doctors in estimating your cancer prognosis. The commonly used types include the following:

  • Cancer-Specific Survival: This is the percentage of patients having a specific cancer type and stage who have survived during a specific period of time after their diagnosis.
  • Relative Survival: This is a comparison of the survival of cancer-diagnosed patients with those without cancer and in the same age, gender, and race category.
  • Overall Survival: This is the percentage of cancer patients with a specific type and storage who have survived during a certain period of time after their diagnosis.
  • Disease-Free Survival: This is the percentage of patients without any evidence of cancer during a certain period of time after receiving their treatment.

Some other important statistics include progression-free and recurrence-free survival. These statistics are usually used in terms of 5-year survival as compared to the general population. If you or a loved one has cancer and needs more insights into your condition, feel free to contact My Cancer Journey. You can reach us at 737.307.0077 or write to us.

MyCancerJourney is a comprehensive patient navigation service paired with a proprietary data and analytics platform that powers treatment decision support for patients.
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