Understanding Cancer Cure, Cancer Remission and Cancer Prognosis
What is cancer prognosis? If you have some type of cancer, maybe you have questions about how serious the disease is and what are your chances of survival. We can hardly understand the estimation and what prognosis actually means. Even for doctors it is hard to talk.
What Factors Can Affect the Cancer Prognosis
- The type of cancer and where it is in the body
- The stage of the cancer. It refers to the size of the cancer and weather it has spread to other parts of the body
- The cancer’s grade. That actually refers to how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope. Grade gives us the information about how quickly the cancer can grow and spread.
- Certain characteristics of the cancer cells
- How healthy you were before cancer and your age as well
- The Last Cancer Prognosis is How your body responds to treatment
When someone has cancer, he or she faces many unknown people and stuff. Understanding the disease and knowing what to expect at the end can help make decisions and go on. Some of the decisions a person can face include:
- Which treatment is in fact best to do
- If you really want or need treatment
- How to take care of yourself in the best possible way and manage all side effects of t treatment
- How to deal with legal and financial matters
Many people want to know their prognosis and that’s why they ask their doctor about survival statistics or they simply search for this information on their own. Sometimes statistics can be frightening and confusing or too impersonal to be true or of value.
Understanding Statistics About Survival
Doctors give information and estimate cancer prognosis by using the data and statistics that researchers have done and collected over the years about people who have the same type of cancer. Doctors include the following most common statistics:
This is in fact the % of patients with a specific type and stage of cancer that during a certain period of time after diagnosis have not died from their cancer. The period of time may be from 1 year to 5 years, etc.5 years is the time period that they take most often. The other term of Cancer-specific survival is disease-specific survival. Cancer-specific survival, in most cases, is based on causes of death that are found in medical records.
A method for cancer-specific survival estimation. It does not use data about the cause of death. It is cancer patients’ % who for a certain period of time after diagnosis has survived compared to those who do not have cancer.
This is the peoples’ % with a specific type and stage of cancer that after diagnosis have not died from any cause during a certain period of time.
This statistic is the percentage of patients who have no signs of cancer during a certain period of time after treatment. Other names for this statistic are recurrence-free or progression-free survival.
Statistics are based on big groups of people. Therefore, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to you. Every organism is different. Treatments and how the body responds to treatment can differ greatly.
Whatever you read, just keep in mind that a prognosis is in fact an educational guess. Your doctor cannot be 100% certain how it will go for you.
Not to Have Treatment Decision
If you make a decision not to have treatment, the doctor who knows your situation in the best is in position to discuss your personal prognosis.
Statistics for survival most often come from studies that compare treatments with each other, rather than treatment with no treatment. So, it won’t be easy for your doctor to give you an accurate prognosis.
Difference Between Remission and Cure – How to Understand it
Cure means that “you are clean” and after treatment there is no trace of your cancer. The cancer will never come back.
If in a period of 5 years, you remain in complete remission, some doctors may say that you are actually cured. Still, some cancer cells can remain in the body for many years after treatment. Unfortunately, these cells may cause the comeback of the cancer one day. Cancers usually return within the first 5 years after the treatment. But, there is also big chance that cancer will come back little later. For this reason, doctors cannot be sure that you are completely cured. The most they can say is that at this time there are no signs of cancer.
Because there is a chance that cancer can come back, for many years your doctor will observe you and will do tests to look if there are signs of cancer’s return. They will also look for signs of late side effects from the cancer treatments you decided to receive.
Watch the following video with 3 cancer patients and their doctors. You will learn more about the prognosis and how doctors explain it.
Source featured image: https://news.usc.edu/89476/researcher-adds-fluorescence-to-cancer-cells/