Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Cancer Prognosis

Cancer prognosis is the projected outcome that doctors will give their patients once they have diagnosed the disease. It is an indicator of whether the patient is likely to be able to recover, or if they are expected to relapse. There are many different characteristics which will influence the doctor’s diagnosis. Some of these include aspects such as the age of the patient and the state of their general health, the kind they have, and where they have it, as well as how advanced the disease is at the time of diagnosis.

Cancer Prognosis And Research Statistics

It is possible for the cancer prognosis to change over the course of time, as circumstances and the health of the patient fluctuate. Physicians usually make their hypotheses based on generalised research that is available to them. There are three major different rates that most doctors will base their cancer prognosis on.

• Survival rate calculates their patient’s chances of recovery, based on a segment of people who have been researched in the same stage, and with the same type of disease, and who have been known to recover.

• The five year survival rate is another statistic which is based on very general information. This will give a percentage based on the number of people in the same situation, in terms of stage and type of disease, who managed to survive five years past their date of diagnosis.

• Recurrence free survival rates will also determine what percentage of patients with the same kind and stage of the disease were able to recover completely.

How To Understand A Cancer Prognosis And What It Means For Your Quality Of Life

A cancer prognosis is based on generic factors, and does not guarantee anything at all. It is merely a guideline to give the patient some idea of the extent and degree of their disease, and how they factor in with generic research and statistics. It can also be a motivating factor as to whether the patient opts for medical treatment or not.

Some patients choose not to have treatments, especially if their doctor's cancer prognosis for their health is poor. This is because some of the side effects of the medication are so intense; they require further medication to alleviate them. Patients who are informed that their condition is terminal, will also be unlikely to undergo treatment. By the same token, a poor cancer prognosis may also motivate a patient to take a risk with clinical trials, if they feel as though they have nothing to lose in trying this alternative.

Recent studies, published in an online journal, have intimated that patients who suffer physical side effects may expect a shorter survival period once the diagnosis has been made. Patients who experienced symptoms like nausea or vomiting, and shortness of breath could expect a shorter survival period. These kinds of symptoms affected the patients health related quality of life. Other psychosocial factors, like anxiety or depression over their condition, did not appear to have such adverse effects.