How Reliable Is A Prognosis, When You Have Cancer?

For most people, hearing the word cancer from a doctor can be very devastating. It’s because they only see the severity of the disease. This is a very common case, especially if the patient with his or her family is not aware of the background of this disease. They would jump to conclusions of death and suffering. However that is not exactly the case for all patients with cancer.

Moreover there are numerous option for cancer treatment today. Scientists are also doing research and constantly developing new drugs and possible cure for this disease. That is why people should not lose hope at first knowledge of having tumor malignancy.

Prognosis vs. Diagnosis
There are two things that the doctor will definitely tell you during a consult for cancer. First he will explain to you the result of the biopsy and give you confirmation of the symptoms that you have been experiencing in a period of time. This is what you call a diagnosis. Afterwards you will be asked if you want to know the rate of survival of the condition. If you approve of it, then he will then tell you a lot of statistical data that can show you the reality of your condition. With this you will be given a prediction of the outcome and that is what you call prognosis. It can be good or bad depending on many factors.

Determining Factors

  • What kind of cancer you have and where it is found; whether it is in your cells, tissues, nerves located in your brain, lungs, digestive system and more.
  • Its size and other physical characteristics are also to be considered. The bigger it is, the harder it will be to cut out and longer the process of chemotherapy or radiation.
  • The pace of metastasis or how far it spread has is very important too. It determines whether the cancer tumor is operable or not.
  • What stage are you in? 1st and 2nd are considered early stages while 3rd and 4th are the critical stages.

Why is it important?
Knowing how the outcome of your condition will go can be a life changer. You will be able to make informed decisions about having the treatment or refusing to take any measures at all. You will also be able to choose from different interventions for the management of the disease and its side effects. And, it also gives you a hand in preparing for financial assistance and other legal matters that you have to accomplish.