Prognosis of Brain Tumour

By  , Expert Content
Jan 24, 2012

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Prognosis of brain tumour helps the patient to know their chance of recovery or a recurrence (return) of the tumour. Understanding the prognosis or possible outcome is important for any patient with cancer as it helps them and their family to handle the disease and live with it better. It also helps the patient and the family to make important decisions such as managing finance, choosing the most appropriate treatment and make lifestyle changes.

Prognosis of brain tumour depends on many factors and some of the important ones are:

  • Type of the cancer.
  • Site or location of the cancer.
  • Stage of cancer (the size of the tumour and extent of involvement of the brain tissue).
  • Grade of tumour (how abnormal or malignant the cancer cells are and how quickly the cells grow and spread).
  • Patient factors such as age, general health and response to treatment.

While discussing the prognosis, the doctor bases his or her opinion on the five-year survival rate of the particular cancer. Survival rate of a cancer indicates the proportion of people with a certain type and stage of cancer, who live for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. This rate indicates the percentage of people with the disease who are still alive five years post-diagnosis (factors such as signs or symptoms of cancer, presence or absence of disease or treatment are not considered). The five-year survival rate for any cancer is obtained through a study done on many (thousands of patients) patients over the years with similar type of cancer.

Prognosis of brain tumour:
The average 5-year relative brain cancer survival rate is about 33%. When the different types of malignant brain tumours are considered:

  • About 35% of adults diagnosed with this disease live for at least a year. About 15% live for more than 5 years after diagnosis and 10% survive for more than 10 years after diagnosis.
  • Prognosis of women is better than men (the exact reason for this difference is not known).
  • Prognosis is better in younger adults (younger than 40 years).  About 50% of the younger people live for more than 5 years after their diagnosis.
  • Prognosis is better in children when compared with adults. About 65% of children diagnosed with brain tumour live for more than 5 years after diagnosis.

While discussing the prognosis, your doctor may consider the prognosis to be favourable if you are likely to respond well to the treatment; but the prognosis is considered unfavourable or poor if your cancer reacts counterproductively to the treatment. Remember that every patient is different and the doctor charters the possible course of the disease based on studies. He or she cannot be absolutely correct about the outcome for a particular patient.


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