- Patient Comments: Brain Cancer - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Brain Cancer - Experience
- Patient Comments: Brain Cancer - Prognosis
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- Brain cancer facts
- What is brain cancer?
- What are grades of brain cancers?
- What are the types of brain cancers?
- What is brain cancer staging?
- What is metastatic brain cancer?
- What causes brain cancer?
- Do cell phones cause brain cancer?
- What are brain cancer symptoms and signs?
- What type of doctors treat brain cancer?
- What tests do doctors use to diagnose brain cancer?
- What is the treatment for brain cancer?
- Are there any home remedies for brain cancer?
- What are the side effects of brain cancer treatment?
- What is the prognosis of treated brain cancer?
- What can I do to help my family (and me) cope with my diagnosis of brain cancer?
- Is it possible to prevent brain cancer?
- Where can I get more information about my type of brain cancer?
Quick GuideCancer 101 Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Understanding Cancer
What is the prognosis of treated brain cancer?
Survival of treated brain cancer varies with the cancer type (low-grade versus aggressive and/or inoperable, for example), location, overall age, and general health of the patient. In general, most treatment plans seldom result in a cure. Reports of survival rate or life expectancy greater that five years (which is considered to be long-term survival) vary from less than 10% to a high of 32%, no matter what treatment plan is used; recovery (cure) from brain cancer is possible, but realistically, complete recovery does not occur often. However, about 75% of children will survive pediatric brain cancer longer than five years; often because of chronic diseases, the elderly have poorer outcomes except with the lowest grade tumors.
So, why use any treatment plan? Without treatment, brain cancers are usually aggressive and result in death within a short time span. Treatment plans can prolong survival and can improve the patient's quality of life for some time. Again, the patient and caregivers should discuss the prognosis when deciding on treatment plans.
In general, life expectancy in patients with brain cancer is usually described as a survival rate five years after diagnosis. The survival rate is expressed as a percentage of people still alive five years after the diagnosis and/or treatment. The survival rates vary with the type and grade of brain cancer and the age of the patient. For example, glioblastomas in patients aged 20-44 have a five-year survival rate of 17% and only a 4% rate in patients aged 55-64. In contrast, patients with a meningioma (a benign brain tumor) in the same age groups have survival rates of 92% and 67%, respectively. These survival rates change as advancements in treatment plans improve; the patient and his/her doctors should discuss these rates as they are only estimates, and each person is different. Survival with no reoccurrence of the disease after five years is considered a cure by some; however, close follow-up with doctors is usually recommended to quickly evaluate any possible recurrence of the cancer.