Cancer Detection (cont.)
In this Article
What does the future hold for cancer patients?
Researchers are finding better ways to detect and treat cancer, and the chance of recovery keeps improving. Still, it is natural for patients to be concerned about their future.
Sometimes patients use statistics to try to figure out their chance of being cured or how long they will live. It is important to remember, however, that statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient because no two patients are alike. The doctor who takes care of the patient is in the best position to discuss the chance of recovery (prognosis). Patients should feel free to ask the doctor about their prognosis, but they should keep in mind that not even the doctor knows exactly what will happen. Doctors often talk about surviving cancer, or they may use the term remission rather than cure. Even though many cancer patients can be cured, doctors use these terms because the disease can recur.
What resources are available to patients with cancer and their families?
Information about cancer is available from many sources, including the ones listed below. You may wish to check for additional information at your local library or bookstore and from support groups in your community.
CANCER INFORMATION SERVICE (CIS)
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY (ACS)
Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Gordon, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialties in Medical Oncology and Hematology
Last Editorial Review: 4/23/2002
Viewers share their comments
Cancer Question: Did you experience any cancer symptoms that led you to a doctor? Please explain.
Cancer Question: What procedure or test did your doctor use to diagnose your cancer and find out what kind it was? Describe your experience.
Cancer Question: What side effects did you experience from your cancer treatment?
Cancer Question: Have you participated in any clinical trials to find treatment for your cancer? Please describe your experience.