Bone Cancer Home > Bone Cancer Prognosis
A bone cancer prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. Factors that influence a bone cancer prognosis include the stage of the cancer, where it is located, and the patient's general health. A bone cancer prognosis is only a prediction -- the doctor cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.
Bone Cancer Prognosis: An Overview
People who are facing bone cancer are naturally concerned about what their future holds. Understanding bone cancer and what to expect can help patients and their loved ones to:
- Plan appropriate bone cancer treatment
- Think about lifestyle changes
- Make decisions about their quality of life and finances.
Many people with bone cancer want to know their bone cancer prognosis, so they may ask their doctor or search for bone cancer statistics on their own.
What Is a Bone Cancer Prognosis?A prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. In other words, the prognosis is the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence (return of the cancer). Many factors can affect a person's prognosis, such as:
- The type and location of the cancer
- The stage of the disease (the extent to which the cancer has metastasized, or spread)
- Its grade (how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread)
- The person's age, general health, and response to treatment.
When doctors discuss a person's prognosis, they carefully consider all of the factors that could affect that person's disease and treatment, and then try to predict what might happen. The doctor will base the bone cancer prognosis on information researchers have collected over many years about hundreds or even thousands of people with cancer. When possible, the doctor will use statistics based on groups of people whose situations are most similar to that of an individual patient.
The doctor may speak of a favorable bone cancer prognosis if the cancer is likely to respond well to treatment. The bone cancer prognosis may be unfavorable if the cancer is likely to be difficult to control. However, it is important to keep in mind that a prognosis is only a prediction and the doctor cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.