April 26, 2017
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Cancer (cont.)

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What is the prognosis for cancer?

The prognosis (outcome) for cancer patients may range from excellent to poor. The prognosis is directly related to both the type and stage of the cancer. For example, many skin cancers can be completely cured by removing the skin cancer tissue; similarly, even a patient with a large tumor may be cured after surgery and other treatments like chemotherapy (note that a cure is often defined by many clinicians as a five-year period with no reoccurrence of the cancer). However, as the cancer type either is or becomes aggressive, with spread to lymph nodes or is metastatic to other organs, the prognosis decreases. For example, cancers that have higher numbers in their staging (for example, stage III or T3N2M1; see staging section above) have a worse prognosis than those with low (or 0) numbers. As the staging numbers increase, the prognosis worsens and the survival rate decreases.

This article offers a general introduction to cancers, consequently the details -- such as life expectancy for each cancer -- cannot be covered. However, cancers in general have a decreasing life expectancy as the stage of the cancer increases. Depending on the type of the cancer, as the prognosis decreases, so does life expectancy. On the positive side, cancers that are treated and do not recur (no remissions) within a five-year period in general suggest that the patient will have a normal life expectancy. Some patients will be cured, and a few others may get recurrent cancer. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees.

There are many complications that may occur with cancer; many are specific to the cancer type and stage and are too numerous to list here. However, some general complications that may occur with both cancer and its treatment protocols are listed below:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cancer/article.htm

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