Prognosis is a fancy used when treating various chronic diseases. Many individuals do not understand what a prognosis is. Prognosis is a word that you may hear your health team utilize when treating your anal cancer. The term is used in order to describe your chances of surviving the cancer. Other times, the word prognosis is used in order to discuss the likely outcome from treatment. It is important to understand that a prognosis is a scientifically calculated estimation. In other words, it is a guess. Many individuals want to know their prognosis, or chances of survival, when they receive a diagnosis of anal cancer.
Deciding whether or not to ask about your prognosis is personal. You have to make the decision on how much information you want to receive. Some patients are able to cope with the cancer and fight it better when they are informed about their prognosis and provided with the statistics regarding the stage of cancer they are facing and how likely treatment is to work. Others are confused by statistics and don’t want to know their chances of survival. They find it easier to cope and fight the cancer without that information. Other patients believe that statistics aren’t useful because they are simply a generic number.
The best individual to discuss your prognosis with is the healthcare provider that is most familiar with your health. As you discuss the statistics and the prognosis, it is important to remember that the prognosis has the ability to change. It is difficult to predict cancer and the outcomes for treatment. A favorable prognosis can quickly change if the cancer spreads and reaches major organs or if the patient does not respond to the treatment provided. A prognosis that is not favorable also has the potential to change if the treatment goes well and prevents the growth and spread of the cancer.
How is a prognosis made?
The healthcare provider figures out any factor that can impact the cancer or the treatment when calculating a patient’s prognosis. They look at the estimated risks and the stage of cancer that the patient is dealing with. Estimates are based on research results from research that have been conducted over many years on individuals with the same cancer. A favorable prognosis is one where you are likely to respond to provided treatments. An unfavorable prognosis is when the cancer is likely going to be difficult to control and/or has the chance to significantly shorten the patient’s life. It is critical to remember that a prognosis is what is probably going to happen. It is not a definite statement of the future. When treating cancer, there are rarely any certainties.
A prognosis typically depends on numerous factors. It depends on the location of the cancer and the type of cancer that the individual is facing. It depends on how quickly the cancer is spreading and growing and the stage of cancer the individual has been diagnosed with. Age and overall health play a key role in the prognosis. The decisions that you make for treatment and how you personally respond to the treatment also affect the prognosis.
Survival rates can be a difficult topic to understand. In general, survival rates are the length of time that individuals typically live after being diagnosed with anal cancer. Rates are grouped based on the stage and type of cancer being experienced. Normally, statistics are used in regards to five and ten year rates of survival. Most individuals live between five and ten years after receiving a diagnosis of anal cancer. Survival rate looks at individuals who are cured, have few symptoms of cancer, and are being treated for cancer.
Many individuals that are grouped in the five year survival rate live much longer than five years. It is also important to remember that statistics are often based on individuals that received their diagnosis over five years ago. Individuals that have recently diagnosed have a better prognosis due to constantly improving options for treatment.
Prognosis for Anal Cancer
Anal cancer survival rates are based on large quantities of individuals. Survival rates cannot predict what is definitely going to happen to an individual because no two people are exactly alike. The way that individuals treat their cancer and respond to the treatments vary based on the individual. Anal cancer is a serious diagnosis. Most treatments are effective, however, and many individuals are cured.
About half of all diagnosed anal cancers are found early. Most are diagnosed before the cancer is able to spread further than the anus. This is known as localized cancer and has a five year survival rate of eighty percent.
There are times that cancer is not found until after it has spread to lymph nodes or other areas located around the anus. This is referred to as locally advanced cancer and has a five year survival rate of sixty-one percent. When the cancer has spread to other locations in the body it is referred to as metastatic cancer and has a five year survival rate of around thirty percent. The overall five year rate is sixty-six percent for anal cancer.