Bladder Cancer Prognosis: An Overview
People who are diagnosed with bladder cancer
are naturally concerned about what the future holds. Understanding bladder cancer and what to expect can help patients and their loved ones plan bladder cancer treatment
, think about lifestyle changes, and make decisions about their quality of life and finances. Many people with bladder cancer want to know their bladder cancer prognosis so they may ask their doctor or search for bladder cancer statistics
on their own.
What Is a Bladder 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, including:
- 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 must take into consideration 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 bladder 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 bladder cancer prognosis if the cancer is likely to respond well to treatment. The bladder 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.