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Brain Cancer Prognosis

Brain Cancer Prognosis: What Are Survival Rates?

Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. Often, statistics refer to the 5-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of brain cancer, are free of disease, or are having treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people, and they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and brain cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.

Factors Affecting Brain Cancer Prognosis

The American Cancer Society estimated that 18,500 people (10,620 men and 7,880 women) would be diagnosed with brain cancer and that 12,760 men and women would die of brain cancer in 2005.
The brain cancer prognosis will depend on:
  • The type of brain cancer (see Types of Brain Tumors)
  • The size and location of brain cancer
  • The brain cancer stage
  • The brain cancer grade.

Brain Cancer Prognosis: Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The brain cancer survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of brain cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall 5-year relative brain cancer survival rate for 1995-2001 was 33.3 percent.
The 5-year relative survival rates for brain cancer by race and sex were as follows:
  • 32.1 percent for Caucasian men
  • 33.5 percent for Caucasian women
  • 37.7 percent for African-American men
  • 37.5 percent for African-American women.
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