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Retinoblastoma Prognosis

What Are Survival Rates?

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

Factors Influencing a Retinoblastoma Prognosis

The retinoblastoma prognosis depends on:
 
  • The stage of retinoblastoma (see Retinoblastoma Stages)
  • How likely it is that vision can be saved in one or both eyes
  • The size and number of tumors
  • Whether trilateral retinoblastoma (a tumor in the brain) occurs.
     

Retinoblastoma Prognosis: Summary

Cancer patients and their loved ones face many unknowns. Some people find it easier to cope when they know the statistics. Other people find statistical information confusing and frightening, and they think it is too impersonal to be of use to them. The doctor who is most familiar with a patient's situation is in the best position to discuss the retinoblastoma prognosis and to explain what the statistics concerning retinoblastoma may mean for that person. At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot tell exactly what to expect. In fact, a person's prognosis may change if the cancer progresses or if treatment is successful.
 
Seeking information about the retinoblastoma prognosis is a personal decision. It is up to each person to decide how much information he or she wants and how to deal with it.
 
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