Stomach Cancer Prognosis
A prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. Factors that can affect a person's stomach cancer prognosis include such things as the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, its grade, and the person's age, general health, and response to treatment. While doctors considering a patient's stomach cancer prognosis will look at these and other factors as well as statistics from many other cases, it is important to remember that a prognosis is only a prediction. Even the doctor cannot be certain about the outcome for a particular patient.
Stomach Cancer Prognosis: An Introduction
Many people with stomach cancer want to know their stomach cancer prognosis. They may ask their doctor or search for statistics on their own.
This eMedTV article uses the term "stomach cancer" to refer to gastric adenocarcinoma (cancer of the glandular tissue in the stomach), which is the most common type of stomach cancer. Other types of stomach cancer include lymphomas (cancers involving the lymphatic system) and sarcomas (cancers of the connective tissue, such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels).
(Click Lymphoma for information about a less common type of cancer that may develop in the stomach.)
Stomach Cancer Prognosis: What Is a 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, such as:
- 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 consider a person's prognosis, they carefully weigh 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 stomach cancer prognosis on information researchers have collected over many years and statistics based on groups of people whose situations are most similar to that of an individual patient. It is important to keep in mind that a prognosis is only a prediction; doctors cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.