Font Size
A
A
A

Brain Cancer (cont.)

What Is the Prognosis for Brain Cancer? What Is the Life Expectancy for Someone With Brain Cancer?

The major factor(s) that influence brain cancer survival is related to the following: the type of cancer, its location, whether it can be surgically removed or reduced, and the age and overall health status of the patient.

  • The long-term survival rate (life expectancy greater than five years) for people with primary brain cancer varies. In cases of aggressive or high-grade brain cancers it is from less than 10% to about 32%, despite aggressive surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments.
  • Treatments do prolong survival over the short term and, perhaps more importantly, improve quality of life for some time, although this time period can vary greatly.
  • Radiation after surgery may increase a patient's expected survival as compared to not receiving it at all. Chemotherapy can further extend life for some patients when given during and/or after radiation therapy.
  • People who have continuing seizures which are difficult to control even with medications generally do poorly over the following six months.

Despite seemingly dismal chances of long-term survival, these chances are clearly greater with treatment than without. Treatment options and best-estimated prognosis should be discussed with the patient's cancer team.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/29/2016

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Brain Cancer:

Brain Cancer - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for brain cancer?

Brain Cancer - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your brain cancer?

Brain Cancer - Prognosis

What is the prognosis for your brain cancer?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Brain, Metastases »

Metastasis to the brain is the most feared complication of systemic cancer and the most common intracranial tumor in adults.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary