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Brain Cancer (cont.)

Brain Cancer Prognosis

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 (greater than five years) for people with primary brain cancer varies. In cases of agressive 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.

Many people with metastatic brain cancer die from their primary cancer rather than from the brain lesions.

  • Radiation and chemotherapy can increase life expectancy modestly.
  • People who have continuing seizures 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 5/7/2014

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