Prognosis and survival for childhood leukemia
Children with leukemia and their parents may have questions about prognosis and survival. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with a child’s medical history, type of cancer, characteristics of the cancer, treatments chosen and response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognosis is the doctor’s best estimate of how cancer will affect the child, and how it will respond to treatment. A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the child that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together and they both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
Prognostic factors can vary depending on whether the child has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.