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A prognosis is the doctor's best estimate of how cancer will affect a person, and how it will respond to treatment.
A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that may play a role in the 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 developing a treatment plan and a prognosis.
Many factors can affect a person's prognosis. Some of the most important prognostic and predictive factors are related to the specific cancer. They may include the:
Other factors that may affect prognosis include:
Favourable prognostic factors can have a positive influence on outcome. Unfavourable prognostic factors can have a more negative influence on outcome.
Generally, the earlier cancer is detected and treated, the better the outcome or prognosis. Cancer does not always do what it is expected to do. Because of this, it is difficult for doctors to determine a prognosis with any certainty. A prognosis can also change over time.
I want everyone to win their battles like we did. That’s why I’ve left a gift in my will to the Canadian Cancer Society.
For more than 50 years, the Canadian Cancer Society’s transportation program has enabled patients to focus their energy on fighting cancer and not on worrying about how they will get to treatment.