Understanding statistics used to guide prognosis and evaluate treatment

One of the first questions people diagnosed with cancer may ask is, “what’s the chance of survival?” Doctors use statistics to provide an answer. Statistics are estimates that describe trends in large numbers of people. They can help with predictions. But they cannot tell what will actually happen to a person.

This resource from Cancer.Net explains the following:

  • survival rate,
  • 5 year relative survival rate,
  • disease free and progression free survival rates,
  • using survival rates to determine prognosis, and
  • using survival statistics to evaluate treatment options.
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