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Survival rates show the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive it for a certain period of time after they are diagnosed. A five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive five years after they are diagnosed. These are the people it includes:
Those who are free of disease (there are no signs of cancer)
Those who have few, or no signs or symptoms of cancer
Those who are being treated for cancer
Many people included in the five-year survival rate live much longer than five years after diagnosis. Also, because the statistic is based on people diagnosed and initially treated more than five years ago, it's possible that the outlook could be better today. People who are newly diagnosed often have a more favorable outlook. That's because of improvements in treatment.
Survival rates are based on large groups of people. They cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular person. No two people are exactly alike. Treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.
The five-year survival rate for people with brain tumors varies widely based on age, tumor type, the size and location of the tumor, and other factors. When looking at survival rates, keep in mind that the rates differ for each specific tumor type. In addition, there is wide variation and not everyone "fits the curve." Your doctor, who is familiar with your situation, is the best source of information about your particular case.
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