Cancer is the giant bugaboo that eventually invades everyone’s life if they live long enough. Still, if caught early and treated agressively, a prognosis of cancer is not necessarily an untimely death sentence. Here are the most important things to know about your prognosis once you have defintively been diagnosed with cancer:
It is Fact Based
Though it may mystify the patient to some extent, a doctor’s cancer prognosis is thoroughly grounded in his own and his peer’s medical experience. The doctor will look at such things as the type and location of the cancer, its metastatic stage – that is, how much it has actually spread – and the cancer’s grade – how abnormal it looks and how likely it is to spread even more.
It’s Mostly Statistics
While Mark Twain facetiously opined that there are “lies, damn lies and statistics,” the actual truth is that stats really do tell you a lot about your prognosis. By analyzing various factors such as the specific characteristics of the patient’s disease, the available treatment options and any other health issues, the doctor will make an educated guess as to what will happen.
It is Not Completely Certain
While your prognosis is your doctor’s “best guess” as to the likely course and outcome of your disease, it is by no means 100% certain. Remaining positive throughout the process is always the best medicine.
As you can see, a prognosis is as much art as it is science and the best doctors combine both when making a prognosis. For more detailed information, please contact us at Issels® or you can reach us directly at 1-888-437-7357.
A recent groundbreaking cancer study conducted by the National Institutes of Health tracked the eating habits of more than half a million older Americans over a 15-year period and found that what we eat can have a profound effect on cancer risk. While study participants were age 50 and older, cancer treatment experts feel the nutritional findings are applicable to people of all ages.
The study found a marked decrease in cancer and heart disease in people who ate what is considered a Mediterranean diet: a diet rich in vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and fish but low in red meat, processed meat and saturated fats. In comparing dietary choices to cancer incidence, researchers also discovered some interesting associations with specific foods:
Women who drank more than three cups of caffeinated coffee daily decreased their risk of endometrial cancer by 35%.
Coffee drinkers of both sexes who drank at least 4 cups of either regular or decaf coffee daily reduced their risk of colon cancer.
Blueberries and other antioxidant-rich berries offer protection against mouth and neck cancers.
Breads and pastas made from 100% whole grains decrease colon cancer risk.
Lycopene-rich tomatoes, both whole and in sauces, help protect against prostate cancer.
Consumption of alcohol at any level increases the risk of breast cancer.
High alcohol consumption increases the risk of colon and liver cancer for both men and women.
Making healthy food choices that support a strong immune system may help decrease cancer risk and support the effectiveness of cancer treatments should cancer strike.