With 142,000 deaths attributed to it, brain cancer is considered one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. In this particular article, we shed light on the survival rates for this ailment.
People suffering from brain cancer account for roughly about 2 percent of the total cancer patients in the United States. That may not seem a significant number, but statistics speak otherwise. Brain cancer causes around 13,000 deaths every year in the United States alone. In fact, its survival rates stand at just above 30 percent, which implies that the life expectancy of a person suffering from the ailment, without proper medical care, is just 1 or 2 years.
Brain Cancer: Overview
Brain tumor is a condition characterized by abnormal growth of cells in the brain. Some tumors are malignant (cancerous), while some are benign (non-cancerous). Basically, brain cancer is classified into two types: primary brain cancer, wherein the growth of the cancerous cells begins right in the brain, and secondary brain cancer, wherein the growth begins in other parts of the body and eventually metastasizes to the brain. Its symptoms range from sleepiness and confusion to seizures and behavioral changes. Primary brain cancers include ependymoma, medulloblastoma, and neuroblastoma among others, while secondary brain cancers includes metastasis from lung cancer and breast cancer. Complete treatment is nearly impossible and the few methods of treatment that are available, focus on improving the quality of life, rather than curing the condition.
On an average, the survival rate for an individual with malignant brain cancer is only 1 or 2 years. Overall survival rates for stage 4 brain cancer is 33 percent, while average life expectancy ranges between 6 months to 1 year after diagnosis. Patients suffering from benign brain tumor show better survival rates than their counterparts with a malignant tumor. Several factors play a vital role in determining whether the particular person will survive brain cancer or not. These include …
- Type of brain cancer
- Size and location of the tumor
- Stage of the cancer
- Grade of the cancer
- General health of the person
Sooner the ailment is diagnosed, better the chances of survival. At 33 percent, the five-year relative survival rate for brain cancer is the sixth lowest among various cancers.
|Age-wise Brain Cancer Survival Rate
|Survival Rates (%)
|14 – 44
|45 – 64
As you see in the table above, the survival rate and age of the person have an inverse relationship. Having said that, the survival rate in children, which is somewhere between 70 – 80% if the cancer has not spread and a complete surgical resection is feasible, drops down to 30 – 40% if these cells have spread to the other parts.
These survival rates are based on the study of a group of cancer patients and hence, shouldn’t be used to predict the future of an individual case. Each person differs from another and therefore, each patient responds differently to the treatment process he is subjected to. Some patients may live for a longer duration than the average life expectancy mentioned above, while some may live for a shorter duration.
Basically, brain cancer is one of the most gruesome ailments whose survival rate has changed a little over the last century. In the future, however, we can hope to find a new method of treating this life-threatening condition either totally, or at least bringing down the mortality rate by a substantial margin.