An AML prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. Many factors can affect an AML prognosis, such as the subtype and location of the cancer. An AML prognosis may be favorable if the cancer is likely to respond well to treatment. The AML prognosis may be unfavorable if the cancer is likely to be difficult to control.
AML Prognosis: An Overview
People facing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are naturally concerned about what the future holds. Understanding AML and what to expect can help patients and their loved ones plan AML treatment, think about lifestyle changes, and make decisions about their quality of life and finances. Many people with AML want to know their AML prognosis, so they may ask their doctor or search for statistics on their own.
A prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. In other words, a prognosis is the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence (return of the cancer). Many factors can affect a person's AML prognosis, such as:
- The type and location of the cancer
- The stage of the disease (the extent to which the cancer has metastasized, or spread)
- The person's age, general health, and response to treatment
- The grade of the cancer (how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread).
When doctors discuss a person's prognosis, they carefully consider all of the factors that could affect that person's disease and treatment, and then try to predict what might happen. The doctor will base the prognosis on information researchers have collected over many years about hundreds, or even thousands, of people with cancer. When possible, the doctor will use statistics based on groups of people whose situations are most similar to that of an individual patient.
The doctor may speak of a favorable prognosis if the cancer is likely to respond well to treatment. The prognosis may be unfavorable if the cancer is likely to be difficult to control. However, it is important to keep in mind that a prognosis is only a prediction and that the doctor cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.