Leukemia Home > CLL Prognosis
The CLL prognosis is a medical opinion concerning the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence. Factors that can affect a person's prognosis include the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the cancer, the person's age, general health, and response to treatment, and the cancer grade. When considering a person's CLL prognosis, the doctor will also consider statistics from hundreds or even thousands of people with the disease. Keep in mind, however, that a prognosis is only prediction.
People facing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are naturally concerned about what the future holds. Understanding CLL and what to expect can help patients and their loved ones plan CLL treatment, think about lifestyle changes, and make decisions about their quality of life and finances. Many people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia want to know their CLL 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, the prognosis is the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence (return of the cancer). Many factors can affect a person's 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
- Its grade (how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread).
When doctors consider a person's prognosis, they carefully assess 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; the doctor cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.