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What influences the prognosis of bone cancer?

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Quick Answer

The type and grade of bone cancer, age, the location of the cancer, tumor size and treatment received influence the prognosis for a patient with bone cancer, states the American Cancer Society. The five-year relative survival rate for all types of bone cancer combined is about 70 percent, as of 2015.

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The prognosis for a bone cancer patient depends largely on the stage of the cancer when a doctor first makes the cancer diagnosis, notes the American Cancer Society. Doctors use a staging system for bone cancer developed by the American Joint Commission on Cancer that relies on a lettering system to describe the tumor, lymph nodes, metastasis and grade. Doctors assign a grade to tumors depending on how abnormal the cancer cells are, and tumors with higher grades grow and spread faster than other tumors.

Younger patients and women with bone cancer tend to have better outcomes than men or older adults, notes MedicineNet. If cancer spreads from the bone to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate drops to as low as between 15 percent and 30 percent. Patients with bone cancer in the arms or legs have better prognoses, as do people who respond well to chemotherapy or have cancers completely removed during surgery.

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