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What is the prognosis for medulloblastoma?

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Between 57 and 60 percent of adults with medulloblastoma and 70 and 80 percent of children, with average risk of medulloblastoma, are alive five years following diagnosis, according to the Central Brain Tumor Registry. Prognosis depends on how well a person responds to treatment, notes the American Brain Tumor Association.

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In children with medulloblastoma, prognosis depends on the child's age at the time of diagnosis and risk level for the cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Children who are at high risk for the disease have a five-year survival rate of 60 and 65 percent, while infants and those whose cancer is localized have a five-year survival rate between 30 and 50 percent. Individual prognosis varies, however, and it is not possible to estimate the survival rate of a child with the cancer because the statistics do not account for advances in treatment of the disease.

Adults have a 10-year survival rate of 44 percent, but this statistic does not differentiate between high and low risk groups, according to the Central Brain Tumor Registry. It also does not account for differences in patient characteristics or patient responses to treatment, and it is not known how long patients typically survive after the 10-year mark.

How well a patient responds to treatment depends on factors such as the size and extent of the cancer, the amount of cancer than can be safely removed as well as the level of metastatic disease, explains the American Brain Tumor Association. In adults, a person's age may not influence how well he responds to treatment like it does in childhood medulloblastomas, explains Dr. Edward Pan.

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