Can I Be Cured of Leukemia?
It's normal to worry about what leukemia will mean for you and your family. You may wonder, "What are my chances of being cured?" and "How long will I live?" The answers to these questions are what you may hear health care experts call your prognosis. This is the likely outcome, or course, of your leukemia. Your doctor considers how likely these outcomes are for you when making your prognosis.
Your chance of being cured from cancer
Your chance of having the cancer come back, called recurrence
Your chance of dying from the cancer
To make your prognosis, your doctor will use these facts.
The typical outcome for people with your type of leukemia (the average of all these experiences makes up leukemia statistics)
Your doctor's experiences with other patients who have your type of leukemia
Your own case, including the type and subtype of your leukemia and your general health
Ask your doctor to help you understand what the statistics may mean for you. Keep in mind that even your doctor cannot tell you exactly what to expect.
Some people find that learning about their prognosis eases their fears. Some use this information to help them make choices about tests or treatments. Others may not want to know because the prognosis may be confusing or scary. How much information to accept and how to deal with it is a personal decision. It is your choice.
It makes some sense to plan for a serious illness. Still, you should not allow statistics or a prognosis to dictate your future. People have survived every type of leukemia. People have outlived their doctors' predictions. Your prognosis gives a perspective, but it is not etched in stone. Try to focus your thoughts on the people who have survived leukemia. You may be one of them.