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Understanding the survivability statistics

Cancer survival rates are generally expressed in percentage terms. Many find it is easier to understand statistics when they are presented in terms of people and not percentages. For instance, the survival rate (based on a five-year term) is 63% for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Another way of saying this is: out of every 100 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients, 63 individuals lived for a minimum of five years after the diagnosis. 37 of the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients died within five years of diagnosis.

If you find it difficult to understand statistical jargon, ask your doctor to provide a more lucid explanation. How the numbers are interpreted will depend on you and your doctor. You may think positively about a 63% survival rate or you may choose to be frightened of it. Your doctor can put the statistics in context and help you understand your specific condition.

Disregarding cancer survival rates

It is entirely your decision whether or not you want to know about cancer survival rates pertaining to your specific condition. Since cancer survival statistics do not reveal anything specific about your particular condition, you can choose to treat them as impersonal and not very useful. However, if you are someone who wants to know everything about the cancer, you can have all the statistics pertaining to your specific condition.

The more you learn about specifics such as grade, type, and stage of cancer, the more accurately you will be able to ascertain your risks. If your condition is localized and you are referring to statistics pertaining to patients with a more common form of cancer, then those numbers may not be applicable to you.

Learning more about the cancer can ease the anxiety associated with analyzing your treatment options and starting the treatment. However, survival rates can be alarming and confusing. Inform your doctor if you wish to ignore the survival statistics. In case you have some concerns or questions on the statistics pertaining to your cancer, discuss the same with your doctor.