I am trying not to get excited about this, but of course I never had a call like this one before. I went to the Derm a few weeks ago for my six month visit for my acne. I had a large mole on my arm ...
How can a doctor tell how long a cancer patient has left to live?
If a doctor says to a cancer patient "you only have 3 months to live", how can a doctor predict exactly how long a particular cancer patient has left of his/her life. Do they use a particular instrument or machine or....?
A doctor cannot predict exactly how long a cancer patient will live, but they can make an educated guess based on statistics examining the survival rate of different types of cancer and at which stage they present at the time of diagnosis. It is also based on experience with prior patients during their training and practice. You develop a sort of sixth sense about these things. With that being said, there are always exceptional cases, but they are rare. In cases where patients have advanced disease with metastatic involvement of other organs, the prognosis is usually very poor.
There is no telling for sure. They are educated guesses. Sometimes, they say that a patient will only live for a few months, but remain alive for more than a year.
No one can, don't believe that!
Above all stay positive mind, body and soul.
Many live two weeks to twenty years so never go by another man's guesstimation....
An educated guess based on historical information. The issue is when applying it to an individual. People tend to discount it, because human nature has people talking about the person given six months to live and lives a lot longer. No one talks about the person that lived for five months.
I believe it's just an educated guess based on how far the disease has progressed, where it is and what they've seen in the past.
They are just making an educated guess. It depends on where the cancer tumor is, how aggressive the cancer cells are, and how the body is responding to it.
There's an explanation of this at http://www.cancerdoubts.com
They can't "tell". The can only make an educated guess.
Hospital keep statistic on all their patients. For example, they keep records of the date a patient with a particular kind of cancer comes in, and the date he died. They do that for EVERY patient, and they have been doing that for over 100 years.
They use "statistical mathematics" to determine, based on ALL the patients, how likely it is that a ptient will live, given this kind of cancer.
For example, if you have multiple myeloma (blood cancer), only about 1 in 10 patients lives for five years. About 3 out of 4 patients will live for 2 years.
So the doctor will look at your disease, see how bad it is, the make a "guess" based on how sick you are compared to all the other patients with this type of cancer.
In reality, the patient may live longer, or the may not live as long. BOTH answers would be correct, because this is a statistical guess, not a true, hard answer.
But most doctors aare pretty good at this, and their "guesses" are pretty accurate.
No one, not even a doctor can tell how long an individual patient will live. What they can do is give a guesstimate based on statistics, their own experiences, their knowledge of that patient (a healthy individual with cancer would probably outlive someone with multiple health issues with the same cancer) . . . but no one can really tell . .death has its own timeframe. That is why sometimes a patient will say . . "Ten years ago the doctors told me I'd be dead in six months . .but I'm still here." It happens more often than anyone mentions.
That is why a cancer patient should not look at statistics for their cancer . . ignore it . . everyone is an individual and there is no way a doctor can accurately predict what will happen to an individual patient.