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Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care

  • Posted: 01/02/2013

Prognosis Resources for Patients, Families, and Health Professionals

Prognosis Resources

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you may have questions about prognosis – the likely course and outcome of the disease. It can be hard to understand what prognosis means and also hard to talk about, even for doctors.
  • Read NCI's Understanding Cancer Prognosis Fact Sheet to learn how doctors determine prognosis and what the statistics may mean for you.
  • Watch Understanding Your Cancer Prognosis, a video series (below) that offers the perspectives of three cancer patients and their doctor. The videos explain key points about prognosis and how doctors and patients can talk about it in a clear and supportive way. Two viewer guides are also available: for patients (PDF-210KB) and for provider care teams (PDF-210KB).   

Understanding Your Cancer Prognosis

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More Videos in the Prognosis Series

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One Couple's Creative Response
Vanessa, an artist, and her husband Roy discover how to support each other’s need for different kinds of information about her colorectal cancer prognosis.

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Diving Out of the Dark
Andrew wants details about the likely outcome of his treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and has learned to ask until he gets the information he is looking for.

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From Anger to Acceptance
Barbara’s attitude since her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer? No doctor is going to tell her how long she has to live.

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For Doctors, a Patient-Centered Approach
Anthony L. Back, M.D., coaches other oncologists about how to discuss prognosis with their patients. Good communication, he says, is part of providing good care: “Talking to patients and their families about prognosis is complicated. But done well, these conversations promote trust, enable patients to plan, and strengthen healthy coping.”