Survival rate is defined as the percentage of people survived a particular time period after the disease has been diagnosed. Survival rate depends upon variety of factors such as age of the patient, stage of the disease and response towards treatment.
What Is The Survival Rate For Medulloblastoma?
Survival rate is defined as the number of patients survived after the diagnosis of medulloblastoma. A 5-year survival rate is defined as the rate of survival of patients for 5 years after the diagnosis of the disease. The survival rate depends upon the variety of factors such as age of the patients, stage of the disease and spread of the tumor.
Medulloblastoma is divided in to following stages:
Standard Risk Stage: This stage has the average risk and the tumor is present only in place from where it is originated. Further, this stage is also characterized by the presence of tumor with a volume lower than 1.5cm2 after surgical intervention.
High Risk Stage: This stage has low survival rate as compared to standard risk stage as the cancer may spread to other parts of the brain and cerebrospinal fluid. Also, the volume of tumor in high risk patient is more thancm2 after surgical intervention. The cancer may also spread to spinal cord. Further, the patients below the age of 3 are categorized in high risk group as they generally have aggressive form of medulloblastoma.
The stages of medulloblastoma can also be categorized according to the spread of tumor to various parts of brain, in cerebrospinal fluid, spinal cord and rarely to extracranial organs.
The 5-year survival rate of adult with this disease is approximately 60% and a 10-year survival rate is 45%. It has been found that the children with non-metastatic stage have the survival rate of almost 80%. The patients, who are categorized under high risk stage has the survival rate of almost 60% provided they should undergo a proper treatment regimen. As the disease has an aggressive form in children thus, they have poor survival rate and this rate is even low in stage 3 metastatic medulloblastoma.
The prerequisite for better treatment and increased survival rate is to diagnose the disease at an early stage. The diagnosis at early stage requires less aggressive treatment and thus the patient compliance improved due to lesser side effects. Following are the treatment options for the patients with medulloblastoma:
Surgery: Surgery is the mainstay for the treatment of medulloblastoma. The surgery may result in removing the fluid which is build up inside the brain so as to relieve the symptoms. The surgery may also be done to take the tissue for confirmatory diagnosis of cancer. The surgery may also be done for removing the tumor. The main aim of the surgery is to remove as much tumor as possible without intervening in to the nearby nerves. However, in majority of patients, it is not possible to remove the complete tumor due to the location which is not easily reachable. After removing the tumor, MRI is done to determine the amount of tumor left and on the basis of the report, further treatment is decided.
Radiation: Radiotherapy is the process of destroying the cancerous cells with the use of radiation. Radiotherapy is generally combined with chemotherapy or surgery. It is used to remove the cells which are left after the surgery. The removals of these cells are important because these cells may further develop in tumor and may spread in other parts of the brain. Radiotherapy does not come without side effects as it has the capacity of damaging the nervous tissue of the brain, especially growing brain. Thus, radiotherapy is delayed in the patients below 3 years of age.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can also be combined with surgery and radiotherapy. This is the treatment in patients after surgery where radiotherapy is not possible. The drugs generally used for chemotherapy in medulloblastoma include cisplatin, vincristine, carboplatin and lomustine.
The survival rate of those patients is good who are able to complete 5 years after the completion of treatment. The survival rate of children under the age of 3 is less as compared to children above 3 years. The survival rate with metastatic medulloblastoma is relatively low as compared to non-metastatic medulloblastoma.