A prognosis is when your doctor gives you a forecast of the likely outcome of your medical condition.
Your doctor cannot be absolutely certain about what will happen to you following a diagnosis of a brain tumour. They can give you an estimate, based on your tumour type and current situation, but they may not be able to predict other factors, such as how well you might respond to treatment. This is why prognosis is often an ongoing process, revised at different stages in your journey.
Low grade (grade 2)
The average survival time after surgery is 6 – 8 years. More than 40% of people live more than 10 years.
High grade (grade 3)
About 27% of people diagnosed with a high grade astrocytoma live for five years or more.
Astrocytoma (Grade 1 and 2) child survival rates
Almost 90% of children survive for 5 years or more after surgery.
Grade 4 – Glioblastoma
A grade 4 astrocytoma is called a glioblastoma. The average survival time is 12-18 months – only 25% of glioblastoma patients survive more than one year, and only 5% of patients survive more than five years.
The figures listed above are given in 1, 2, 5 and 10 year intervals simply because doctors use these intervals for research/measuring purposes – they are not meant to represent how long a person will live past those intervals. For example, a patient who is a 5 year survivor might live as long as any other healthy person, depending on their circumstances.
It is important to remember that statistics and averages cannot tell you what will happen to you specifically.
Read more about astrocytoma brain tumour types and treatments.
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Receiving information about a brain tumour prognosis
Different people approach their prognosis in different ways.
- Some do not want to know, because they are afraid of what they might hear and how it may affect them
- Some just need some time to cope with their diagnosis before asking about their prognosis
- Others may want to know from the beginning, using their prognosis to plan ahead
There is no right or wrong answer as to whether or when to receive such information. It is entirely up to you whether or when you want to speak to your doctor about your prognosis.
Our fact sheet gives you an overview of astrocytomas in adults, how they are treated and answers some of the questions you may have about this type of tumour.
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