In medicine, the term prognosis refers to the attempt to trace the likely course of a disease. Thus, prognostic factors are the characteristics of the patient and/or the disease, which have a significant impact on this prediction of evolution. For example, the blood level of LDH is an important prognostic factor in cases of lymphoma. In oncology, the most commonly used prognostic factors include the general condition of the patient, tumor size, lymph node involvement and the presence of metastases.
In addition, it is common for the physician to integrate all the prognostic factors of a given case, aiming at establishing the most appropriate treatment. This reasoning can be supported by tables, as in some cases of prostate cancer, or even by computer programs, as in some cases of breast cancer.