How do we deal with such dire prognosis statistics? The short answer is, we don’t.
If the "average" life expectancy is 5, 10, or 20 years, then that data is based on people treated 5, 10, or 20 years ago.
Research in this area is so fast; life expediencies change dramatically. It is not possible to know how long the person who was treated yesterday (or last week) will ultimately live. That is why most doctors say not to look at the statistics. Whatever the statistic, it is necessarily outdated.
Let's look at HIV/AIDS as an example. Not long ago it was a death sentence, in 1996 powerful combinations of the anti-aids drug became available. Researchers now calculated in 2007 that modern HIV treatment would mean that many people with HIV will be able to live well into their 70's.
Another interesting fact about "Prognosis Statistics" is that all ages included - It does not rule out other diseases - It includes death by other any other means. A few examples, You are 75, have diabetes, obese, and have a Low-Grade Glioma. Diabetes kills you now you are part of the “statistic.” You have a low-grade glioma, and you have a heart attack, again you are now part of the "prognosis statistic."
Most people are unaware about radiations significant advancements over the past five years. Hell, Temodar wasn't approved for Brain Tumors until 2007.
I did my surgery using an Intraoperative MRI in the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) Suite at Brigham and Women’s; Which was build in 2011. Before that, I would have been lucky if they got out 75% with a much higher chance of a neurological deficit.
AMIGO Suite Link
How can patients being treated now be a statistic from twenty years ago? They can't.
We are now on the precipice of new treatments, Nano-Technology, Immunotherapy, CRISPR, & IDH Enzyme Inhibitors to name a few.
I don't think it's overly optimistic to think of a low-grade Glioma as being just a long-term disease that needs to be managed.
Next year a drug could come onto the market that extends our life 10+ years, or even a cure. All those sleepless nights, anxiety, & depression worrying about the future and for what?
So we, in the end, live our life worrying about statistics that do not apply to us - Ironic isn't it