In medicine, risk groups are used to describe people who are alike in important ways. For example, patients with the same type of cancer may be divided into different risk groups that depend on certain aspects of their disease. These risk groups may be based on the patients’ chance of being cured (good versus poor) or the chance that their disease will come back (high versus low). Treatment may be based on which risk group a patient falls into. Risk groups can also be used to describe people who share traits and behaviors that affect their chance of developing a disease. For example, people who do not smoke are in a lower risk group for lung cancer than people who smoke.
Last updated: 2014-02-26
Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)