When can cancer be considered cured?

The the cancer is cured when all the malignant cells in the body are eliminated of the patient. That is, those who, due to a mutation, began to reproduce uncontrollably, causing the disease.

as explained in Quora Gary Larson, medical director of the Procure Proton Therapy Center OKC, when these cells are malignant, they have acquired the ability to metastasize, being able to colonize other organs. The metastases are responsible for approximately 90% of all cancer deaths. If mild, they will damage surrounding tissues but will not spread throughout the body.

Through different therapies and treatments, we seek to eliminate cancerous cells from the body. For example with surgical removal or the use of chemotherapy. Could we then say that a cancer has been cured? The truth is that being able to affirm it is a little more complex.

When “the vast majority of cancer cells are killed, the immune system takes care of what’s left, but we don’t know for sure,” Larson said in his response.

To give you a better idea, a 1 cm wide lump detected in the breast contains around 100 million cancer cells. A The 1mm cancer, which would not show up on scans, has 100,000 cancer cells, allows you to know an article in The conversation.

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Even when a cancer can no longer be seen and causes no symptoms, there may still be millions of cells left,” notes the author. “They may continue to grow and eventually become numerous enough to be detected again. That’s when he says the cancer is recurring“.

Why does cancer come back?

The recurrence occurs when the cancer comes back after treatment. Which can happen in weeks, months or even years, says the American Society for Clinical Oncology. It can appear in the same area or in another part of the body.

This is why patients continue to undergo regular check-ups after therapy is completed. The The likelihood of a cancer coming back largely depends on the type of cancer.

What is the difference between cure and remission of cancer

Healing means that there are no more traces of the tumor after the treatment and that cancer will never come back. But as explained above, it is difficult for a doctor to be sure.

It is therefore usual to say that the patient is in remission. The remission refers to the period of time during which the disease is controlled. It can be partial, when signs and symptoms of cancer have been reduced or completed if they have disappeared.

The longer the remission time, the greater the chance that the tumor will not come back. For many types of cancer in remission, having survived 5 years means they are probably cured. But again, you can’t always assume that.

5-year survival rate, the formula used to measure life expectancy and cancer survival

When one is informed of the prognosis of a cancer, it is normal to resort to 5-year survival rate. This is the percentage of patients who survive those years after diagnosis.

The the risk of death is highest in the first years after diagnosis and it decreases gradually thereafter. As already mentioned, presenting a complete remission for 5 years or more is a favorable sign to think that the cancer was cured. However, that’s not all types.

A person diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma is more likely to have been cured if the cancer has not returned in 2 years. This is due to the fact it is to be expected that any residual lymphoma will regrow quickly, qualifies the article in The conversation.

Contrast with the case of breast cancer. Although the 5-year survival rate is 90% and recurrence is higher within 2 years after They signed up relapse 15 and 20 years after diagnosis.

Fortunately, early diagnosis and advances in treatment have allowed for decades survival rates have increased. Overall, the rates of mortality show a 17% decline between 1990 and 2016.

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