Cancer Cure Versus Remission

When someone has cancer and learns they have gone into remission, that is pretty much the best news they could receive. Two terms that are often talked about in regards to breast cancer are "cure" and "remission." Learn about them here:

Cure
A "cure," unfortunately does not exist for breast cancer yet. Millions of dollars of research money each year is spent analyzing cell behavior and working to find medicines that combat the growth of cancer, but a cure has not been found. Thankfully, medical science and technology are advancing every day, and at some point in the future, there is likely to be a cure.

Remission
One of the best terms associated with cancer is "remission." According to the National Cancer Institute, patients may be in full or partial remission. Partial remission is when there is a decrease in the amount of symptoms and signs of cancer. Full remission is when all symptoms and signs of the disease are no longer present. Unfortunately, when you hear that you are in remission that does not mean you will be cancer-free forever. It is still possible that there are cancerous cells in your body. Over time, cells may develop and the disease can return to the area it previously affected or an entirely different part of your body.

Hearing that you are in remission is a very good thing. Once this has been established, some patients receive maintenance medicines like small doses of chemotherapy in order to prevent the cancer from coming back and prolong their survival. Depending on what type of cancer you have, even after the disease is deemed "in remission" you will have to return to the doctor for scans. These often occur every six months and are used to study the body to look for cancer recurrence. 

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