October 2020

Most people do not really understand or they have a distorted and/or incorrect definition of the word remission as it is used in relation to cancer patients.

Most commonly people seem to believe that going into remission means that the patient has been successfully treated and safe.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer remission is a “period of time when the cancer is responding to treatment or is under control”.

When there is a complete cancer remission, all the signs and symptoms of the disease disappear.

Complete cancer remissions may continue for several years and be considered cures.

Someone who goes into cancer remission is not showing any signs or symptoms of cancer.

It does not matter how many cancer cells are still growing in the patient’s body. It simply means that for any time frame there are NO signs and/or symptoms and the patient is said to be in remission.

There are not many discussions in the advertisements for traditional cancer treatments regarding the extension in the length of life for the patient.  And there are not many discussions about the quality of life for the patient.

These two concepts are not factored in when talking about cancer remission in a patient.

Cancer remission refers to shrinkage in the size of a tumor or to the change in some of the tumor markers.

Tumor markers are substances, usually proteins, which are produced by the body in response to cancerous growth or tissues.

A lot of the markers are also found in non-cancerous conditions, so they are not really a good diagnostic tool for cancer.

Traditional cancer therapies are successful in shrinking tumors and reducing tumor markers.

Cancer remission is used as an indication of successful cancer treatment.

Cancer remission does not mean that the patient does not die.

If a patient is said to have been successfully treated for cancer and the therapies put them into remission, they could still die from pneumonia or something else.

Since the pneumonia was only fatal because of the cancer therapies, cancer remission existed and it was considered a successful treatment.

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