Cancer Remission is not the same as cured

Alli

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Staff member
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
3,144
Reaction score
6,011
Tuesday I have my annual PETscan. It’s the one I like least because you can’t do anything before it, or even have a cup of tea. Once they inject the radioactive isotope into you, you lie back in a dark room for an hour, and then you get the actual scan which takes all of 15 minutes.

It’s been exactly 8 years since my original PETscan that determined chemo had not gotten everything and that I would need radiation after my mastectomy.

I asked my oncologist if I was cured or if I was in remission and this was his response
If the cancer returns in ten years, then you were in remission. If in 10 years you are hit by a bus and it kills you, I cured your ass.
I love my oncologist.
 

Eric

Elite Member
Staff member
Vaccinated
PRSI Banned
Posts
3,723
Reaction score
7,619
Tuesday I have my annual PETscan. It’s the one I like least because you can’t do anything before it, or even have a cup of tea. Once they inject the radioactive isotope into you, you lie back in a dark room for an hour, and then you get the actual scan which takes all of 15 minutes.

It’s been exactly 8 years since my original PETscan that determined chemo had not gotten everything and that I would need radiation after my mastectomy.

I asked my oncologist if I was cured or if I was in remission and this was his response

I love my oncologist.
Now THAT is the sort of response that we want to hear from doctors. So it's an annual thing forever? I have a buddy who has survived liver cancer and they said he will always have to be checked out but they'll eventually spread it out over longer periods of time.
 

Alli

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Staff member
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
3,144
Reaction score
6,011
Now THAT is the sort of response that we want to hear from doctors. So it's an annual thing forever? I have a buddy who has survived liver cancer and they said he will always have to be checked out but they'll eventually spread it out over longer periods of time.
For me it’s a forever thing. Like the pills that most people get the first 5 years after treatment ends. My oncologist said forever. “You didn’t have just a little bit of cancer, you had a whole lot of cancer.”
 

lizkat

Elite Member
Site Donor
Top Poster Of Month
Posts
3,145
Reaction score
6,912
For me it’s a forever thing. Like the pills that most people get the first 5 years after treatment ends. My oncologist said forever. “You didn’t have just a little bit of cancer, you had a whole lot of cancer.”

It sounds like your oncologist is really on the case. I'm only reassured when I believe a doc is not only engaged but also being honest after I've told him or her that that is what I expect and need.

I more or less fired a primary care doc once because he really didn't give a damn that I was quite overweight at the time... and when I mentioned that a few times and asked for a referral to a nutritionist, he laughed and said ah you don't wanna go there they'll take all the good stuff away and leave you with the kale and carrots and anyway what's 30 pounds among friends, right? I laughed too and then said I wasn't really joking. So he said he'd have his assistant phone me with the referral. Which did not happen. So after a reminder from me and getting a promise to have that looked into, after six more weeks I phoned and asked for a new PC doc and explained why and did not take no for an answer.

And yeah, that referral I had no trouble getting from the new doc? Well of course he provided it and of course she took all the good stuff away and left me with the kale and carrots... JUST AS I HAD ORIGINALLY F'G REQUESTED.
 

P_X

Elite Member
Vaccinated
PRSI Banned
Site Donor
Posts
2,809
Reaction score
5,122
Tuesday I have my annual PETscan. It’s the one I like least because you can’t do anything before it, or even have a cup of tea. Once they inject the radioactive isotope into you, you lie back in a dark room for an hour, and then you get the actual scan which takes all of 15 minutes.

It’s been exactly 8 years since my original PETscan that determined chemo had not gotten everything and that I would need radiation after my mastectomy.

I asked my oncologist if I was cured or if I was in remission and this was his response

I love my oncologist.
That's what sucks in oncology. Cancers arise from cancer stem cells. As of now there's no way to detect these bastards, so all we can see is we see no sign of the enemy. The beauty of immunotherapy is that it can truly cure people and lymphocytes seem to have the affinity to kill resurgent cancer cells without necessarily being on active treatment. The issue is that many cancers developed a strategy to stay unrecognized by the immune system. People are working on this to be fixed.
 

Alli

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Staff member
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
3,144
Reaction score
6,011
That's what sucks in oncology. Cancers arise from cancer stem cells. As of now there's no way to detect these bastards, so all we can see is we see no sign of the enemy. The beauty of immunotherapy is that it can truly cure people and lymphocytes seem to have the affinity to kill resurgent cancer cells without necessarily being on active treatment. The issue is that many cancers developed a strategy to stay unrecognized by the immune system. People are working on this to be fixed.
I have a former student who is currently doing a post-doc in cancer research at Vanderbilt. (I have been blessed to teach some truly wonderful people.) He’s one of the ones working on a fix. He’s also organizing “Black Cancer,” and has been featured in some high-powered journals (Nature). Yea, just bragging now.
 
Top Bottom