Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center
Common Questions About Cancer Remission

If you or a family member has received a cancer diagnosis, you likely have a lot of questions. Orange County CyberKnife stands with you in the fight against cancer by offering innovative cancer treatment therapies and vital support. As part of our mission, we want to provide you with useful information to help you make good decisions about your care. We’ve compiled answers to some commonly asked questions about cancer remission.

What happens when cancer goes into remission?

Oncology professionals use the term “remission” when a person’s cancer symptoms diminish. This means that there are fewer signs of cancer in the body or it doesn’t appear on clinical tests at all. Remission doesn’t mean that the individual’s cancer is cured, but this is still a positive development. Rather, the cancer is not currently growing, spreading or actively causing symptoms.

What does partial and full remission mean?

“Partial” and “full” remission describe the degree to which your cancer has relapsed or stopped causing symptoms. With partial remission, many cancer cells have been eradicated. There still may be detectable cancer cells in your body, but your tumors aren’t growing and they’ve shriveled to at least half their original size. Full remission means that your cancers aren’t detectable and can’t be picked up on bloodwork, X-rays, MRI scans or other diagnostic tests.

Are remission statistics available for different kinds of cancer?

Most sources cite five-year survival rates as opposed to remission statistics. That’s because an individual’s cancer can go into remission multiple times throughout their treatment. Fortunately, many types of cancer have high five-year survival rates when diagnosed in their early stages. Breast, prostate and testicular cancers have a 99% survival rate if detected during their first stage. For melanoma, the five-year survival rate is 92%. Considering how serious these types of cancers are, that’s some good news indeed.

Lung cancer statistics are a little different since these cancers tend to be more aggressive or are often detected at later stages. Non-small cell lung carcinoma comprises around 85% of all lung cancer diagnoses. Stage 1 survival rates for NSCLC range between 68% and 92%.

What self-care recommendations do you have for someone in remission?

Practicing healthy habits is already important, but this is especially true when your cancer’s in remission. Follow your oncologist’s maintenance therapy regimen, including taking cancer drugs, hormones or other medications as prescribed. You should also engage in healthy eating, exercise and sleep routines. Finally, make sure you practice stress management and take advantage of emotional support resources when you need them.

Compassionate Cancer Care in Orange County

Quality cancer care can save your life. Orange County CyberKnife provides individualized treatment plans with a highly-trained staff and groundbreaking, noninvasive radiation oncology technologies. Find out how we can help by completing our online contact form or calling us at (714) 962-7100 to schedule a consultation.