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Is a remission the same as a cure for my hematologic cancer?

Monique Z. Sajjad, DO
Hematology & Oncology
Monique Sajjad, DO, a hematologist and oncologist from Northside Hospital, explains what the terms remission and cure mean in relation to hematologic cancers.

Unfortunately, a remission for your hematologic cancer is not the same as a cure. Remission is the term used to refer to the reduction or elimination of symptoms, physical findings, or test results indicating the presence of the cancer. It is called partial remission if the symptoms, findings, and test results are reduced, and complete remission if they are eliminated. However, even a complete remission does not mean that every cancer cell has been destroyed, so the remaining cells may continue to divide, thus causing the disease to recur. Individuals with acute leukemia are routinely treated with additional therapy after they have achieved a remission with initial (induction) chemotherapy, because of the significant possibility of cancer cells remaining.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.