Lung cancer can go into remission, but that does not necessarily mean that the cancer will not come back in the future. Remission may last a short amount of time, or it may last for years. According to Healthline, a doctor cannot predict whether an individual’s cancer will recur, but cancer that was diagnosed at an advanced stage or that involved the lymph nodes is more likely to come back.
The Prognosis for a Patient with Lung Cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology reports that more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Although diagnosis and death rates are declining, lung cancer is still the second-most-common form of cancer and the deadliest.
Lung cancer is treatable, but not necessarily curable, at any stage. Lung cancer can be more difficult to treat if it has metastasized or spread from the initial site to other parts of the body. That can occur if a tumor sheds cancer cells and they travel to other areas via the bloodstream or lymph nodes.
Lung cancer is generally treated with some combination of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. An oncologist can devise an individual treatment plan based on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health.
If lung cancer is in partial remission, that means that it responded to treatment. The size of the tumor has been reduced at least by half and has stayed at a smaller size for a month or longer. That does not, however, mean that the patient is cured. There are still cancer cells in the body.
Complete remission, “no evidence of disease,” or NED, means that tests and exams cannot detect any sign of cancer. That also does not mean that the cancer is cured. It may be present at undetectable levels and may come back in the future.
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When and How Cancer May Recur
Learning that lung cancer went into remission is good news, but that does not necessarily mean that the fight is over. Not knowing if the cancer will come back is a source of anxiety for many people with lung cancer and their families.
Since there are still cancer cells in the body when the disease is in remission, it is possible that those cells could grow and cause the cancer to recur. A recurrence may be local, or limited to the place where the cancer initially occurred. If a patient experiences a regional recurrence, that means there is cancer in lymph nodes and tissues near the site where the cancer was originally found. A distant recurrence means the cancer metastasized and spread to other parts of the body.
Lung cancer patients who are in remission may still need to undergo treatment and be monitored by a doctor to reduce the risk of a recurrence. Maintenance chemotherapy is usually given while a patient is in remission.
The Causes of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is often caused by smoking, but many people who are diagnosed with the illness gave up smoking years earlier or never smoked at all. Individuals who have lung cancer may develop the disease after being exposed to a carcinogen, such as asbestos or radon.
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibers that were mined and frequently used in construction materials, vehicle parts, fire blankets, appliances, cosmetics, holiday decorations, cigarette filters, and other common household products. Exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. Even after manufacturers learned that asbestos could cause serious health problems, some continued to sell dangerous products.
People around the world who suffered exposure to asbestos on the job developed lung cancer or mesothelioma, often decades after the exposure. Construction workers, firefighters, and mechanics frequently came into contact with asbestos on a regular basis and were unaware of how it could affect their health. Sometimes workers returned home with asbestos fibers on their bodies and clothes and exposed their relatives, who later became ill themselves.
Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally as uranium and other elements in rocks, soil, and water break down, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People who live and work in basement areas may be exposed and they may be completely unaware since radon has no odor. Even though radon testing is relatively simple and inexpensive and could protect people from danger, many building owners and landlords fail to conduct tests.
Get Legal Help to Pursue Compensation for Your Lung Cancer
If you developed lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos or radon, you may be entitled to a financial award to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek justice. We represent victims who experience personal injuries due to the actions or negligence of others. We may be able to investigate to figure out when and how you suffered exposure to a carcinogen and then hold the responsible party accountable.
Since our firm works on contingency, you will not have to pay us unless we recover a financial award for your injuries. Contact us today at (800) 794-0444 to talk to a member of our staff about how we may be able to help you.