The Dreaded “C” Word
Cancer is a deadly disease, which has no known cause or a cure (1). In cancer, there is rapid growth and multiplication of the cancer cells in certain parts of the body where the cancer originates from and these malignant cells accumulate to form a tumor (1, 2). The cancer can develop in one area of the body and can metastasize or spread to other parts of the body causing serious issues relating to surrounding organs and tissues(3).
The cancer treatment involves surgically removing the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy(4, 5); whatever the doctor decides is the best for the patient.
Curing a cancer means removal of all the malignant cells in the body that too without any chance of the cancer coming back. This happens in some patients; however, there is no specific cure for cancer yet(1).
The prognosis of the cancer depends on its type, early detection, stage and early treatment of the cancer(6).
Successful treatment of the cancer in its early stages helps in eradicating all the cancer cells from the body and puts the cancer in remission; and hence this can be called as a cure for that cancer. However, there are chances that the cancer can return after remission some years later.
Defining and Assessing the Cancer Prognosis
There is a statistic called the 5-year survival rate used in cancers to determine the curability of the cancer and to assess the prognosis of the different cancer types. This statistic of 5-year survival rate is referred to the percentage of cancer patients that survive for 5 years after the initial cancer diagnosis.
The Point is……
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases which have no definite cure. However, there are some cancers, which detected in early stages, can give the patient complete cure.
To get an accurate assessment of cancer prognosis, there is something called a relative 5-years survival rates that the doctors refer to arrive at the percentage of cure and survival for the cancer patient when compared to a non-cancer patient(8). Different types of factor also affect the survival rate of the patient suffering from cancer.
In this article, we discuss about 7 different types of cancer, which are curable depending on the 5-year relative survival rates.
7 Cancers That Are Very Much Curable
Patients can achieve complete cure and increased survival rate if the breast cancer is at stage 0 or 1. For stage 0 and 1 of breast cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 99 to 100 %(8). So, stage 0 and 1 breast cancer is highly curable and patients with this type and stage of breast cancer are completely likely to survive for a minimum of 5 years when compared to people without this disease(7, 8).
The stages in cancer are used to describe the location and size of the tumor. Stage 0 of breast cancer is where there is abnormal cells growth in the lobules inside the breast or within the breast. This stage is considered to be indicative of early signs of cancer by the doctors.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer: In this stage, there are very small tumors present, which are less than 2 cm and have not metastasized to other parts of the body.
It is very easy to treat this type of breast cancer by isolating the cancer cells and achieve complete cure and prevent the cancer cells from developing into more malignant form.
Testicular Cancer(9, 17)
Testicular Cancer is one of the most curable cancers having about 99% of 5-year relative survival rate for localized tumors that are present within the testicles, and has about 96 % survival rate for regional tumors that have metastasized to lymph nodes or tissues adjacent to the testicles. To achieve a complete cure from Testicular Cancer, the doctor may surgically remove both or one of the testicles in the early stages of testicular cancer. Removing the testicles is very effective as a treatment and cure for Testicular Cancer; however, it is of lesser use if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate Cancer(9, 16)
Prostate cancers are one of the cancers that are very much curable having 99% 5-year relative survival rate with the cancer being at stages 1 and 2. The tendency of the prostate cancer is that it will develop extremely slowly or will not grow at all; hence making prostate cancer very treatable and curable. Prostate cancers, which remain the same size, do not require treatment, if doctors deem them to be harmless.
Melanoma (Skin Cancer)(9, 12, 15)
The prognosis of melanoma, which is a skin cancer, depends of the early detection and its treatment. Melanoma has a 92 and 97 % 5-year relative survival rate at stages 1A and 1B accordingly.
Melanoma (skin cancer) is very much curable with a high survival rate, as it can be easily identified hence leading to treatment of melanoma in the early stages itself.
However, if Melanoma is not detected sooner and has spread under the skin’s surface, then it becomes challenging to remove this cancer completely.
Thyroid Cancer(9, 10, 18)
Thyroid cancer, at stage 1 and 2, is a very curable cancer with 98 to 100% 5-year relative survival rate. Thyroid is an important gland situated in the neck that release hormones, which maintain and support various bodily functions.
The growth of the majority of the thyroid cancers is slow and this gives the doctor more time for treatment. If the thyroid cancer spreads to the adjacent tissues in the throat, then surgically removing the thyroid gland is one of the effective modes of curing the thyroid cancer.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma(9, 11, 14)
Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 % 5-year relative survival rate at stages 1 and 2. Hodgkin’s lymphoma comes under the list of the most curable cancers because this cancer responds exceedingly well to radiotherapy and this increases the survival rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in patients with advanced stage of this cancer. However, there are other types of lymphoma that do not have as good a response to treatment.
Cervical Cancer(9, 13)
Cervical cancer when detected at stages 0 and 1A has about 93% of 5-year relative survival rate. Cervical cancer when identified in its early stages helps the doctors to treat cancer before it metastasizes to other parts of the body. Cervical cancer, even at the later stages, grows at a slow rate, which means that the treatment can still be effective for cervical cancer in later stages.
In conclusion, let us be clear on one thing first, that as of now, cancer has no cure. However, early detection in early stages helps in successfully treating the cancer so that it goes into remission that can mean that a cure of sorts has been achieved. The prognosis of any cancer depends on the detection, its stage and early treatment of cancer, all of which goes a long way to improve the patient’s prognosis, survival rate and the curability chances of the cancer.
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