Remission

Am I better now?

Remission means that the signs and symptoms of your cancer are reduced. Remission can be partial or complete. If complete, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared.

Will my cancer come back?

If you are in complete remission for five or more years, some doctors may say that you are cured. Yet some cancer cells can remain in your body for many years following treatments. This means that the cells can cause the cancer to come back one day. Most of the time, if that happens, the cancer will return within five years. There is still a chance that it can happen after five years, so it is not possible to say for sure that you are cured.

How can I improve my chances of staying cancer free?

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for follow up exams and tests. This can help catch cancer that may return as early as possible. Be sure to also follow all of your doctor’s advice on nutrition and physical activity. In general, getting plenty of exercise, fruits and vegetables, and sleep can help.

Will my life be the same as before?

Cancer survivors often face a new set of emotions following treatment. It is common to experience:

  • Fear of recurrence
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Loneliness
  • Self-conscious over body changes

The important thing to know is that you are not alone. There are support groups for survivors to help people cope with this phase in their lives.

How can I tell if my cancer comes back? What are the signs?

Your body may feel different after cancer, which can make it hard to know what your new normal should be. If you notice any symptoms or changes in your health, let your doctor know right away. This is important whether you notice symptoms related to your old cancer or new symptoms you have never had before. It is hard to predict on your own what may be happening, so report any changes in your health to your doctor right away.