What exactly are you talking about?

One of the difficult aspects of an illness is learning the new vocabulary behind it. Occasionally, in the blog, we decipher some of the phrases you might hear and try to make the information more clear. For today – it’s disease status.

It is how doctors refer to the progression of your cancer and it's response to treatment using the following terms:

De Novo: In cancer, the first occurrence of cancer in the body.
Newly diagnosed/not previously treated: Some experimental treatments are designed to be "first line", that is, the first treatment to be given after diagnosis. For this reason, some trials may only enroll patients who have not yet had their cancer treated. Also referred to as De Novo.
Complete Remission (CR): The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called a complete response.
Partial Remission (PR): The term used when a cancer has shrunk in size (usually at least in half) but has not totally disappeared. The cancer can still be detected, and other treatments may be recommended. Also called a partial response.
Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after a period of improvement.
Refractory: Cancer that does not respond to treatment. The cancer may be resistant at the beginning of treatment or it may become resistant during treatment. Also called resistant cancer.
Stable disease: Cancer that is neither decreasing nor increasing in extent or severity.

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