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Can Lung Cancer Really Be Cured?

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Published on December 1, 2015

Can lung cancer really be cured? Dr. Malcolm DeCamp discusses the rising curability of lung cancer. Dr. Decamp believes that the combination of early prevention combined with new research and treatments is potentially curing lung cancer. Tune in to learn more

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I could just feel this whole audience being uplifted in hope and in survivorship and getting the message from all these professionals. This just opens medicine up tremendously.

— Richard, Lung Cancer town meeting attendee and care partner

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Transcript | Can Lung Cancer Really Be Cured?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.        

Susan Leclair:

And I believe we have time for one more question. Yes?

Randy Hammond:             

My name is Randy Hammond. And this is probably a good last question because the question is, is lung cancer really curable?

And I have a feeling after hearing everybody here that it isn’t.  And I was diagnosed, two-and-a-half months ago. I had part of my right lung removed. The tumor was removed.  They said it wasn’t, spread to any of the lymph nodes or any other organs. But now I feel like, okay, it’s not in my body anymore. But listening to everybody else, what I have to do is, over time, eventually, it’s going to come back. And if I live long enough, I’m going to have it again.  So what’s your comment on that? 

Dr. DeCamp:       

Well, I’ve told you to your face that yes, there’s a chance you’re cured but of that cancer.  All right. But as I told some of the—someone else in the room, you’re at high risk to develop new cancers.  So for the first two years, I’m mostly concerned about that this cancer recurring, as I get the two to five years, I’ve got sort of even concerns about that cancer versus the second primary lung cancer.

After five years, I’m pretty confident that one is not coming back.  But I do want to follow you for other new tumors, because, for some reason, your lung has been demonstrated as fertile soil for this disease. So yes, I don’t want anyone to leave here yes, I think we can cure lung cancer. If we detect it early and treat it, we have a high you know, a high likelihood of curing it.  Even if it’s not so early, we have lots of new tools that are very encouraging that we can begin to improve the survival. And that’s how we make progress, incrementally.  You don’t wake up one morning and everything is cured.

But when I was a kid, leukemia was a death sentence. And now, you know, childhood leukemia, these kids are cured.  Now, we’ve learned as they grow up, they develop other problems that we didn’t anticipate. But that’s the nature of cancer care moving forward.  And that’s the story we hope to paint in lung cancer. So we’re making incremental progress. And we have weapons that are really potent at all stages of the disease. But we need to get the word out.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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