A reader asked me recently, "what is a lung cancer recurrence?"
And as I thought about the answer, I realized that a recurrence with lung cancer is harder to understand than a recurrence with many other forms of cancer. Why?
First it's important to distinguish between a recurrence of cancer and a cancer progression. With lung cancer, unlike say, breast cancer, the tumor often progresses without a period of being cancer free (at least cancer free when it comes to the ability of an exam or imaging studies to detect the cancer.)
It's also hard to define because we don't talk about remission as we do, say, with leukemia. When we don't define a lung cancer as clearly "in remission" or as is more commonly done with lung cancer "no evidence of disease," it's harder to define a period during which that cancer recurs.
Still confused? I know I was when I first navigated these terms during medical school. Check out this article on: