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Are stage four cancer symptoms permanently curable?

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Posted on Fri, 19 Jul 2019
Question: On Thursday, my friend told me he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and it had metastasized into his chest and abdomen. He is in the four month induction phase of a drug trial, which should be over shortly. A friend of his is the VP of a pharmaceutical in Switzerland and said that my friend is receiving the best cutting edge treatment available. I don't know the name. My friend indicated that he is trying to gain a quality of life with treatment because there is no cure. He said that if he were cured, he'd be the first one. So, I've started looking up information about the disease because I want to learn more about it, like progression, timeline, symptoms, etc. Thank you, XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Monish De (30 minutes later)
Brief Answer:

Even with treatment average survival time for stage 4 cancer is around 3 years

Detailed Answer:

Hi

Your friend is suffering from stage 4 cancer.

Since it has spread to his lungs and abdomen and as he is on the induction phase of drug trial with treatment his symptoms will palliative meaning his symptoms will be reduced and he will be able to lead a better quality of life but it will not be cured.

In average the disease progresses at a rapid rate even with treatment and the average timeline is around 2 to 3 years.

Since it has spread to his lungs and abdomen symptoms like shortness of breath and bleeding from cough along with bleeding from stool can happen.

He will lose weight rapidly and there will be gradual deterioration in his health.

In the last stage, pain may occur which may have to be controlled with morphine which can only be available with a doctors prescription.

He will need to do a PET Scan every 3 monthly.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Monish De, Oncologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Monish De

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Practicing since :2004

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Are stage four cancer symptoms permanently curable?

Brief Answer: Even with treatment average survival time for stage 4 cancer is around 3 years Detailed Answer: Hi Your friend is suffering from stage 4 cancer. Since it has spread to his lungs and abdomen and as he is on the induction phase of drug trial with treatment his symptoms will palliative meaning his symptoms will be reduced and he will be able to lead a better quality of life but it will not be cured. In average the disease progresses at a rapid rate even with treatment and the average timeline is around 2 to 3 years. Since it has spread to his lungs and abdomen symptoms like shortness of breath and bleeding from cough along with bleeding from stool can happen. He will lose weight rapidly and there will be gradual deterioration in his health. In the last stage, pain may occur which may have to be controlled with morphine which can only be available with a doctors prescription. He will need to do a PET Scan every 3 monthly. Hope I have answered your query. Take care Regards, Dr Monish De, Oncologist