Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a cure for Chron's Disease?"
Is there or isn't there a cure for Crohn's disease? A lot of the resources I look at say there isn't, but some Crohn's specialty clinics boast about their 'remission' rate. But isn't a remission the same as a cure, where other diseases are concerned?
This is a case where general medical terminology can be difficult for patients to understand. In some cases we do a horrible job making sure our patients understand their illness. I will help you sort this out. There is no cure for Crohn's disease. A cure means that the disease is gone and will not come back unless it starts from the beginning again. Remission means that the disease is no longer detectible in the body, but may still be lurking waiting to make a comeback. In the cancer world, remission can mean "no detectible disease" and patients can down the road be considered "cured" if their remission is long enough. This is where the difference between remission and cure can be confusing. This is not the case with Crohn's disease. It cannot be completely surgically removed and the medicines we prescribe can sometimes keep the disease at bay and help patients live there lives with minimal symptoms but it can always return. This is in contrast to the cousin of Crohn's disease Ulcerative Colitis. This can be cured because removal of the affected colon prevents the recurrence of the disease. I realize my explanation here may have added some to your confusion. I suggest that if you have Crohn's disease, you discuss with your doctor what remission really means in this particular circumstance and what steps are needed to achieve it. Good luck.
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