Florent Pagny: “You never know when it stops”. When do we talk about curing cancer?

Florent Pagny: "You never know when it stops".  When do we talk about curing cancer?

Affected by cancer, Florent Pagny regularly gives his news. In a last interview published in Télé 7 jours, the singer announces “between 5 and 10 years of treatment, before being able to say that the risk of relapse is far”. When can we say that we are cured of cancer? Insight from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.

Since he announced his cancer, in January 2022, Florent Pagny has regularly given his news. His interview in the magazine Télé 7 jours available on newsstands from Monday, allows us to learn more about his state of health.

“I am told between five and ten years of treatment before being able to say that the risk of relapse is far away”

In this exchange, Florent Pagny once again shows unfailing optimism. “As long as I’m not dead, it’s the right way! (…) But I still go to a clinic every three weeks, to put juice on myself and check regularly to be sure that it doesn’t come back… since it’s already come back once”.

The former coach of the popular show The Voice, adds, when asked about the latest medical news concerning his state of health: “It’s fine… Anyway, I’m nowhere, because you never know when it will stop. I am told between five and ten years of treatment before being able to say that the risk of relapse is far”.

Reach “the stage of an almost normal quality of life”

Asked about the artist’s statements, Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor, gives us his point of view on the artist’s situation. “In the case of Florent Pagny, we cannot speak of healing. He may possibly, in several years, be considered to be in remission or at least reach the stage of an almost normal quality of life. But he will always have to benefit from a particular follow-up, that’s for sure” says the doctor.

Can cancer be cured?

The possibility of curing cancer depends on its type. For example, young men affected by testicular cancer have a very high chance of being cured. But healing also depends on the stage at which the cancer is treated and its evolution.

In general, it can be said that the earlier the cancer is discovered, the better the chances of “curing” it. Overall, it is estimated that on average, “one in two cancers” is cured today, compared to one in three thirty years ago.

What is the difference between remission and recovery?

Before talking about healing, we talk about a patient in remission. The moment of remission is when medical examinations no longer detect any cancer cells in the patient’s body.

But as the National Cancer Institute (InCa) points out, “the word cure is rarely part of a doctor’s vocabulary in his exchanges with his patients treated for cancer. He more readily uses the term “complete remission” because he knows that a recurrence, even distant, is possible.“.

From a statistical point of view, we are talking about healing later, after an additional period, five years on average. From then on, it is estimated that the patient’s risk of developing cancer is the same as that of the general population. However, having been touched by a cancer does not immunize against the disease, a person can be touched by a tumor again, later in his life.

Finally, remember that it is possible to act on a daily basis to reduce this risk. As the latest InCa campaign reminds us, it is estimated that nearly half of the cancers detected each year could be avoided by changing our daily behavior and our lifestyles in order to reduce our exposure to the main avoidable risk factors for cancer ( tobacco, alcohol, unbalanced diet, sedentary lifestyle, etc.).