A cure or remission is the end of a medical condition. The term may refer specifically to a substance or procedure that ends the medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or even a philosophical mindset that helps a person suffer. It may also refer to the state of being healed, or cured.
The proportion of people with a disease that are cured by a given treatment, called the cure fraction or cure rate, is determined by comparing disease-free survival of treated people against a matched control group that never had the disease. If everyone treated for a disease is cured, then they will all remain disease-free and live as long as any person that never had the disease.
Inherent in the idea of a cure is the permanent end to the specific instance of the disease. When a person has the common cold, and then recovers from it, the person is said to be cured, even though the person might someday catch another cold. On the other hand, a person can successfully manage a disease, such as diabetes, so that it produces no undesirable symptoms for the moment, but without actually permanently ending it.
Some diseases may be discovered to be technically incurable, but also to require treatment so infrequently as to be not materially different from a cure. Consequently, patients, parents and psychologists developed the notion of psychological cure, or the moment at which the patient decides that the treatment was sufficiently likely to be a cure as to be called a cure. For example, a patient may declare himself to be cured, and to determine to live his life as if the cure were definitely confirmed, immediately after treatment.