Doctors and patients alike use the terms “treatment” and “cure” interchangeably. But these words are far from synonymous.
Treatment is defined as care given to a patient for an illness or injury. It’s also used to describe a session of medical care or the administration of a dose of medicine.
Cure is defined as the end of a medical condition. In other words, the condition is no longer present, and has been completely eliminated.
Medications can keep symptoms under control but are considered treatment because once you stop taking them, symptoms inevitably return. This is why they’re not actually a cure.
Applying these terms to everyday life may make them easier to differentiate. The hair on your head, for example, grows daily. Unless you want it to eventually touch the floor, you must periodically have it cut. Salon appointments can be viewed as treatment because cutting the hair provides a temporary solution.
Your car requires gasoline. Unless you own a completely electric automobile, your car will always need gas if you want to continue driving it. So filling up can also be compared to treatment.
At no point will cutting your hair or filling up with gasoline be a cure.
Now, a prime example of a cure is when a child’s body develops natural antibodies to heal itself from chickenpox. Rarely will this process require medical assistance. Once the body is aware of the internal presence of the virus, it will begin the process of curing itself. We know it’s successful because chickenpox isn’t a recurring condition.
Can treatments assist the body in developing a cure? Yes. A good example would be antibiotics. Life-threatening bacterial infections require antibiotics to give the body a “leg up” while fighting off the bacteria. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the antibiotics were responsible for “curing” you. Giving the same antiobiotic to a dead person can’t revive them…
It’s also important to note that inappropriate treatments can interfere with the body and actually slow down or prevent the healing process from occurring!
A simple way to remember these terms is that cures only come from the inside-out, while treatments are always delivered from the outside-in.