How to treat recurrent cancer

Recommend to others!

1. Overview

Any person may feel threatened hearing about his cancer recurrence. Normally, the patient will want to know as much information about cancer treatment and how can his health status evolve.

It is normal to be stressed and worry hearing for the second time the diagnosis of cancer; the news may be more painful than the first time.


1. Overview
2. What is recurrent cancer?
3. How is recurrent cancer diagnosed?
4. Can the recurrent cancer be treated?
5. The attitude towards recurrent cancer

3. How is recurrent cancer diagnosed?


When cancer recurs after a period of remission is considered that it is a recurrence. Cancer recurrence can be justified by the fact that some cancer cells have not been destroyed, despite efforts to treat cancer.

These cells could be located in the same place where the cancer was first detected or they might find elsewhere in the body. Cells can be found in a latent period but then will continue to multiply, which will determine cancer recurrence.

Usually recurrent cancer is the same type as that diagnosed and treated earlier. However, in rare cases, could detect a new type of cancer, which could have something to do with the first one. Recurrence is divided into three categories:

- Local recurrence – refers to the fact that the same type of cancer recurs in the same place or very close to the previously displayed. Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

- Regional recurrence – cancer involving the lymph nodes and tissue area located near the original cancer.

- Distant recurrence – refers to cancer that has spread to areas that are located at a greater distance from those in which it was originally located.

Cancer recurrence depends on the type and stage of the cancer that was diagnosed and treated initially. Some cancers are repeated frequently in specific areas.

3. How is recurrent cancer diagnosed?

The cancer that recurs is diagnosed just like any other type of cancer. The doctor may suspect a cancer recurrence depending on the outcome of certain tests or signs and symptoms. After the last round of treatment, the doctor will advise the patient to return to consulting and investigations to verify whether the disease has recurred periodically and inform the patient about the signs and symptoms that might signal a recurrence.

Tests that may be done to detect recurrent cancer are different from those involved in initial cancer. In the case of most forms of cancer, local recurrence can be treated so that early detection of recurrence is important.

Also, when recurrence is detected in a faraway place from where the cancer started initially, the chances of cure are lower.

4. Can the recurrent cancer be treated?

Cancer treatment has evolved a lot lately. In many cases, local and regional recurrences can be cured. Even when recurrent cancer cannot be treated completely, treatment can slow cancer growth, can relieve pain and other symptoms and can prolong the patient’s life.

The type of treatment will be based on the same factors that were taken into account at the first diagnosis of cancer, but also on the patient’s expectations and his body resistance. The doctor will also take into account previous treatments and how the body responded to them.

Another alternative for the patient would be to participate in clinical trials, in which can have access to the latest treatments or experimental drugs. However, this option should be chosen only talking with the doctor.

5. The attitude towards recurrent cancer

Cancer recurrence can cause many unpleasant and painful emotions that the patient experienced when was first diagnosed with cancer. Among the feelings and emotions that may be experienced include:

- Suffering. When a patient has completed initial cancer treatment, gradually, life went on and returned to normal and as time passed, memories of unpleasant episode related to cancer diagnosis were dimmed. The shock caused by a new diagnosis of cancer can cause even more intense pain.

- Doubt. Every patient has the right to have doubts about the correctness of the decision of past treatment or about his lifestyle. However, the attention must be focused on the current situation and the solutions available to improve the disease.

- Anger. Any individual experiencing for the second time such an unpleasant situation may be upset or angry both on the event itself and even on the doctor. Patient might ask why he supported the unpleasant effects of initial treatment if the cancer has recurred anyway. Still have to accept that in time the doctors did the best treatment choices based on available information.

- Fatigue. It is normal for a patient to feel that he cannot fight back against cancer. We can talk including about fear related to side effects of treatment or to the news that must reach the family. However, if the patient was able to cope with a first battle with cancer, he should know that he is able to fight back against the disease.

All these feelings are normal, but this does not mean the patient cannot find solutions. For starters, the patient may think first experience with cancer, things, situations or people who have supported and helped to overcome the bad moment. Whether it’s about a best friend or a support group, it is a smart choice.

As a result of previous experiences, the patient will know much more about cancer and treatment options, and this may reduce anxiety. In addition, there is a much tighter relationship with the doctor and the hospital staff, something that could cause the patient to feel more comfortable. All these experiences can be used for the patient’s wellness, while they can help making the best choices for the most appropriate treatment.



Speak Your Mind


Current day month ye@r *