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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

Recurrent Cancer Symptoms - Oren Zarif - Recurrent Cancer

Many survivors of cancer experience recurrence, or return of the disease, within a year of treatment. Recurrence may be of the same type or a completely different one. Most cancer types recur in a predictable pattern. Your cancer care team can explain how recurrence differs from a remission. Local recurrence means that the cancer has returned to the same area, while regional recurrence means that the disease returned to the lymph nodes near the original site.

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Recurrence is different from remission, which is when cancer is detected after treatment. Local recurrence occurs in the same location as the original cancer. Regional recurrence occurs in the lymph nodes surrounding the original tumor, and distant recurrence happens in a different part of the body. Depending on the stage of the disease, the symptoms can be quite different from those experienced during remission.

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Recurrent cancer symptoms can be frightening for survivors, especially when they're unsure whether they're experiencing the symptoms of a new cancer. Sometimes, cancer survivors worry about every ache and pain. Other times, symptoms can simply be due to normal aging. But regardless of the cause, it's essential to keep up with regular appointments with your doctor and primary care team. If you're having trouble coping with these symptoms, reach out to a cancer support group or online community.

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After treatment, cancer cells may return, causing a recurrence. In some cases, these cancer cells can remain dormant for years before multiplying and causing the cancer to return. In rare cases, recurrence can occur in the same area, the opposite breast, or another part of the body. Understanding why recurrence occurs can help you make informed decisions regarding your health.

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Local recurrence of breast cancer can be detected by discussing any changes to the breast tissue or the presence of scar tissue. Your doctor may recommend a mammogram or other imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy or mastectomy. The treatment for this type of cancer is typically the same as for stage 4 cancer, but if you have recurrent breast cancer, your doctor may choose to treat it through palliative care.

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Following a healthy diet can lower your risk of recurrence of cancer. Avoid red meat, sugar, and refined grains, and limit alcohol intake. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, including fiber. Ask your doctor about appropriate exercise for your condition. Regular physical activity improves your physical condition, reduces cancer symptoms, and raises self-esteem. The benefits of physical activity may outweigh the negative effects of cancer treatment.

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Learning about the disease, its symptoms, and treatment options can help you cope with the situation and make informed decisions. In the interim, keep in contact with friends and family members. They can be an important source of support and emotional assistance during this difficult time. In addition to talking to your doctor, keep a close relationship. You may find it helpful to visit a support group and talk with other survivors who have experienced similar circumstances. If you are diagnosed with cancer, they may even offer you support groups and other forms of care.

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Depending on the stage of the disease, you may undergo a series of tests. Imaging tests may include X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), and bone scans. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate testing for your particular situation. Your doctor may recommend that you undergo a biopsy, which involves collecting suspicious cells and tissue for examination by a pathologist. When you undergo a biopsy, it is important to keep your doctor updated on your symptoms.

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