Cancer Recurrence – Types, Treatment and Prevention

In this blog, we will be talking about the recurrence of cancer in detail starting from the meaning, types, treatments and finally discussing the ways you could prevent the same.

When cancer comes back after its treatment, it is medically called recurrence or recurrent cancer. The recurrent cancer may come back in the same place it started, or it might come back somewhere else in the body. When cancer spreads to a new part of the body, it is still named after the part of the body where it had originally started.

Cancer Recurrence - Types, Treatment and Prevention

I have seen that the recurrence causes shock, anger, sadness and fear among people but I would just like to tell them that at least this time they have the reassurance of fighting off cancer once already.

It is not easy to predict how likely a cancer is to recur, but cancer is harder to treat and much likely to come back if it is fast growing and more advanced or widespread the first time. New drugs or treatments may help with the treatment or at least managing the side effects faced due to the treatment. Most types of cancers occur in a typical pattern.

Types of Recurrent Cancer

There are different types of recurrence, like:

  1. Local Recurrence- this means that the cancer is in the same place as the original cancer or very close to it.
  2. Regional Recurrence- it means that the tumor has grown into lymph nodes or tissues near the original cancer region.
  3. Distant Recurrence- meaning that the cancer has come back in another part of the body, some distance from where it had originally started (often the lungs, liver, bone or brain)

Treatment For Recurrent Cancer

With what I have seen, most cases of local and regional recurrence can be cured. Even if a cure is not possible, the treatment helps in shrinking the cancer to slow the cancer’s growth. This can relieve pain and other symptoms and help you get a longer time to live.

I have noticed that cancers that recur don’t always respond well to treatments as they did before. Your treatment place will be decided based on the type of cancer it is, it’s degree of advancement and the place where it is located.

Ways to Prevent Recurrent Cancer

  • Taking care of your diet:
    • Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
    • Eat foods that are high in nutrients in amounts that help you get to stay at a healthy body weight
    • Limit or avoid red meats and processed meats
    • Select foods made with whole grains rather than refined grains
    • Avoid sugary beverages
  • Physical Activity:
    • Take part in regular physical activity
    • Limit your sitting or lying down time and try to get back to your normal activities as soon as possible
    • Aim to get at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous activity
    • Include strength training activities at least 2 days a week

I have seen people drown in paranoia and stress just by the thought of their cancer coming back as it interferes with their normal daily life. It is important for them to take the necessary measures to try and avoid it but if incase it still occurs, then being calm and consulting a doctor is the best option available.

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