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Thread: Recurrent Carcinoma Pictures - Atlas of Colon and Ileum

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    Default Recurrent Carcinoma Pictures - Atlas of Colon and Ileum

    About cancer recurrence
    A recurrence occurs when the cancer comes back. Cancer recurs because small areas of cancer cells may remain undetected in the body after treatment. Over time, these cells may multiply and grow large enough for tests to identify them. Depending on the type of cancer, this can happen weeks, months, or even many years after the primary (original) cancer was treated.

    However, it is impossible for doctors to know which patients will experience a recurrence. The likelihood that a cancer will recur and the likely timing and location of a recurrence depend on the type of the primary cancer. Some cancers have a predictable pattern of recurrence, and a doctor familiar with your medical history can give you more information about your risk profile.

    The recurrence may be local (returned to the same part of the body where the primary cancer was located), regional (came back to an area near the primary cancer), or distant (returned to another part of the body). Cancer that recurs in site distant from the location of the primary cancer is still named for the part of the body where the primary cancer began. For example, if a person treated for breast cancer now has cancer in her liver, doctors will say that she has metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread to a distant organ), not liver cancer.

    Diagnosis and treatment
    After treatment for primary cancer ends, your doctor may give you a follow-up care plan to monitor your recovery and watch for a potential recurrence. Follow-up care usually includes visits to the doctor and a careful physical examination. For some cancers, there are blood tests or other imaging to check for a recurrence. Most of the time, however, the careful examination and conversation will be the only follow-up care. In addition, your doctor may tell you to watch for specific signs or symptoms of recurrence.
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    If recurrent cancer is detected, your doctor will order additional diagnostic tests—such as laboratory tests, imaging studies, or biopsies—to learn as much as possible about the recurrence. After testing is done, you and your doctor will talk about your treatment options. This is similar to the process of planning treatment for a primary cancer.

    When recommending a treatment plan, your doctor will consider the type, location, and size of the recurrent cancer, as well as your overall health. Additional considerations include the type of treatment you originally received, how the cancer responded to treatment, the side effects from the original treatment, and the amount of time that has passed since treatment for the primary cancer ended. Your doctor may also suggest a clinical trial that is studying new ways to treat this type of recurrent cancer. When deciding among treatments, it is important to consider the goals and expected benefits of each treatment, as well as the possible risks, side effects, and effect on quality of life.

    Meanwhile, relieving symptoms and side effects will remain an important part of your cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms. Learn more about palliative care.

    What is cancer recurrence?
    Cancer recurrence is defined as the return of cancer after treatment and after a period of time during which the cancer cannot be detected. (The length of time is not clearly defined.) The same cancer may come back where it first started or somewhere else in the body. For example, prostate cancer may return in the area of the prostate gland (even if the gland was removed), or it may come back in the bones. In either case it’s a prostate cancer recurrence.

    The difference between recurrence and progression
    When cancer spreads or gets worse it is called progression. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between recurrence and progression. For example, if the cancer has been gone for only 3 months before it comes back, was it ever really gone? Is this a recurrence or progression?

    Chances are this is not really a recurrence. It’s likely 1 of 2 things happen in cases like this: One is that surgery left behind small clusters of cancer cells that could not be seen or found on scans or other tests. Over time they grow large enough to be detected or cause symptoms. These cancers tend to be very aggressive, or fast-growing.
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    The second possibility is that the cancer may be resistant to treatment. Chemotherapy (chemo) or radiation may have killed most of the cancer cells, but some of them were either not affected or changed enough to survive the treatment. Any cancer cells left behind can then grow and show up again.

    The less time between when the cancer was thought to be gone and the time it came back, the more serious the situation. Most doctors would agree that 3 months of appearing to be cancer-free before cancer returns is too short to be considered a recurrence. There’s no standard period of time within the definition of recurrence, but most doctors consider a cancer to be a recurrence if you’ve had no signs of cancer for at least a year. If your cancer has been gone for only 3 months, this would most likely be a progression of your disease. In this case, the doctors would assume that the cancer never went away totally, even though they could not find it with any tests.

    Recurrent breast cancer is breast cancer that comes back after initial treatment. Although the initial treatment is aimed at eliminating all cancer cells, a few may have evaded treatment and survived. These undetected cancer cells multiply, becoming recurrent breast cancer.

    Recurrent breast cancer may occur months or years after your initial treatment. The cancer may come back in the same place as the original cancer (local recurrence), or it may spread to other areas of your body (distant recurrence).

    Learning you have recurrent breast cancer may be harder than dealing with the initial diagnosis. But having recurrent breast cancer is far from hopeless. Treatment may eliminate local, regional or distant recurrent breast cancer. Even if a cure isn't possible, treatment may control the disease for long periods of time.

    Recurrent breast cancer occurs when cells that were part of your original breast cancer break away from the original tumor and hide nearby in the breast or in another part of your body. Later, these cells begin growing again.

    The chemotherapy, radiation or hormone therapy you may have received after your first breast cancer diagnosis was intended to kill any cancer cells that may have remained after surgery. But sometimes these treatments aren't able to kill all of the cancer cells.

    Sometimes cancer cells may be dormant for years without causing harm. Then something happens that activates the cells, so they grow and spread to other parts of the body. It's not clear why this occurs.
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    Preparing for your appointment
    If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or family doctor.

    Your doctor can recommend the necessary tests and procedures to confirm a diagnosis of recurrent cancer. Then you'll likely be referred to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer (oncologist).

    Recurrent breast cancer Preparing for your appointment - Mayo Clinic
    Dealing With Cancer Recurrence | Cancer.Net

    Last edited by Medical Photos; 09-13-2015 at 06:06 PM.

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