Cancer Recurrence

Cancer Recurrence

Surviving cancer is a remarkable journey, and one that should be celebrated. After all, you’ve fought and overcome a disease that can be life-threatening. But what happens after the cancer treatment? Is it over? Unfortunately, there is always a chance of cancer recurring, which can be devastating for cancer survivors. It's natural to feel a sense of hopelessness and fear in such a situation. However, it's important to remember that there is always hope when it comes to cancer. Recurrent cancer is no exception. There are new treatments and clinical trials that offer hope for improvement.

Utilizing global modalities from around the world, ICCA Global has been successful at treating all-stage cancers and metastatic cancers for more than 40 years. We strive to extend life, relieve pain and symptoms, and eliminate lethal cancer stem cells that cause recurrence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Cancer Recurrence?

Cancer recurrence is the reappearance of cancer cells after treatment has ended, following a period of undetectability. It can happen days, months, or even years after the cancer treatment. Recurrence can arise from cancer cells that were left behind after treatment, or it may happen because new cancer cells develop. It is essential to note that the recurrence of cancer doesn't mean the previous treatment has failed. It's also essential to keep in mind that recurrence varies in type, stage, and location of cancer. If cancer is detected after treatment for a specific type of cancer, tests will be conducted to determine if it is the same type as before (Recurrent Cancer) or a new type (Second Cancer).

What are the Early Warning Signs of Cancer Recurrence?

Regularly attending medical appointments and receiving checkups can help a cancer survivor to understand their health and catch symptoms of cancer recurrence early. Some of the most common warning signs of cancer recurrence include pain, swelling, lump, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Symptoms like these should be reported immediately to the medical doctor.

How is Recurrent Cancer Diagnosed?

  1. Blood Tests:
    Blood tests are a common diagnostic tool that can determine if a person has cancer. In the case of cancer recurrence, blood tests can measure the levels of certain markers that indicate cancer activity. These tests might include a complete blood count (CBC), which is used to check the levels of blood cells, and a blood chemistry test, which looks for specific substances in the blood that identify cancer.
  2. Imaging Tests:
    Imaging tests are another method used to diagnose cancer recurrence. The most common imaging tests include MRI, CT scans, and PET scans. These are used to check the body for cancer recurrence or tumors. These tests create detailed images of the body, and the doctor can see if there are any changes on the cellular and molecular level for tumors, or other issues that indicate the presence of cancer.
  3. Biopsy:
    Biopsy involves removing a small portion of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope. In cancer recurrence, biopsies are used to determine if cancer cells are present in tissues that were previously cancer-free.
  4. Physical Examination:
    Physical examinations are another diagnostic test used to detect the presence of cancer recurrence. In this test, a doctor will examine the body for signs of any abnormalities or changes that may signal the return of cancer. This may include a thorough examination of the skin, organs, or other parts of the body.
  5. Endoscopy:
    An endoscopy is a procedure used to look inside the body, allowing doctors to examine and biopsy tissue samples from areas such as the digestive tract or the lungs. Endoscopy can be used to detect the presence of cancer recurrence in the gastrointestinal tract or other areas that are not easily accessible.
  6. Urinalysis:
    Urinalysis measures the content of your pee and measures the blood cells, sugar and protein in your pee. Providers may use urinalysis to monitor for recurrent bladder or kidney cancer.

What To Expect During Cancer Treatment

The treatment approach for cancer recurrence depends largely on the type and stage of cancer, and the location of recurrence. Cancer recurrence treatments may include radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Additionally, patients may also benefit from social and emotional support, such as counseling and support groups, to help them navigate the experience.

Can Recurrent Cancer Be Treated?

Studies have shown that many local and regional recurrences can be treated to show no evidence of disease. Alternate treatments are also available that can shrink your cancer, slow its growth, and improve your quality of life.

When choosing a treatment, consider factors similar to those you considered when deciding on your initial treatment. Think about what you hope to achieve, your treatment goals, and the side effects you are willing to endure. Your healthcare provider will also take into account previous treatments and how your body responded to them.

Can Recurrent Cancer Go Back Into Remission?

Take care in knowing that ICCA Global physicians are adept at treating individuals who’ve experienced cycles of remission and recurrence. When cancer returns, it’s important to talk to your healthcare providers who may choose to continue or change treatment in order to achieve the goal of putting the cancer back into remission. Stay informed and always remember that it’s okay to seek a second opinion. Contact our Patient Navigator to discuss alternative treatment options: (888) 526-6398.

What is the Prognosis for Recurrent Cancer?

The prognosis varies for each individual and is influenced by various factors, including your specific cancer type, how well you responded to treatment, any side effects, and your overall health. Count on your healthcare provider for accurate and personalized information about your prognosis.

I have recurrent cancer. I’m not sure I want more treatment. How do I decide?

Dealing with recurrent cancer is a tough situation. And deciding whether or not to pursue more treatment can be even tougher. But don't worry, we're here to help.

  • First, take some time to really understand your treatment options and what they entail. Your oncologist and care team will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
  • It's also important to communicate with your loved ones about your situation. They deserve to be informed and understand your decision-making process, regardless of what you choose.
  • Considering getting a second opinion from another cancer specialist? It's a good idea. Different hospitals may offer alternative treatment options that you haven't considered before.
  • Lastly, have you thought about participating in a clinical trial? It's a great opportunity to contribute to medical research and possibly access new, innovative treatments. Don't be afraid to ask your healthcare provider about this option.

Remember, this decision is yours to make and cancer recurrences do not mean the end of hope. There are options and opportunities for treatment and healing. Take your time, weigh your options, and choose what feels right for you. Lean on the unwavering support of your oncologist and healthcare team, who will assist you in making the best choices and providing as much help as possible.

What We Do For You

We understand that each patient's cancer is unique. That's why our FivePoints Cancer Care™ treatment program creates a personalized treatment plan for every individual. Our non-invasive and non-toxic approach minimizes the impact on daily life and helps prevent any disruption or disfigurement that traditional treatments may cause.

We specialize in cancer treatments that support the whole body, while preserving and restoring quality of life:

FivePOINTS Cancer Care™ consists of:

  • Integrative Cancer Care (minimizes debilitating side effects) with real-time imaging (PET/CT)
  • Live-Cell Tumor Profiling (optimizes ideal targeting agents for treatment)
  • Tumor-Specific Immunotherapy with Tumor-Specific Hyperthermia and Short-Course Radiation (avoids unnecessary systemic damage)
  • Non-Surgical Tumor-Specific Ablation (by freezing or heat)
  • Regenerative and Restorative Medicine (restores homeostasis)

Click here to learn more about how we treat cancer at ICCA Global.

Our compassionate Patient Care Team is ready to answer any questions and support for your alternative cancer treatment options. Let us know how we can help.

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(888) 526-6398