How do you deal with cancer recurrence?

Cancer is not easy to deal with; there are constant challenges on a physical and mental level that need to be tackled both by the patient and the family. Once you have been declared cancer free, it is no less than a grand achievement. It feels like freedom, from constant visits to the hospital, medicines, and the constant state of worry. But even after conquering cancer once, you have to remain vigilant about your health. It may seem discouraging but the follow up visits to your doctor shall continue.  Once you know that there are chances of recurrence of cancer, there are various questions that you might have. We have made an effort to address those questions by accumulating the experience of the interactions of our team with the patients. What can be done to minimize the chances of recurrence? The ways to prevent cancer recurrence are similar to the actions required to prevent cancer. This includes eating a healthy balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, adequate water, and whole grains. Being physically active and keeping a check on your weight will not only keep cancer at bay but also keep your refreshed and boost positivity. Other than this, do not forget to go for your follow up visits and opting for regular investigations to monitor the progress of the disease. Did I do something wrong to invite the cancer recurrence? Cancer can be overwhelming, and seeing it return can be really disheartening. Instead of pondering over the issues as to why the recurrence happened, you should use your energy towards working a way out of this. Discuss with your heath care provider and explore the treatment options. Is recurrent cancer more aggressive? There is no established fact that the recurred cancer shall be more progressive. But it has been observed that the relapsed cancers tend to be more aggressive. This is because with prior treatments, be it surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, few cancerous cells remain in the body that start multiplying gradually. It is not until the cancer has spread to an extent so as to cause symptoms that it gets diagnosed. Hence, due to delay in diagnosis, it may appear aggressive. It is advisable to go for regular follow up with your physicians to avoid any surprises. Which cancer has highest recurrence rate? Most of the cancers have a tendency to come back but there are certain cancers that have been observed to recur the most. These include breast cancer, glioblastoma, lymphoma, melanoma, ovarian cancer, bladder, and kidney cancer. Will I have to undergo the same treatments as earlier? The choice of treatment will depend on various factors like the type of cancer, time of diagnosis, spread & extent of disease. Your current condition shall also be a deciding factor to determine a suitable treatment. You may or may not be advised the same treatment you availed earlier. The bottom line is to always remain vigilant of your health, with or without cancer. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and never ignore a sign or a symptom and no disease will ever be able to bother you. We wish you health and happiness always!

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