Questions to ask about Cancer Recurrence
- How likely is it that cancer will return?
- What symptoms might indicate a possible recurrence? Which of these should I immediately report to you? Which should I report at my regular follow-up visits?
- What can I do to lower my risk of cancer coming back after treatment?
The likelihood of cancer recurrence, as well as the most likely timing and location of a recurrence, is determined by the type of cancer with which you were first diagnosed. Unfortunately, doctors have no way of knowing who will have a recurrence. Still, a doctor or clinician who is familiar with your medical history will provide you with more personalized information about your recurrence risk and possibly recommend ways to reduce it.
During your follow-up visits, your doctor or clinician will ask specific questions about your health and will normally perform a thorough physical examination to help identify signs of a potential recurrence. Blood tests and imaging tests may be required for some individuals. The treatment and care recommendations for your particular diagnosis will guide your follow-up care. Furthermore, your doctor may advise you to keep an eye out for specific signs or symptoms of recurrence.
If a recurrence is suspected, your doctor may order additional diagnostic tests to learn as much as possible about the recurrence, such as blood and/or urine tests, imaging tests, or biopsies. After the testing is completed, you and your doctor will discuss the findings and the next steps.
Dealing With Cancer Recurrence. (2019, May 03). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.net/survivorship/dealing-cancer-recurrence