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One of the most unpleasant diseases in which people have their hands is such that the danger of it hovers over us all. This is cancer, which hangs over the whole society like a specter of fear. Cancer, or cancer of the silent killer, is the second largest cause of death in the world. Despite long and expensive treatment, this silent killer can remain hidden in the body and can flourish again. Let’s find out why cancer returns despite treatment.
From the statistics of 2018, it became clear that every sixth person dies from cancer. That is, 9.6 million people die from cancer every year. Cancer is actually a large group of diseases, which can develop in any tissue of any part of the body. This causes uncontrolled growth of cells in them.
understand the development of cancer
These aggressive malignant cells (aggressive cancer cells) invade their borders and spread to surrounding tissues/organs. This process is called metastasis and is the main cause of death from cancer. In recent years, advances in technology and medical science have led to improvements in the treatment of many types of cancer, but unfortunately, cancer remains an incurable disease.
What is the process of cancer treatment
Cancer is definitely curable, but the problem is that even after treatment it comes back. Its treatment includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy, etc. Our doctors sometimes resort to various treatment options to improve the patient’s condition. But despite this, cancer recurrence is a major concern for patients and those involved in their care.
Why cancer recurs
Cancer recedes when malignant cells start growing again after being dormant for a while. When cancer is treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy, cancerous cells can spread through the lymphatic blood vessels to other parts of the body. In such a situation, despite the complete treatment of the patient, many times in some cases these malignant cells reach other organs/parts.
Microscopic cancer cells are not caught despite the scan
The size of cancer cells is very microscopic, which is why these cells are not detected by any of the methods available in our medical facilities, be it various types of PET scan, CT scan or MRI etc. These cells, which are not caught in any way, tend to spread over time and cause the infected area to increase in size.
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The safest procedure for these types of tumors is liquid biopsy, which is seen in many patients. Other cancerous cells cannot be detected by other methods.
The reason can also be a mutation
Another major reason for cancer recurrence is a mutation or any other abnormality in the patient. These types of mutations and abnormalities are sometimes caused by genetic reasons or can lead to this type of malignancy due to the slowing down of metabolism and increased hormone levels in the body in general.
Therefore, whenever such changes are observed in patients, there is a risk of cancer recurrence despite complete treatment. This is the reason why medical experts advise patients to undergo regular check-ups after treatment and follow the prescribed norms of cancer treatment.
For the first two years of treatment, we call them every three months with test reports. After that, they are called for an examination every six months, and after 5 years, once a year. As time progresses, the risk of recurrence also decreases in all patients.
Cancer can spread even after chemotherapy
We know why cancer returns despite surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or even targeted therapy. Therefore, we should also know that despite the treatment of cancer, due to chronic irritation, sometimes abnormal cells grow due to genetic mutations or other changes in our genetic structures.
This is the reason why many times cancer spreads after cancer surgery with radiation or chemotherapy. In fact, cancer cells spread through lymphatic blood vessels or by direct spread and this happens many times despite complete treatment. Very small cancer cells cannot be picked up by any type of PET scan or CT or MRI.
1 Germs can hide
These cells continue to grow over time and these small-sized tumors are detected by liquid biopsy. In this way, information about relapse comes from these processes. Sometimes it can also happen in some people due to genetic or metabolic reasons. Hormonal reasons also increase the risk of malignancy. Therefore, if these factors are present in patients, they are at risk of cancer recurrence even after complete cancer treatment.
Despite the treatment, regular check-ups are necessary.
For this reason, patients are invited to regular examinations during two years of treatment, every three months during two years, then every six months during five years and once a year after five years. One-time testing is recommended. The risk of recurrence decreases with time in these patients.
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