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One of the most annoying diseases that we humans have in its grip is such that the danger of it continues to loom over all of us. This is cancer, which hangs over all of society like a specter of fear. Cancer, that is, the silent killer cancer, is the second leading 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 comes back despite treatment.
It has become clear from the 2018 statistics that one in six people die from cancer. That is, 9.6 million people die of cancer every year. Cancer is actually a large group of diseases, which can develop in any tissue in 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 boundaries and also spread to surrounding tissues/organs. This process is called metastasis and is one of the leading causes 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 cancer treatment process?
Cancer is definitely curable, but the problem is that even after treatment, it comes back. His treatment includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy, etc. Our physicians sometimes resort to a variety of treatment options to improve a patient’s condition. But despite this, cancer recurrence is a major concern for patients and those involved in their care.
Why does cancer come back?
Cancer regresses when malignant cells begin to grow again after lying dormant for some time. When cancer is treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, cancer 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 trapped despite scanning
The size of cancer cells is very microscopic, that is the reason why these cells are not detected by any of the methods available in our medical facilities, be it various types of PET scans, CT scans or MRIs, etc. These cells, which have not been trapped in any way, tend to spread over time and cause the infected area to grow in size.
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The safest procedure for these types of tumors is liquid biopsy, as seen in many patients. Cancer cells could not be detected by other procedures.
Mutation may also be the reason
Another important reason for cancer recurrence is mutation or any other abnormality in the patient. These types of mutations and abnormalities are sometimes due to genetic reasons or can also lead to this type of malignancy due to slow metabolism and increased level of hormones in the body in general.
Therefore, whenever such changes are observed in patients, there is a risk of cancer recurrence despite full treatment. This is why medical professionals advise patients to have regular scans and tests after treatment, as per the prescribed guidelines for cancer treatment.
During the first two years of treatment, we call them every three months with test reports. After this they are called for review every six months and once a year after 5 years. As time passes, the risk of relapse also decreases in all patients.
Cancer can spread even after chemotherapy
We know why cancer recurs despite surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation or even targeted therapy. So, we should also know that despite cancer treatment, due to chronic irritation, abnormal cells sometimes grow due to genetic mutations or other changes in our genetic makeup.
This is why cancer often spreads after cancer chemotherapy or radiation surgery. Actually, cancer cells spread through lymphatic blood vessels or by direct spread and this often happens despite full treatment. Very small cancer cells cannot be detected on any type of PET, CT, or MRI.
1 Microbes can hide
These cells continue to grow over time, and these small tumors are detected by liquid biopsy. In this way, information about relapse comes from these processes. Sometimes this can also occur 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, a regular check-up is necessary.
That is why patients are called for regular check-ups for two years of treatment, every three months for two years, then every six months for five years and annually after five years. The risk of relapse decreases over time in these patients.
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