According to one of the best breast cancer surgeons in Kolkata, recurrent breast cancer refers to breast cancer that comes back after treatment. Even though the initial therapy aims to eliminate all cancer cells, some may survive through the treatment. Recurrent breast cancer results from these cancer cells growing undetected.
Finding out that you have breast cancer that keeps coming back might be more difficult than dealing with the initial diagnosis. The good news is that recurring breast cancer has a better prognosis following therapy and is less harmful. Palliative treatments and drugs can keep the situation under control for a very long period, even if a cure is not possible.
Recurrence of breast cancer can occur months or years after your initial treatment. The cancer will either return locally (local recurrence) or spread to other parts of your body (distant recurrence).
Causes of Recurrent Breast Cancer:
Your initial breast cancer cells may later grow into recurrent breast cancer if they break away from the tumor and hide nearby in the breast. These cells then continue to multiply. You could have undergone chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, or other therapies after receiving your first breast cancer diagnosis to eliminate any cancer cells that persisted following breast cancer surgery. However, it’s possible that not these therapies will always eradicate all cancer cells. Years can pass when cancer cells become dormant without causing harm to anyone.
Risk Factors of Recurrent Breast Cancer:
- Lymph node involvement – If cancer is discovered in nearby lymph nodes at the time of your first diagnosis, your risk of the disease returning is increased.
- Larger tumors- Greater likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in larger tumors as suggested by one of the best cancer doctors.
- Positive tumor margins – The surgeon aims to remove the cancer during a breast cancer operation, along with a tiny amount of the surrounding healthy tissue. A pathologist examines the edges of the tissue for cancerous cells. When a tumor is present on the margins, the chance of recurrence is higher than in situations when it is absent.
- Lack of radiation treatment after a lumpectomy –People who do not complete the advised treatment protocol are more likely to get cancer recurrence.
- Younger age – According to a breast cancer surgeon, breast cancer recurrence is more likely in people who are under 35 at the time of their initial diagnosis.
- Inflammatory breast cancer- Compared to non-inflammatory breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer has a greater risk of local recurrence.
- Breast cancer cells with distinctive features – If your breast cancer (triple-negative breast cancer) has proven resistant to hormone therapy or medicines targeting the HER2 gene, you may be at a higher risk of recurrence.
For more information on recurrent breast cancer, get in touch with Dr. Soumen Das, one of the best breast cancer surgeons in Kolkata.