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Dr. Amelia Tower Explains How Lung Cancer Recurs

Understanding Lung Cancer Recurrence

Decatur, TX – May 14, 2020 – In some patients, lung cancer can come back after treatment. The disease is likely to recur within five years after diagnosis. Recurrent lung cancer is common and can be defined according to the location of the recurrence. There are three forms of lung cancer recurrence, which are treated based on the size and location of the cancer.

“After treatment, tiny cancer cells can remain in the body. Over time, the cells will start growing and multiplying to form cancer again,” explained Dr. Tower. “The chances that your lung cancer will recur depends on your type of lung cancer, the stage at which it was diagnosed, and the treatment options you received for the original disease.  Your lung cancer may return in the lungs or other different parts of your body.”

The types of lung cancer recurrence include;

  • Local recurrence – A local recurrence is when lung cancer returns to the lung near the location of the original tumor.
  • Regional recurrence – This is when cancer comes back in the lymph nodes surrounding the original tumor.
  • Distant recurrence – In distant recurrence, lung cancer will recur in different sites such as the brain, liver, bones, and adrenal glands.

In recurrent lung cancer, you will experience symptoms based on the location of your recurrence. For regional recurrence, you may cough up blood, experience shortness of breath and pneumonia. Distant recurrence presents symptoms such as dizziness, loss of coordination, and double vision. If you have a local recurrence, you’ll experience abdominal pain and jaundice.

“The common causes of lung cancer recurrence are cells that spread to distant sites through lymphatic channels or the bloodstream,” continued Dr. Tower. “These cancerous cells may be too small to be detected and will regrow into cancer. Chemotherapy treatment may also not eliminate all the cancer cells. The surviving cells will also begin to grow over time and cause cancer. Always talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms.”

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