Tumor recurrence: effective ways to prevent


Recurrent tumorsIs a complication of anticancer therapy, which is characterized by the restoration of clinical manifestations of malignant neoplasms and the formation of a repeated single or multiple focus of pathological growth of malignant tissues.

The formation of a secondary lesion, as a rule, is preceded by a period of remission. Depending on the duration of the temporary recovery of the bodyrelapse of a malignant tumorcan be early (the formation of a cancerous tumor occurs 2-4 months after the end of the main course of treatment) and late (secondary cancer lesion is diagnosed after 2-4 years).

Causes of a new malignant neoplasm

Secondary tumor develops as a result of incomplete excision of cancer tissues during surgical intervention. This may be due to the histological features of the structure of the tumor, in which it is impossible to remove all elements of the malignant process. Also, a relapse of cancer can be associated with inferior or poor-quality treatment, which provokes secondary manifestations of the disease.

The tumor recurrence depends on the following oncological factors:

  • The stage of cancer, which was the primary diagnosis and anti-cancer therapy.

The smallest number of cancer recurrences is observed in patients whose specific treatment was performed in the early stages, when mutated tissues are within the body, and the presence of metastases is excluded. A large number of complications of cancer therapy is determined in the late stages of the oncological process, especially if there is a spread of metastases by lymphogenous or circulatory pathways.

  • Location of the primary focus of the mutation.

The frequency of relapses is directly related to the peculiarities of the anatomical structure of the pathological region, which affects the frequency of metastasis of the neoplasm. So, for example, skin cancer at the initial stages of pathological growth (except for melanoma) lends itself to a complete cure in 80-100% of clinical cases. Cancer of the rectum, for example, is characterized by a high incidence of early metastasis in regional lymphatic nodes, which significantly increases the chances of secondary development of oncology and, unfortunately, greatly reduces the survival rate when cancer. Also, malignant neoplasms of the mammary gland in the inner quadrant have an increased tendency to recur in comparison with the cancerous lesion of the outer quadrant.

  • The form of pathological growth and the histological structure of the tumor.

Surface types of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin develop very slowly and practically do not metastasize, which excludes the possibility of relapse after a radical operation to remove the tumor. In oncology, it is believed that low-grade tumors have high rates of postoperative relapse.

  • The type of surgery and the volume of the removed cancerous tissues.

Some types of malignant tumors, due to their inaccessibility to radical excision, can undergo partial removal. For example, it is often observedtumor recurrencethe brain because of the impossibility of carrying out a traditional oncological operation. In such cases, as a rule, the therapy is carried out with the help of gamma-knife and cyber-knife technologies, which foresee a pinpoint effect on the tumor with highly active x-ray radiation.

  • Age of the cancer patient.

According to statistical data, cancers in older patients occur in more severe forms and include a high tendency to recur.

Ways to prevent tumor recurrence

Primary prophylaxis of relapses is the timely diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent comprehensive and complete treatment of neoplasm. Anti-cancer therapy, as a rule, is based on three main methods:

  1. Surgery. The most effective means of combating malignant neoplasms is a radical operation to excise a malignant tumor.
  2. Radiation therapy. The essence of the technique is the use of highly active radiological radiation, which is capable of destroying cancerous tissues and thereby stop or stabilize the pathological growth of the tumor.
  3. Chemotherapy. The use of cytostatic agents can destroy mutated cells at the systemic level.

Radiological treatment and chemotherapy in most cases act as additional methods of anticancer therapy.

What should I do to anticipate a tumor recurrence?

Secondary oncological prophylaxis of tumor recurrence is as follows:

  • Regular preventive examinations:

After the course of treatment, patients are recommended at least twice a year to undergo preventive examinations with an oncologist. During such a survey, the specialist determines the presence of complaints from the patient. Also, in the process of this study, the state of regional lymph nodes and the existence of abnormal skin seals are determined. If necessary, some patients are assigned to conduct laboratory tests of blood, urine and feces.

  • Correct way of life:

Refusal of the patient from bad habits in the form of tobacco smoking and abuse of strong alcoholic beverages necessarily takes place to be.

  • Healthy and nutritious food:

The daily diet should be balanced by the number of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

  • Sports and moderate exercise:

Regular and moderate physical activity that contribute to the strengthening of non-specific immunity is also indicated in order to provide possible complications and relapse of oncology.


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