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What Is A Cancer Recurrence?

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A cancer recurrence is the return of cancer after treatment and after a period of time during which the cancer cannot be detected. A recurrence may be in the same location in the body it was the first time, or it may be in another part of your body all together.

A recurrence may be at the same stage as originally, or it may be more advanced. Even if it is an advanced stage, keep in mind that at least one person survives every cancer - and that person could be you. Even a 1% chance of long term survival means that one in one hundred people will survive.

A recurrence results from cells from the original cancer which have become reactivated. Once reactivated, the cells grow and possibly spread. The recurrence may have different DNA than the original cancer because cancer cells constantly change. (DNA holds genetic information on cell growth, division, and function.) Still, it is basically the same cancer.

If the cancer is not related to your first cancer, it is not a recurrence. Instead, this is called a Second Primary Cancer

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