How Cancer Can Reappear (Relapse)?
Cancer can reappear to someone after treatment in cancer patients. Some recurrence of cancer incident described as follows:
- Relapse post-surgery. Cancer can reappear in cancer patients who have undergone surgical treatment due to the following:
● Some cancer cells are still left in the body after the removal of cancer tissue.
● Cancer cells have spread from the organs of cancer origin before surgery performed.
The surgeon who carries out the cancer in the patient will make every effort to eliminate all cancer cells. But there is still the possibility of a small portion of cancer cells left in the patient so that it can reappear and cause relapse. To overcome this the doctor will recommend additional post-surgical treatment for all cancer cells can be killed. Additional treatments may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.
- Relapse post-chemotherapy. The working principle of chemotherapy treatment is to kill cells that are in the phase of cell division. Chemotherapy is given at regular intervals with the aim of killing all cancer cells present in patients despite having different time-splitting phases.
However, such as surgical removal of cancer, chemotherapy can not kill cancer cells thoroughly. A small percentage of cancer cells will be left behind after the last chemotherapy so there is the possibility of cancer to recur. To overcome this possibility the doctor will make every effort possible so that some cancer cells can be killed through chemotherapy. The rest of the cancer cells will be killed through the patient's immune system or will die by itself.
- Relapse post-radiotherapy. In the implementation of radiotherapy, healthy cells around the cancer tissue will also be damaged though it will return to healthy by itself. The same thing happens with cancer cells especially if there are some cells that are not killed through radiotherapy.
- Relapse post-biological therapy. Several types of biological therapies serve to kill cancer cells but some just shrink the size of the cancer without killing it. Like other therapies, biological therapy can also leave a small portion of post-treatment cancer cells that can grow and reappear in the future.
In order for cancer treatment given to patients to kill cancer cells to the maximum extent possible, patients will generally be given a combination of several therapies.
In some cases, cancer cells can be resistant to cancer treatments making it more difficult to treat. Cancer cell resistance occurs due to mutations that occur in cancer cells on a continuous basis so that cell genetic properties change. If this happens, the doctor will give some kind of combination of treatment to the patient. It will remain in some rarer cases, after any combination of treatments, the cancer still has resistance. The condition is called multi drug resistance.