The fear of breast cancer or cancer returning after completing treatment is normal. You have just finished a difficult and long journey. While the fear of recurrence can be overwhelming, it is important to understand your risks as well as to understand the support services available to help you address your fears.
Ovarian Cancer Risks
The risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer can increase if have had a diagnosis of breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer. Experts believe that the link between the two may be due to inherited genetic mutations. By continuing to follow up with your doctor after finishing breast cancer treatment, you can understand your risk factors and take measures towards ensuring early detection.
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer can recur at the original site of diagnoses or in other areas of the body. Local recurrence, or breast cancer that recurs at the original site, is found using mammograms, screenings, or physical exams. Metastasis is when the cancer spreads to other areas of the body and may be found with additional imaging or after you report symptoms to your doctor.
Local recurrence typically occurs within the first five years following your initial diagnosis and treatment. The original breast cancer type, size, and treatment methodology all impact your risk. Metastasis also depends on the original diagnosis and treatments used and is often found in the bone, lungs, brain or liver.
New Breast Cancer
Breast cancer survivors may have an elevated risk of being diagnosed with a second tumor which is unrelated to the first diagnosis. This new breast cancer is unique from your initial diagnosis and is referred to as second primary breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors who were treated with a lumpectomy may get cancer in the breast of the surgery or the opposite breast. If treated with a single mastectomy, women get the new cancer in the second breast.
Worried about recurrence or new diagnosis? Talk with your cancer team. Our specialists at the Touro Supportive Cancer Center can guide you through the concern about a new diagnosis and help you establish regular screenings to appropriately and safely monitor your health. Click here to learn more.