October 23, 2009
The recurrence of cancer is one of the most dreaded fears during treatment .
If mesothelioma does return, it becomes active again in the body after a period of dormancy. Recurrence can happen quickly, I.e. over weeks or months, or it can take much longer and occur years later. Recurrent cancers begin with abnormal cells that start to grow and multiply at a quick rate -much like the original cancer – hence -the recurrent tumours grow from cells that originated from the existing cancer. This happens when – the cells were either left behind after completed treatment, or they separated from the primary tumour and travelled through the lymphatic system or blood stream.
Cancers differ in their ability to recur and the location they reappear. If the cancer returns in the same area where it occurred – it is referred to as local recurrence. Local recurrence also means that the cancer is isolated to that area and not spread to other tissues throughout the body, whereas – cancer that involves new cells in nearby lymph nodes or surrounding tissues is referred to as regional recurrence. If cancer is found in other organs or tissues and distant from the original site then this is known as metastatic recurrence.
Where is mesothelioma likely to recur?
Mesothelioma tends to recur in the area that it originated in. It also has a tendency to grow in old wound sites – known as malignant seeding and is a common complication in mesothelioma patients. When you go for regular check ups – your doctor will monitor treatment sites such as biopsy tracts, thoracentesis tracts, chest sites, and surgical incisions. If the mesothelioma has spread to metastatic sites (which usually only happens later in the course of the disease) such as the abdomen – you are most likely to experience a feeling of fullness in that area, bloating, and a loss of appetite. The symptoms are normally a result of a build up of fluid in the abdomen.