A person who survives colon cancer may experience a recurrence at some point in his or her life. A cancer is classified as “recurrent” if it is detected after a patient has completed an initial course of treatment and a period of time (whether months or years) has passed during which the patient exhibited no signs of cancer.
Studies show that people who have a personal history of colon cancer have an elevated risk of developing a secondary colon cancer in the future. Although many patients never experience a colon cancer recurrence, regular screenings are recommended to increase the likelihood of detecting any potentially cancerous changes as soon as they occur.
Recurrent colon cancer – if it does develop – can be treated with a number of therapies, including:
- Chemotherapy (several drugs, such as Avastin, have achieved especially promising results for recurrent colon cancer)
- Targeted therapies, which interfere with a tumor’s growth and survival
- Surgery, if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
- Radioembolization, if the cancer has spread to the liver (this treatment uses radioactive materials to block the flow of blood to the liver, starving the tumor so it is unable to grow)
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we not only offer a complete range of therapies to patients with recurrent colon cancer, but we also understand the unique challenges – both physical and emotional – of treating cancer that has come back. Through extensive research, we’ve found ways to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with all types and stages of colon cancer, including those experiencing a colon cancer recurrence.
At Moffitt, we do not require referrals to meet with our expert oncologists. If you have been diagnosed with recurrent colon cancer, are experiencing symptoms that lead you to believe that your cancer has come back or are looking for ways to reduce your likelihood of developing a colon cancer recurrence, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.