Invasive ductal carcinoma recurrence is possible after the completion of an initial course of treatment. In general, most physicians consider cancer to be a recurrence, rather than a progression, if a patient has exhibited no signs or symptoms for at least one year. Sometimes, certain cancer cells are able to resist even very aggressive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These rogue cells can remain dormant for an extended period of time, and then cause a recurrence by growing and reappearing at or near the original location or in a distant part of the body.
While some patients may find statistical information about breast cancer recurrence to be helpful, it’s important to keep in mind that every individual is unique, and that no statistic can accurately predict any patient’s exact experience. The risk of breast cancer recurrence is dependent on many factors, including the type of cancer, form of treatment and length of time since the completion of treatment.
To reduce the likelihood of invasive ductal carcinoma recurrence, a patient may be advised to:
- See an oncologist for regular checkups
- Undergo hormone therapy (if the cancer was hormone-receptive)
- Continue to have mammograms on any remaining breast tissue
- Have bone density scans
- Ensure proper nutrition
- Exercise (and lose weight, if necessary)
- Refrain from smoking
Patients who are concerned about breast cancer recurrence are welcome to consult with the experts in the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, and we are widely recognized for our groundbreaking research. As a high-volume cancer center, we treat many breast cancer patients, including those with very rare and recurrent conditions.