Recurrence is one of the most common fears of patients who have been diagnosed with leukemia and other cancers. The inherent difficulty with cancer recurrence is that there is no way to predict with certainty who will experience the return of a previously defeated cancer. Furthermore, cancer recurrence can develop in the same region or elsewhere in the body.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we know how concerned our leukemia patients are with the prospect of cancer recurrence, and we are committed to closely monitoring our patients for signs that the cancer may be returning. To assist in monitoring, we use a number of different tests including:
- CT scans
- Bone scans
- Tumor markers (blood tests marking elevations)
- Bone marrow biopsies
- Routine blood work
Leukemia recurrence is most common within the first two to three years after remission, but it can also return many years later. It is up to the patient to remain vigilant and schedule regular cancer screenings. These appointments can help with early detection, which is invaluable when treating cancer recurrence.
The multispecialty leukemia team in Moffitt’s Malignant Hematology Program works hard to help patients who are coping with cancer recurrence. We have social workers and offer regular support group meetings for patients whose cancer has recurred, as well as those who are concerned by the prospect of recurrence. We also offer a number of integrative medicine services, including yoga, massage, acupuncture, tai chi and other supportive care methodologies to alleviate stress.
To learn more about cancer recurrence and our leukemia program at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-MOFFITT or use our online new patient registration form. No referral is necessary to meet with our team specializing in leukemia.