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Oncology Group
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Understanding Colorectal Cancer Recurrence

Published on 4/29/2019
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Dr. Neeraja Dasari explains how colon and rectal cancers recur in patients who’ve already undergone treatment.

Lewisville, TX, April 29, 2019 - Colorectal cancer cells that may have gone undetected can cause cancer to return. There are two primary patterns of recurrence of colorectal cancer namely local and distant recurrence. Follow-up checkups can help to ascertain that any changes in the patient are detected and treated. The patient may be subjected to physical exams, colonoscopy, blood tests such as carcinoembryonic antigen CEA), and radiologic imaging.

“Follow-up care after successful colorectal cancer treatment is essential,” said Dr. Neeraja Dasari. “Your doctor should check for any recurrence of the disease and monitor your recovery to pick up any recurrence before symptoms develop so that successful interventions are planned.”

Here are the recurrence patterns of colorectal cancer:

•    Local recurrence – This is when colorectal cancer regrows at its original site – mostly at the site of reconnection of the two intestines. Colonoscopy will identify the tumors as growths inside the colon walls. The tumors can grow into the inner lining of the bowel and present symptoms such as bleeding or narrowing of the area of the connection site that leads to changes in bowel habits. These changes include narrow stools, less frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, difficulty pushing out stool, increase in abdomen size and vomiting. The tumor is likely not to cause symptoms, but routine surveillance will be able to find it. Local recurrence can also recur outside the wall of the bowel.

•    Distant recurrence – Distant recurrence occurs in patients who have delayed metastatic colorectal cancer. The spread of the disease to other organs is not directly related to the initial tumor but through the bloodstream and lymph nodes. The liver and lungs are the most common sites for distant recurrence. Distant recurrences do not show symptoms either, but routine follow-ups such as abnormal CEA testing or X-rays can prompt imaging to identify the possible sources.

“If recurrence of colorectal cancer is found, your healthcare team will work together to devise an appropriate treatment plan,” continued Dr. Dasari. “Depending on the extent of recurrence, treatments such as surgery, and radiation therapy are recommended.”

About Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group

The Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group has state-of-the-art facilities that offer individualized care to patients throughout North Texas. With a team of expert oncologists and other specialists on staff, the Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group treats a variety of cancers and blood disorders with an eye towards the newest advancements available in diagnostic technology and treatments.

Contact Details:

Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group
500 W. MainSuite 380
Lewisville, Texas 75057

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