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Ways to reduce risk of cancer relapse

Risk of cancer relapse varies from patient to patient and is dependent on many factors including:

  • Stage of the cancer
  • Type of tumor
  • Size of the tumor
  • Whether or not lymph nodes are involved
  • And other factors

Relapses in most cancer types usually occur within the first five years after diagnosis, especially in the first three years. Most types of cancer rarely relapse after five years. These include cancers such as:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Aggressive lymphoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Stomach cancer
  • And many others

However, with certain types of cancer, 10-year is often used as the benchmark. These are usually the hormonally sensitive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer, which can recur beyond five years. Hormonal suppression therapy to counteract hormonally sensitive cancer can substantially reduce the risk of relapse in these patients.

The risk of cancer relapse can depend on many factors that are beyond your control. But you can still control many factors that can impact your risk of recurrence by practicing healthy living.

Prevention of cancer recommendations: