• what are the odds of my cancer coming back being that there is no other treatment after chemo & radiation?

    Asked by lilura46 on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    what are the odds of my cancer coming back being that there is no other treatment after chemo & radiation?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The only way I can answer your questions is your odds are either 0 or 100%. Everything else is an average of everybody else history. But to address the second part of your sentence, there are many treatment options should your cancer recur.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ameyc2's Avatar

      I agree with Nancy you just go back and do it all over again. if they catch it in time.....it's hard to say who gets a recurrence and who doesn't. I have heard though if you make through the first five years after treatment ends you are in good shape? All the best!

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I agree with Nancy. Odds are based on statistical information but can not predict what will happen to any individual.

      What's important is to keep up with your follow visit and scans, so that if anything happens it is caught early. If you have not done so already, you may want to do genetic testing, in addition to BRCA there are other gene panels that can be performed. These will give you a more nuanced idea of the factors in your case, but can not predict with certainty what will happen in the future.

      My TNBC came back, and I have been in treatment since May of last year, when two small lesions were discovered on my liver. it has not spread anywhere else. The treatments are working my lesions have shrunk by over 75%,

      Sending you hugs and healing vibes.

      over 3 years ago
    • reginak's Avatar

      sending you hugs and well wishes. Ask your oncologist about this.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      My oncologist told me at the beginning that the chance of recurrence is 20% --- but that means there is an 80% chance that it will not. Since "Positive Attitude" is so important in our battle, I have to focus on the 80%. I have to learn to live each day to the fullest -- after all, fear and worry will not help -- it only takes away from a decent quality of life. I figure that I will face that demon if and when recurrence happens. It is in God's hands and I trust Him. Good Luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • JMS's Avatar

      My oncologist gave me the exact opposite statistics from those given to JennyMiller (that is, 80% probability of recurrence). I completed treatments in mid-February, but by early March, I already had recurrence (pancreatic cancer had metastasized to my bones). But, apparently it's treatable and I'll have cyber-knife radiation next week. So, one simply never knows, but treatment options get better and better. Good luck, JMS

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Every cancer is different and it depends on the cancer type as to the chance of recurrance. Some cancers like lung cancer are uploaded. Meaning if its going to come back it will be in the first couple of years. Breast cancer can come back at anytime. Its not as easy as just the cancer type.

      We now know that certain mutations tend to make certain types of cancers reccure diffrently and to diffrent parts of the body.Just now scientists are working with the IBM Watson Computer to use mathmatical algorythms as a tool to help determine cancer recurrance

      But know we are on the cusp of finding more treatments and cures for more cancers. We know that physical exercise has reduced reccurance in several cancers and reducing anxiety is just as important. These are the two things that are in your power to control. Try and improve these two things in your life if you can and that can be your part in the fight.

      All the best

      over 3 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Good morning - I think this is a question for your oncology team. Based on the tumor characteristics and the treatment, they should be able to give you a feeling for your risk of recurrence. The no additional treatment beyond chemo and radiation is a double edged sword, in my view. On the one hand, I am not continuing a treatment that will increase my chances of disease-free survival. On the other hand, I am not dealing with side effects from a long term treatment regimen.

      The big bad unknown sucks, doesn't it? I mean, we just don't know! My health care team has instructed me to contact them if I have weird symptoms... and I have exams every 3-4 months. If I end up with symptoms that are consistent with recurrence, then testing will commence.... No blood work - no drugs - just watchful and optimistic waiting....

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Hi. My name is Aliza and I'm a BC patient and also a Medical Librarian. I'm retired, but I'm active on this site and elsewhere offering advice (usually non medical), referrals to doctors, hospitals/institutions, agencies, etc, and research when needed or requested.

      I'm not the person to give you a direct answer to your question - I can't. As a Librarian, our code of ethics doesn't permit it, even if I know the answer (and it's technically illegal as it's practicing medicine without a license).

      However, you ask a very good question, and one that is best directed to your oncologist above everyone else on this site. If you aren't satisfied with the answer you receive from her/him, I'd recommend seeking a second opinion. You're certainly within you're rights to do so and your insurance should cover that as well (you may want to speak to your insurance company to make certain before scheduling that visit).

      I do think that SueRae has a good point in that each person is an individual, and we cannot predict the future for anyone (even someone who hasn't had BC). But your oncologist who reads the journals, and attends conferences and keeps current with the latest information will likely be your best source for this type of information to put you at ease.

      If there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to contact me, either here or via email.

      Warm wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • MRoadrunner's Avatar

      lilura46, talk to your oncologist. I have small cell lung cancer diagnosed in August '12. I was treated with chemo and then got clean CT scans. I then had prophylactic brain radiation. Three weeks later, the tumor had grown back in my lung. It is very fast and quickly invasive. I had 13 radiation treatments directly to the lobe of the lung that was affected. My doc said if it returns, and in all probability it will, we'll do more chemo. So, maybe you could repeat your treatment if your cancer does come back. Don't ever give up until you're ready to!

      over 3 years ago
    • barbaraanne's Avatar

      Hi there, I also have TNBC, Had lumpectomy, and I finished my chemo rounds and will be starting my radiation tomorrow. I also wonder about the cancer coming back, sometimes more than other times. We must stay vigilant on our follow-ups and pay attention to our bodies. I have read several articles about trial meds for triple negative, but I believe that they are for people who have advanced staged cancer. Sometimes I wonder if we are better off or not, cause I don't like what I hear about several of the meds out there that patients take after treatment of chemo/rad.

      I try to stay positive and pray for the best, not just for myself but for all of us fighting...Be well:)

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I am a two-time cancer survivor. What are the odds of you getting in a car wreck tomorrow, having a heart attack, or getting hit by a bus? Honestly, does it really matter? I cannot say I never think about recurrence, but we can take care of ourselves, do all our follow up checks, etc. As Survivors we have been blessed with the gift of TODAY! We can try very hard to live in the NOW and not waste today. I wish you the very best. You are going to live a good life TODAY!☺

      over 3 years ago

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