Recurrence Risk Assessment in Breast Cancer – what it is and how it works

A new biomarker test can help catch cancer earlier, possibly, than current tests used at medical centers.

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Women walk to fun breast cancer research.

Breast cancer recurrence occurs when the cancer comes back after treatment, and it is an unfortunate scenario that many face. Recurrent breast cancer may develop where it originally started, or it may spread to nearby lymph nodes or other areas of the body when it returns. It may also come back months or years after treatment has been completed.

In this article, we will discuss what recurrence risk assessment is in the context of breast cancer, from its importance to how it works. We will also explore how recurrence risk assessment is conducted, whether it is with the use of genomic assays, cancer biomarker testing, or other methods.

What is recurrence in breast cancer?

Recurrent breast cancer refers to a situation when breast cancer returns (or recurs) after treatment. It may come back in the same or a different form, in the same or different area of the body. There are several types of recurrence – local, regional, and distant.

Local recurrence refers to when the cancer returns, in the same place as it originally developed the first-time round. Regional recurrence refers to cancer coming back near the original tumor. This can be in nearby lymph nodes in the armpit or in the collarbone. 

Distant recurrence refers to the spread of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones, or brain. In this situation, the cancer is metastatic and typically called Stage 4 breast cancer.

What is the rate of recurrence in breast cancer?

According to Cleveland Clinic, the potential recurrence of breast cancer varies depending on each patient’s individual characteristics. While it is largely uncommon, certain types of breast cancers may be more common. For example, according to the American Cancer Society, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) are most likely to return.

What is breast cancer recurrence risk assessment?

Recurrence risk assessment i

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