Sometimes, despite the best care and significant progress made in treatment, cancer comes back. When this happens it is called a recurrence or relapse. The likely relapse occurs is that a few of the original cancer cells survived the initial treatment. Sometimes, this is because cancer cells spread to other parts of the body and were too small to be detected during the follow-up immediately after treatment.
There can be a lot to manage if you experience relapse after cancer as a teen or young adult. This factsheet by Redkite offers an insight into some of the questions you might be asking yourself such as:
- why didn’t treatment work?
- I don’t know if I can handle more treatment
- I’m struggling with this
You might also find it helpful to look at Cancer Advisor’s collection of resources for teenagers and young adults facing cancer. We have information about other topics like work and study, managing your finances, and support services. It may also be useful to hear from other young people who have been there before by reading some of our personal stories.
“As he had done once before, my Doctor pulled his chair closer to mine before he broke the news. He told us that despite the best efforts of treatment, my cancer had in fact relapsed. I was absolutely devastated.” – Adry Awan. You can read Adry’s full story here.