When cancer returns after treatment has ended and when the cancer was not detectable by medical tests, it is referred to as a recurrence. Recurrence may be detected by follow-up exams by a doctor or by signs and symptoms a person may be experiencing. Cancer recurrence can be organized into three categories: local, regional and distant.
- Local recurrence refers to cancer being found at the original cancer site.
- Regional recurrence means that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and the general area of the original cancer site.
- Distant recurrence refers to cancer that has spread to another area of the body.