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Anal cancer recurrence is when cancer cells reappear after treatment, after a period of time during which no cancer was detectable. Recurrence can develop in the same area of the body, or can develop in other organs or tissues.

Although researchers have yet to uncover definitive strategies for preventing cancer, experts say there are some generally recognized lifestyle changes that may help minimize the possibility of anal cancer recurrence, including:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating well
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

It is unclear why factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy eating habits and obesity are linked with the uncontrolled dividing and growth of cancer cells, but eliminating these factors from a patient’s lifestyle has been shown to have a positive effect on his or her overall health, possibly enabling the body’s natural defense mechanisms to help stave off cancer.

It’s important for a patient to remain rigorously committed to his or her follow-up care after treatment has concluded, so any signs of recurrence can be addressed quickly. Follow-up appointments may include physical examinations, imaging tests, blood screenings and other standard procedures. By catching a cancer recurrence early, physicians have a wider array of treatment options available for addressing the new cancerous cells.

The anal cancer team within Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program takes a unique collaborative approach to cancer treatment and patient care, bringing together specialists from an assortment of disciplines to continue monitoring the patient’s health, even after the initial treatment has ended. Call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out our new patient registration form to learn more about anal cancer recurrence and how we can help you preserve a positive quality of life. No referral is required.