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Symptoms of recurrence

You are the best person to know if there is something wrong with your body. It is common for women to experience symptoms after treatment for cancer that may not necessarily be related to their cancer or treatment. However, if these symptoms last longer than three weeks then you should contact your GP, someone on your health care team or your hospital.

Knowing the most common symptoms of a possible recurrence of cancer is essential. Most hospital trusts around the UK are able to fast track you to a clinic appointment, so pick up the phone and contact your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or clinic. Your GP can also help with this.

Symptoms to report:

  • Bleeding from your vagina between you periods or after sex
  • Pain after sexual intercourse
  • Discharge from your vagina
  • Pelvic pain – pain in your lower abdomen (tummy)
  • Leg swelling – lymphoedema can also cause leg swelling, but it is important to get any new swelling checked out
  • Bowel/bladder changes – particularly bleeding 
  • Back ache that persists
  • Lumps in the neck
  • Breathlessness/persistent cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain that persists and may cause disturbed sleep.

If you have any concerns it is very important to let your hospital team know about them. Your team will prefer to see you as soon as possible, so don't hesitate to contact them. They can put your mind at rest or order tests to find out what is going on. Don't suffer in silence, this will just make you more anxious. It's better to get it checked.


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Date last updated: 
22 Jul 2016
Date due for review: 
22 Jul 2019
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