I'm worried my cancer will come back

It’s really common to worry that your cancer will come back after treatment has finished. If you’re in remission, you might have lots of questions about this. Read more about the risks of cancer coming back, and who to talk to if you’re concerned.

  • Lots of people worry about their cancer returning
  • It’s not easy to say for sure if it will or not
  • The longer most cancers have stayed away, the less likely it is that they’ll come back.

Will my cancer come back?

When you don’t have any signs and symptoms of cancer anymore it’s called being ‘in remission’. 

‘Will my cancer come back?’ is usually one of the first questions people ask when they find out their cancer is in remission, and it can be a difficult one to cope with.

Some people even struggle to make plans or to enjoy life fully because they’re worried cancer might come back.

The truth is, it’s not an easy one to answer.

You might find your doctors and nurses are reluctant to say that your cancer is ‘cured’ because cancers can come back in the same place or somewhere different.

The good news is that, for most cancers, the more time passes, the less likely it is that cancer will come back. But if you are worried, don’t try and hide your fears.

There’s no doubt that living with uncertainty can be tough, and your parents and loved ones will probably feel the same way. But it does usually get easier. And while you’ll never completely forget having cancer, it’s likely you will think about it less and less as time goes by.

Who to talk to if you’re worried about cancer coming back

Your hospital team aren’t just there for you during treatment; it can really help to talk to them afterwards, too. They may be able to arrange for you to talk to a psychologist or counsellor who’ll be able to suggest ways of managing any anxieties you have. This can be especially handy if your worries about cancer coming back are getting in the way of you living your life. 

Your parents and other loved ones might also value being able to talk through some of their worries with someone on your support team. 

It might also help to speak to other young people who’ve had cancer about how they deal with the uncertainty. Ask your Youth Support Coordinator or nurse about any local support. 

You could also try speaking to other professionals who can support you, like a clinical psychologist or counsellor. They will help you find ways to deal with your fears and anxieties. You can ask your care team how you can get access to this support.