What is the difference between local recurrence and new primary?

My GP said she was sorry to tell me I had a recurrence of the cancer I had in 2003. In fact it’s a new primary two tumours of a different kind of breast cancer grade 2 instead of grade 1.

What I would like to know is - should the two things be grouped together? One is a cell that doesn’t get taken away by previous surgery. The other is a cell which is a new kind of cancer developing in the cells left behind which appeared ok at the time of the first surgery.

I had atypical hyperplasia. that is a risk factor for developing breast cancer. Maybe it’s that that caused my cells to mutate further or maybe it was a marker that my cells were unstable.

I don’t understand enough about cancer. Anyway I am where I am. At least I know the kind of cancer I have now and I can deal with what it is. I don’t want to have a mastectomy but it does remove more cells. It doesn’t reduce the risk of a new primary or recurrence to nil because there’s breast tissue in places you don’t realise in the armpit and near the chest wall that mean no surgeon can take out every bit of breast tissue. 

Writing this for my Benefit really not to try and worry anyone. I am flying off to my nest now. 


Hi Seagulls

Ir does get confusing i agree. I had DCIS in 2012…I then had a recurrence of this in exactly the same spot 6 years later…  only this time the grade was high  ( low grade first time… then in 2020 I got a new primary …this time IDC … all my BCs were ER+ .  I wish you well