There are a number of factors that may make a patient more susceptible to recurrence, among them:
* The size of the tumor. In general, the larger the tumor, the greater the chance of recurrence.
* Whether or not the lymph nodes were involved. Women who had lymph node involvement are more likely to have a recurrence.
* Whether or note the tumor contained certain oncogenes, genes that promote cancerous changes in the body's cells. There are several oncogenes that increase the likelihood of recurrence.
* The higher the tumor's histological grade, the greater the chance of recurrence. A tumor's histological grade refers to the appearance of the cancer cells; the grading scale is 1 to 4. Grade 4 tumors contain very abnormal and rapidly growing cancer cells.
* The higher the nuclear grade. Cancers with a higher nuclear grade are more likely to recur. Nuclear grade, also called proliferative capacity, is the rate at which cancer cells in the tumor divide to form more cells.