Re: Rectal surgery
Are you sure the tumor is too low to save anything? My rectal tumor was 2-3 cm from the anal verge... EXTREMELY low. They had to do a modified colo-anal pull thru operation, where they resected my rectum, stripped the mucosa in my rectum to the sphincter and stripped the mucosa on the colon and sewed together with a cuff to save my sphincters (we think)... They also removed my lymph nodes, etc. I have a TEMPORARY Ileostomy while the rectum is healing which will be reversed later this week. I am 31 with 2 kids so they told me that they really wanted to try to save my rectum if at all possible. If there were any signs of cancer spread into the sphincters, I authorized an Abdominoperineal Resection (removal of my entire rectum). PLEASE make sure you get the opinion of a colo-rectal surgeon (someone who specializes in colorectal surgeries), or consult with one of the big gun cancer institutions, Memorial Sloan Kettering, etc.
I had an excellent colo-rectal surgeon-- I know many surgeons and their abilities because of my profession in surgical sales--- who painstakingly removed the tumor with a 1.5cm margin on the distal (bottom) side. If they could get that low on me, a male, a good colo-rectal surgeon can definitely get in there for you, a female-- men have more narrow pelvises than females which make rectal surgeries difficult.
Pathology reports were good for tumor margins, but unfortunately I had 6/10 positive lymph nodes post op, even with chemo and radiation pre-op to shrink the tumor. I did Oxiliplatin/5FU/Leucovorin and five weeks of radiation to shrink the tumor pre-op and must do 6 more months of chemo post-op. I was diagnosed as a T3N2 (Stage IIIC).
A colostomy bag is not the worst thing in the world if you have to have it, but please make sure you consider all your options.
I wish you the best of luck. Please keep me posted.
Last edited by CancerDad; 04-18-2004 at 06:44 PM.