View Full Version : PLEASE. Advice on Chemo after clean margins

09-16-2004, 07:34 AM
:confused: Hi Everyone,
Hope you are all doing well. I am in need of information please, so if any of you have been in this situation, or know someone who has.. please reply.
My mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer 1 month ago. Due to her hisory of ulcerative colitis, the docotr said he would be doing her an injustice by not removing ALL her parts becase the risk of it spreading would be very high. She had surgery last Wednesday, (an ileostomy) had her anuus, colon, rectum, ovaries removed, she now needs to use an appliance to relieve herself (a bag on her belly).
Anyway, she came home from the hospital yesterday, and she is truly doing great, her pathology came back clean, no lymph node involvement, and no spreading as far as they can see. This is where I need the advice. The doctor told her that she should consider "Preventative Chemo & Radiation" 6 months of it, statistics show that your chances of never getting it again are 15% higher, however they removed everthing! Has anyone here ever been in her shoes? did you opt for the chemo & radiation or not? How are you doing now?
Thanks in advance for any insight.

West Coast Girl
09-16-2004, 09:51 AM
I was diagonosed with rectal cancer in April 03. Fortunately it was a very small mass - not polyp - very low inthe rectum. I was given a temporary loop ileo as my surgeon thought he could reconnect me. Unfortunately the resected area was reluctant to heal properly so 6 months later I had the ileo changed to a permanent colostomy. During this surgery the rectum was removed and my anus was stapled shut from the inside (my request). Really not a big deal as I am cancer free! I also had clean margins and no lymph involvement. My oncologist said that further treatment was not necessary. Now all I'm requuired to do is to have a colonoscopy every 3 years, CEA level done every 3 months and my GP will monitor whats left of the anal area for any changes. I feel if chemo can be avoided it's a good thing as it spares damage to the healthy areas of the body. Radiation also can cause big problems down the road. My doctor feels my mass was caused by radiation I received for uterine cancer 30 years ago! Good luck to your Mom!

09-24-2004, 06:27 PM
Thanks West Coast Girl,
Does anyone else have experience with this? My mom is having a very hard time deciding if she should take the chemo & radiation. Anyone with this experience please reply.

09-25-2004, 03:52 AM
hi everyone

after reading your post about whether to have the extra treatment or not, i tried to remember the stuff that the docs said to me and my husband regarding this. He had anterior bowel resection, 3 months chemo, liver resection. At this point the docs said that even though they were reasonably confident of having removed all the primary tumor and that the chemo "should" have killed off everything else, the preferred to use the radiotherapy on his pelvic area. They were concerned that cells would have migrated during the original surgery. I am pretty sure that they said the cells could continue growing and affect his pelvic area (bones/bladder). Anyhow he did have the extra treatment and is clear so far.
He was diag. at stage 4, lymphs affected, spread to liver and primary tumor had invaded bladder.

Good luck

p.s. wish us luck, he has another check up with liver man later this week but we are not expecting anything bad.

09-25-2004, 10:14 PM
My husband was dx with r/c Oct, 2003. Had rad/chemo for 25 treatments, then surgery and just finished his four months of chemo after surgery. Blood work always good and no signs of spreading on ultra sound or CT scan before surgery. We both felt the chemo after was the right thing for us. We both feel better knowing that any cancer cells that might has spread during surgery would be taken care of with the chemo.
I also believe that the chemo after surgery can sometimes just give you peace of mind.
God Bless,
Hope this helps.