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surgery questions

sharonM
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2004

Hello everyone, sounds like alot of positive things are happening on the board for people,which is very encouraging. I was just wondering if any of you had thoughts on a meeting I had with my surgeon. I am due to come off of chemo on August 10. My tumor on my liver is still visible but somewhat smaller, I also have an enlarged lymphnode. Both of these are highly resectable according to my surgeon, but he wants to wait 3 months to make sure there is no "further seeding". If he was to operate in a months time it may be worse for me from the standpoint my immune system would be depleted and if any stray cells were out there they could get a hold and start growing. I have read alot of your stories and this plan seems to be different, less aggressive than others. Any thoughts or opinions you might have would be appreciated. I remember reading about Andrea and how she switched oncologists when they talked about giving her a "break".
Thanks for your support,
Sharon

tmd
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2004

My wife had a liver resection in March 2004. The pet Scans found it ( ceas were 7 ) She had one tumor in left lobe ( remove left lobe) She is back to normal and felling very good. Blood work on 7/22/04 and ceas were 0.05. She takes herbs and vitamins ( we follow Dr. Weil ) We have alot of people praying. We will pray for you. God Bless

TMD

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Just to let you know what I did... I was stage 3 and had pre-op chemo/rad done. I then rested for 6 weeks to allow my body to regain strength to recover for surgery. This was the plan at MD Anderson with the top docs. I don't know about waiting 3 months, but a pause before surgery is what I did.

Best of luck to you. Either way... if you are not sure, go get a second opinion. You can alway email some of the docs at major cancer centers. I emailed at surgeon in LA when I had a thoracotomy questions and he answered me the same day.

There is alway more info out there. Ask your onc for a good MD to get a second opinion. If they aren't OK giving you one - run away fast!

Hang in there! jana

monline
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2004

My Dad had the same decision back in January 2004. He had a 1cm liver spot and rectal cancer.

One surgeon wanted him to wait, like your surgeon. His reasoning was that it sometimes comes up in other places and he would have had the liver surgery, but the cancer could pop up somewhere else anyway, and he would have the liver surgery and not be cured. The liver resection is a very major surgery. My Dad also had another surgeon who said he "would take care of everything at once". My Dad went with the first one, because he is a colorectal specialist. Eight weeks after rectal surgery, a spot came up in his lung. The bad thing about waiting, is that they know there is cancer there and waiting may allow it to spread more.

My Dad has been fortunate in that his liver and lung spots are no longer detectable on scans. The chemo took care of that.

I have no doubt you could find a good surgeon to do it now, if you want that. Maybe, ask your surgeon if waiting three months won't just allow it to grow and spread more. Also, maybe the surgeon would do RFA on the lung now, then a liver resection later, if nothing else comes up.

Good Luck,

Michael.

carmen07
Posts: 120
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Sharon
My husband's had two lesions in liver and just had the right lobe remove. His oncologist and oncologist/surgeon believe resection is the best chance for cure. He had his last chemo (after colon surgery 10/03)
the last week in April, and liver surgery in June.
He is now starting after-chemo in case any micro cancer cells were disturbed during liver surgery.
In order to have the liver surgery, he had cat/scan, colonscopy, Pet scan and chest X-ray and all had to show no cancer. His CEA was also a normal level. They feel it is better to go in and remove the lesions since all test were clear and it is considered a more aggressive approach. He did have swelling around the lymph nodes near the liver which showed in his Pet Scan. During his liver surgery they did further testing with probes and the lymph nodes near liver showed no cancer. So they went ahead with the liver surgery. They feel the body needs to be free of cancer so it will not come back. He started his first treatment 5 weeks after the liver surgery. Don' know if your surgeon's decision is based on your blood work during chemo. My hubby never missed a treatment and his blood counts were normal during his chemo. You may want to go for a second opinion. If you do not have one close by some Cancer Centers will do a written second opinion. We started out at our local hospital which has a new Cancer Center and switch to a larger Cancer Center with specialist in Colon. Hope this helps.

taunya's picture
taunya
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Hi Sharon,
If you have any doubts at all please get a second or even a third opinion. Good physicians have no problem at all with this. Some will encourage you to do it for your own comfort. I trusted my surgeon implicitly. I truly felt like I knew what was going on and what my choices were and what type of decision he would make depending on what he found during the surgery. I can't tell you how important it was for me to have this trusting relationship with the Doc. I will be praying for you. I am sure you will make the right decision for yourself.
Hugs and Good Feelings to You,
Taunya

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