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WHEN DID YOUR CANCER DISAPPEAR?

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 862
Joined: Jun 2013

Thank you for looking up my post, because this question is really important to me.

-How long after your radiation and chemo treatment did you have your first scan?

-Did this first scan show any cancer left?

-How long after your treatment was the scan that showed no cancer?

Thank you so much?

Laz

jcruz
Posts: 257
Joined: Jan 2013

I had a PET scan 2 months after treatment.  The med onc. wanted it done then and the rad onc. wanted it a month later.  Dueling doctors.  I still had an area of tissue that lit up in the scan, an SUV of 7.1.  It was likely scar tissue and residual radiation but it totally freaked me out that I might still have a tumor.  I had a surgical biopsy done and that's what showed no cancer remaining.  I had another scan in April which showed the scar tissue continuing to shrink with an SUV of 4 I think.  I have another scan scheduled for October, one year after treatment ended.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

I had my first scan just a short 6 weeks after treatment ended, ordered by my med onc against the wishes of my rad onc (who said it would show activity due to radiation still being present and working its magic).  The rad onc was right--the PET lit up like a Christmas tree, which threw me into a panic.  I have had several PET scans since then and also quite a few CT scans.  The PET's always show a slight amount of activity in the anal area, but the reading radiologist always attributes this to inflammation.  I think that's quite common because, let's face it, that is an area of high traffic/high usage!  I don't know how else to phrase it. 

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2012

My Chemo Dr. explained to me that radiation continues to work for quite a while after treatment ends. The Colo Rectal Dr. had a PET Scan scheduled for two months after treatment ended, but the Chemo Dr. talked him into waiting until three months had passed. The scan taken three months after treatment showed no cancer.  

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi. I had no scans until recently. That means I was 2 1/2 yrs. post treatment for this cancer. I was told that the risks of more radiation outweighed the benefits. I had stage 2 anal cancer. I was seen every 8 weeks for dre and alternating scope. I also had colonoscopy.

The only reason I recently had scans, with more to come, is that I had symptoms from my second, unrelated cancer.

eihtak
Posts: 868
Joined: Oct 2011

I would have to check my records to be sure but I think I had a CTscan at 6months but was checked by doc exam at 2-3 months. I know my PET scan was at 1yr at which time they found two tumors in my breast (secretory carcinoma).....this may not have been found without the scan until much later! The anal cancer report came back clear at the time and 2.5 years later remains that way. 

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

My last tx was August 15th. On November 15th I had a pet scan that concluded "no evidence of malignancy" which was good news meaning the cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes was no longer present.  It said "Mild anorectal FDG uptake, probably post treatment inflammatory change."

My Oncologist assured me that a number of experts had reviewed my scans before this conclusion was reached to make sure there was no cancer in that inflammation. I've been clear ever since, with the exception of something on my lung that we are watching.

There is such a high succes rate with this cancer, please try not to worry.

Sincerely,

Sandy

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 862
Joined: Jun 2013

...which is adenocarcinoma and we get the same initial radiation and chemo as anal cancer patients.

What I don't undersrand is why doesn't the surgeon wants to wait 3 months after the radiation since all of you say that according to the radiologist the radiation keeps working for weeks after you stop the treatment and most of you were cancer free at the 3 month mark. The surgeons for rectal cancer patients want to do surgery 6 weeks after radiation while the cancer is still shrinking.

What are your thoughts?

Laz

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Nobody has ever told me I was cancer free. They did say "no evidence of disease at this time". I really don't know about rectal cancer at all. Are you scheduled for surgery soon?

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 862
Joined: Jun 2013

...should be done 6 weeks after the radiation, which is mid September. However every evidence showes that the cancer keeps shrinking for about 12 weeks after the radiation and initial chemo and even become NED. The reason this is critical for me is that it can make a difference between a permanent colostomy or saving the sphincter muscle or even not doing surgery at all. My oncologist wants to start me on an other chemo that would give me more time and shrink the tumor even more. So I think I'll go for that instead of jumping into a surgery that's irreversible.

Laz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

In your situation, I would most likely opt for the same--getting some more chemo to try to shrink the tumor some more, thus avoiding radical surgery.  I hope this plan will work for you.  Please keep us posted.  I wish you all the best!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I can understand your decision to try more chemo. Are you being treated at at a really good cancer hospital? Did you get second opinions? The stakes are so high that only you can make the decision with the best medical advice you can find. It would be really great if the chemo would work. Is your body handling the treatments ok?

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 862
Joined: Jun 2013

The original plan was that I do radiation, Xeloda, surgery then Folfox(IV chemo). But last time my oncologist brought up the idea of why don't we do a few Folfox treatment before surgery so we don't have to do so many after. What gets me worried is that this protocol is used for stage 4 patients and I was told that I'm stage 3. First my surgeon was against getting more chemo (he was ready to cut), but then they talked and he immediately agreed. Is there something they didn't tell me? I'll ask tomorrow when they start the new chemo. I'm ok with more chemo before surgery, because it would shrink my tumor further and protect me from it spreading. I just don't know why they changed their minds.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Laz

pializ
Posts: 284
Joined: Nov 2012

Maybe you should consider getting a second opinion. The price is too high to get it wrong.

Best wishes

Liz

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