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Is it necessary to go ahead with the chemo if the cancer is no longer exist?

Missmand4
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi, 

My dad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last May. He went through a surgery follwed by rediation and 12 cycles of Chemo. He had colostromy closure surgery in Feb this year. After that the doc asked for a pet scan and everything came normal in it. There was no sign of cancer in the body. But in his routine check up after 3 months that is in June his CEA count was incresed and was asked to do pet scan again. This time they found a small 1.6cm melignant cyst in his lever. the doc imeediately started 4 cycles of chemo for him. I referred to another doc and he suggested to do RFA. BEfore RFA, he asked to do another pet scan. My dad has already finished his 2 cycles of chemo. we did the scan yesterday and there is no sign of cancer in his lever. 

The dco says that he still has to go through the remaining 2 cycles of chemo even if all the reports are normal. I am very confused. And need help in understnding why he has to go through 2 more chemo cycle when there is nsign of cancer? He has become very waek, tired with 2 cycles. He has lost a lot of hair. He feels fatigue all the time. is having trouble walking as his feet are hurting and feel burning.. Does he still have to go through this?

Is it necessary to complete all 4 cycles of Chemo even when after 2 cycles the cancer is gone from his Lever??

Will appreciate all kind of info and help. 

Thank you...

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1828
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, I have had 3 liver surgeries. Each time they cut out all visible cancer. They had me do "mop up" chemo each time to clean up any rogue cells in theory. The problem is there is the slight chance I didn't need it and there is no way of telling if it is working. In the meantime the body is building up a resistance to the drugs. The "wait and see" approach is becoming more popular. I might be looking at a 4th liver surgery. If that is the case I will NOT do chemo after and take the wait and see approach.

Uour dads situation is a little unique since the 2 rounds chemo seems to have eradicated the nodule. I think there is no harm in doing 2 more rounds especially since it wasnt removed via surgery or RFA. I would suggest talking to his surgeon about possibly doing RFA on the area to be sure. I have heard of people doing that before.

I hope this helps.

Good luck

Missmand4
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Thank a lot for your comment. Will definately consult his doc and will follow his instructions. It's just so hard to watch him suffer. My dad is my strengh and hero and i have always seen him working hard and in good health... 

 

Anyways. thank u once again and good luck to you too...

 

PatchAdams
Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

The liver tumor should have been surgically removed instead of shrunk too small to see.  It's not gone, just too small to register.  Chemo virtually never cures colon cancer. 

You're not going to like these articles, but I think it's very important to be informed. 

 

 

Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer liver metastases between 1990 and 1997 who had their liver met treated with chemotherapy alone had a 5-year overall survival rate of only 9%. In 2010, MD Anderson authors noted that the 5-year overall survival rate of 15% for patients receiving chemotherapy only was the highest ever reported rate for patients whose colorectal cancer liver metastases were treated nonsurgically.

http://archsurg.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/141/5/460

Conclusions  The survival rate following Hepatic Resection of solitary colorectal liver metastasis exceeds 70% at 5 years. 

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3041
Joined: May 2009

Agree they should cut it out. If possible. Liver resection. 

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2322
Joined: Oct 2011

surgery is the primary way to achieve a cure.  Chemo is designed to shrink tumors to the point where surgery is possible (or to gain more time even if surgery is never a possibility).

I'm not sure what I would do in your dad's case.  I guess I would look to get a 2nd opinion, from the most reputable cancer clinic you have in your area (or even in your state...it can really be worth it to take a trip to get more information).

It might be that they will advise you to take the "wait and see" approach that has been mentioned...the tumor could grow back, and then be addressed surgically.  Chemo hasn't worked for me at all, so that is what I've been doing. PET scans every three months (now up to 6 months, as I've been NED for quite a while), with surgeries as needed.

Good luck, and tell your dad we're hoping for the best for him~Ann Alexandria

Missmand4
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Thanks Ann.. Will surely tell him. And hoping that this is it....No more chemo and surgery for him.. crossing my fingers.... I also feel that wait and see is the better option for him now. 

Thank you once again and all the best ..!! 

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