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After chemoradiation finished, MRI and CT show "something" still there

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

My radiation oncologist did a pelvic and anal exam (my cancer started in my rectum and created a fistula when it went into my vagina) and proclaimed me cancer free.  The followiing week, I had an MRI which showed something smaller than the cancer but in the same area. My doctor said he's not concerned, because he thinks it's "radiation reaction" whatever that is. The CT scan also showed there is something there.  The doctors who read the scans didn't come out and say it was cancer, but they hinted that it could be. Has anyone else had something similar happen, and if so, was it cancer or scar tissue or something else? I'm having a PET scan on Valentine's Day, but I heard that can show a false negative. 

Thanks for any information offered.

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 564
Joined: Jul 2011

Scar tissue for me!

 

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

I'm glad yours was scar tissue and not cancer and I hope I get the same news. Thanks for responding.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

I also showed inflammation with the pet scan my suv was at 4.3.  Inflammation can cause that.  I wish you well. Lori

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

I'm glad yours was just scar tissue. Thanks for the response. What is suv?

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

The Suv is the standard uptake value.  When you have a pet scan they give you glucose before your scan.  Cancer eats sugar so anywhere there is sugar going to a spot they get the uptake value.  Inflammation will cause the suv to go up also.  2 is normal, and i had a 4.3.  

 

Also, the radiaiton continues to work even after you've completed tx, up to 6 months from what I remember.

 

I wish you well, Lori

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

All helpful and good information. Thanks for sharing!

Phoebesnow
Posts: 451
Joined: Apr 2011

Mine is still lighting up 3 years later.  Inflammation.

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

I'm glad yours was just scar tissue. Thanks for the response.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

Evidently it is hard for them to tell. It took several specialists looking at mine before they all finally agreed it was scar tissue. I was sore in that area for a long time too. 

You are on your way to feeling much better, but try to be patient with the stiffness, fatigue, etc. and rest a lot.

Good for you for finishing all your treatment!

Sincerely

Sandy

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

I'm resting well and enjoying sleeping more than ever! I feel really good. Actually, the only times I had any pain or problems were the results of the chemo and radiation. Now, I'm awaiting the return of my hair. It's coming slowly, but it's coming.

Nancy

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 902
Joined: Jun 2013

I did not have anal cancer but rectal cancer. I had the same treatment as you And I was very disappointed when I saw my mri after the treatment, because my cancer looked the same. But when they removed the cancer there was know cancer in it but scar tissue. So most likely you are fine. 

Good luck,

Laz

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

It's good to know others had the same experience with good outcomes.  I'll hold on to that thought and see if it's right for me, too.  Thanks for sharing!

Nancy

aidapigott
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

Hoping everyone is doing okay.  Hoping it's good news for you Nancy!  Please keep us posted.  My friend Gary is battling pancreatic cancer.  He has survived much longer than the doctors thought he would.  In fact after chemo and radiation his tumor shrunk by a few centimeters.  However, his latest CTSCAN on Monday showed the mass on his pancreas grew slightly bigger than it was 4 months ago.  After he completed radiation on October 28th 2013 his tumor shrunk from 4.4 cm X 3.8 cm to 3.8 c.m. X 2.9 c.m.  But now and after 4 months ago it's back to 4.4 cm x 3.8 cm.  He's pretty much symptoms free.  Does anyone know if the larger mass also is an indiation of scar tissue and/or inflammation or is his tumor growing?  The doctors did not give a definite answer but recommended another CATSCAN in 3 months.  Please help us.  Aida

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I'm sorry for your friend, I am not familiar with how the pancreas responds to tx.  Could you post that under the pancreas discussion board or the rare cancer discussion board.  You might get more responses there.  I'm only familiar with anal and lung cancers.  I wish you and your friend well. Lori

magillilnb's picture
magillilnb
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2014

The PET scan showed scar tissue and no cancer!  Because my tumor was so large, I was diagnosed a T4, so my oncologist said I have a 50% chance of recurrence.  I'm trying not to think about that and am concentrating on getting my colostomy reversed.  

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3077
Joined: Jan 2010

Woohoo!  That's wonderful news and I am so very happy for you!  May you continue to be NED and stay on the right side of 50/50 and get that reversal surgery!

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