Feb 13, 2014 - 3:57 pm
Thank you all who post on this forum. Very valuable information is provided. This is my first posting.
I was diagnosed with EC (Stage 3) in January 2013. I had my esophagectomy (MIE) in May 2013 with major complications. Because of the compliacations, I subsequently had to have a colonic interposition (a portion of my colon was used to replace the removed esophagus) in December 2013. My recovery is going well so far. I had complete pathologic response from the chemoradiation prior to the colonic interposition and remain cancer free or No Evidence of Disease (NED).
My question to those interested is what follow-up testing are people experiencing in terms of regularly scheduled exams or scans. I was originally informed that I would have CT and/or PET scans quarterly (every 3 months) for the first 2 years, then every 6 months or yearly for years 2 to 5. I was recently told however that my follow up visits will consist of a clinical exam only, and that scans and lab tests will be dictated by any clinical findings during these visits or symptoms that I might report to my oncologist in between visits. It appears to me from postings on this forum that most folks are having regularly scheduled CT and/or PET scans, not just clinical exams. This concerns me because I didn't experience symptoms from EC until it became a serious issue and diagnosed as Stage 3. It seems that regularly scheduled scans would be prudent for early detection of recurrence. I would appreciate reponse from others describing what type of post esophagectomy testing/surveillance they undergoing or what has been recommended by their doctors.
I'm inclined to disagree with my oncologist and request regularly scheduled scans instead of just clinical exams (a doctors visit). However, reputable sources do recommend clinic visits only with imaging tests "as needed" (from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network [NCCN]). "As needed" was not descibed so I'm not sure what that means. Perhaps because of my NED status, that is why my oncologist is recommending only clinic visits. ANY THOUGHTS?
Thank you in advance for your responses.