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Chemo/Radiation??? yes..no?

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2013

Is chemo and radiation really necessary if you are still early in the stages or Rectal Cancer?  I'm just worried about all the side effects and all.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

It is best to get the opinion of the surgeon and/or onc regarding the pros and cons to doing chemo and/or radiation.  If still in doubt get a second opinion.

Once you have that information, it will be the patient's choice as to which course, if any, to follow.

The important thing here is that the patient is 100% sure of the choice made.  There should never be room for "what if I had decided differently", "should I have not done this or that".  There are no guarantees in this game.  We can only arm ourselves with as much knowledge as possible and make informed decisions in the here and now.

Marie who loves kitties


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I would get myself fully informed and then try to make a decision.  It was easy for me, I was looking at death in the very short future at the time and choose chemo (mind you, they did recommend no chemo and go home and enjoy the rest of my life) my time without chemo was predicted at 2 weeks.  My time with chemo was predicted at  4 to 6 months.  I choose the time so I could get the chance to see everyone and get my affairs in order.  However, I'm still here almost 3 years later.  So I can say, I made the right choice in spite of the doctors.

Do keep in mind that chemo's side affects aren't the side affects of horror one used to hear about.

You can look at my blog if you like, I list my personal side affects from the chemo's I have undergone and am undergoing.  And talk to others.

But talking to your docs is the best thing, get a feel for what they really think and recommend, then think about it a bit before deciding.  You have more leeway in your decision.

Best of luck.

Winter Marie

Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

What stage are you?

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Grace, my husband is at a stage 2 at the moment.

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

Talk to your doctors,and get all the information you can,then make your choice.I did both the first time at stage 3,and the only permanant side effect was sterilization from the radiation,the chemo was not much of a problem.Good luck.

HanksMom's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012

My husband is currently undergoing treatment for Rectal cancer.  Radiation and chemo was a must for him because of the location of the tumor....it was as low in the rectum that it could possibly be.  He needed the chemo/radiation to reduce the size of the tumor.  There are so many nerves in that area of the body that it's important that the tumor is reduced as much as possible to avoid possible damage to the nerves that control bladder and sexual function (in a man).  

It's important that you know exactly where the tumor is and the size and get as many opinions as needed.  I did a lot of research and spoke to several people at Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson....and they ALL said that the standard procedure is the chemo/radiation. 

It is ultimately your decision - but keep in mind that a surgeon may not take you on as a patient if you don't follow the protocol that they suggest.  I do hope all goes well regardless of what your decision is!


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