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Colorectal cancer that has spread to para aortic lymph nodes

Momofbbcc
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2014

 

 

My dad,77,was diagnosed w/colorectal cancer in 6/13.He did oral chemo & radiation asap,surgery 12/13, IV chemo ended 6/14.He just had a Petscan. Results show a new moderately hypermetabolic left para-aortic lymph node w/ an SUV max of 5.1,about 1 cm.Report says this is highly suspicious.My dad's oncologist was puzzled that if this is in fact cancer why it would spread to this location.The Dr. wants to wait until Dec. & repeat the Petscan & c what it shows. Any help on this would be so appreciated.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6241
Joined: Feb 2009

You didn't say what stage your dad was at diagnosis so if it was in lymph nodes before that could be the reason for the spreading.  I'm sorry to hear of your father's diagnosis and think that redoing a scan in the future is a good idea because that would give a better indication of if this has grown or it was just a unusual spot that has shown up.  I'm not sure about PET because I've not had one.  Sorry you had to join this group, but if you have any other concerns please feel free to post.  Also, please let us know how your dad is doing.

Kim

Momofbbcc
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Kim -

 

Thank you so much for responding.  When my dad was initially diagnosed he was Stage 2, but after his surgery the surgeon reclassified him to Stage 3 because she took out several lymph nodes in the surgical sight (very low in his rectal area).  The oncologist was surprised a lymph node in the para-aortic area showed abnormality as it is far from the surgical sight.  Our family is having a very hard time sitting around and waiting until December to do another Petscan, but not sure if we have any other choice right now.  We are fearful that the cancer will spread.  I am taking my dad to a holistic doctor within the next few weeks with hopes of trying things there. Any words of advice from folks that have been through this would be so appreciated.  We are feeling pretty helpless.  Thank you Kim for your kind words.

 

Momofbbcc

 

 

 

 

 

 

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

so it does happen.  Maybe it's less common with rectal, as the primary is farther away, but really with cancer almost anything can happen.

Can he get a 2nd opinion?  It might be that the "wait and watch" approach is the right one, but I would just want to be sure, given the possibility that the cancer is on the move via the lymphatic system.  Things can change a lot in a few months.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

My wfe had a cluster of para aortic lymph nodes removed several years ago.  Basically no one had wanted to address their removal directly because it is considered an unstoppable metastasis to standard medicine.  Many doctors avoided giving us the the true dimension of the problem and various "bad news", often fast moving.  We had immediately focused on stopping any metastasis process with mild nonstandard adjuvants like cimetidine and others, mostly supplements similar to Life Extension Foundation's recommendations, then lower dose daily oral chemo and IV vitamin C after the initial colon surgery.  Then surgical removal of the para aortic lymph nodes a year later, that was relatively fast recovery.  Both times she had cimetidine and celecoxib during surgery and/or recuperation.

Your dad's age reduces his tolerance for both surgery and chemo.  Any chemo program will need to be mild.  The archives at both CSN and Colon Club have discussions and experience of para aortic lymph nodes.  The part of my wife's current regimen that a standard oncologist could even recognize experimentally would translate as light daily oral chemo without breaks + cimetidine + celecoxib + frequent IV vitamin C + lots of specialized supplements but she is considered unusually successful.  She has not had the problems of standard chemo either.  Supplements for surgery and chemo made a big difference.

 

Momofbbcc
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi -

I just wanted to reach out to you, as I am beating myself up over not pushing further to address my dad's suspicious para aortic lymph node back in September.  My sister & I took him for a second opinion and the second opinion agreed to wait until the repeat Petscan was done in December.  I guess we were hoping it was either going to go away, or just be an inflammation or infection as the doctor's told us it might be.  

Now he has cancer in his liver.  I guess it is probably too late to have them removed, right?  Where dod your wife go for this surgery?

He is started IV chemo tomorrow.  You mentioned light daily coral chemo.  Why?  I am so worried about what is going to happen to him now.

Any help would be so appreciated.

Thanks so much

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

False alarm in that area. They tried to biopsy it and when they got close with the needle they got shy and didn't do it. It was gone in the next 3 scans and they just figured it was a weird shadow. These were highly respected oncologists at fairly impressive institutions doing very expensive procedures. It shows everything is just kind of a guesss and you hope you stumble through having made enough right choices for a good outcome. Find someone you trust in your gut and listen to their advice until you get a little warning bell in your mind, then get a second opinion. If the first doc sees you through that's great, then get them a nice gift : )

Momofbbcc
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2014

My dad just had a Petscan and the cancer has moved to his liver.  We saw his oncologist today, and he wants to start more chemo.  He said surgery or a liver transplant is not an option.  Should we get a 2nd opinion about this?  The chemo regimen would be Fluorouracil or Adrucil, Leucovorin, Irinotecan, and Avastin.  I am taking my dad to see a hollistic doctor tomorrow.  This is such sad news for our family.  He has fought so hard and we were all so hopeful.  Should we go to Sloan in NYC?  We live close enough.  Please help if you can.  Thank you so much.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4886
Joined: Jan 2013

It is devastating when you find out that the Cancer has spread, but its not the end, and you all need to be as hopeful as you were before. 

I don't say that glibly, as this happened to me. I was Stage IIIB then a liver met appears bumping me up to Stage IV.  I cried again, and then got right back on the band wagon and got it taken care of. 

Find out as much as you can about where the tumour or tumours are, why they won't do surgery (transplants are out for Cancer patients), and then make a decision about a second opinoin. And yes, there is nothing wrong with going and getting a second or even third opinon. You want to know that your dad is getting the best care possible. 

We have several members here who can tell you about Sloan. I know they speak very highly of it. 

Good luck. Be sure to visit here and let us help you help your dad through this journey. And DON'T give up hope. 

Sue - Tru

Momofbbcc
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks so much for your replies and messages of hope.

Sue - what treatments did you do after the cancer spread to your liver? 

How much time had passed when it had spread ?  We are so nervous about the time factor.  He had surgery last December.  Then iv chemo from February until July 2014.  The one spot on para aortic lymph node appeared in Sept., and from then until now he has lesions in both his right and left lobes.

Thanks very much.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4886
Joined: Jan 2013

I was very lucky (weird word to use with Cancer) to have only one met in my liver. It was burried deep, and I had it removed via Microwave Thermal Ablation. My Onc has put me on watch, so I have not had any more chemo. 

My tumour appeard nine months after my last chemo and radiation treatments. 

I am sorry that your dad has so many leisions, that makes it hard. But there are others here who have several leisions who are fighting their way through. 

Keep your chin up. We're here for you and your dad. 

Sue - Tru

LindaK.
Posts: 490
Joined: Apr 2013

My husband had colon cancer that spread to his small intestines and then to "distant" lymph nodes which they said were treatable but not curable.  Former oncologist said it was rare.  We switched to a new cancer center, where specialist only in GI cancer said it happens about 20% of the time, so NOT rare.  Many people have success treating the liver and possibly the lymph nodes along with it.  My husband was not successful as his lymph node tumors continued to grow and cause other issues with his body.  He had Folfiri and then Vectibix.

I would suggest a 2nd opinion, it may not differ, but it's good to hear from another group.  Good luck

Linda

1maria
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

Just when i thought i might be able to squeeze thru this......

My PET SCAN has shown 4 or 5 'hot' lymph nodes...... that have a 'significant uptake' of the fdg......  None of the surgeons near  me will touch this and my oncologist has reached out to UPMC for a thorasic surgeon.  I now have to wait 9 more days till Hilman cancer center can see me.  I'm angry, scared, i've cried, i'm pissed.....  and putting the whole family thru this.... AGAIN.... just want to break something or someone.....

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

We used extra blood tests beyond CEA (e.g. CA19-9, ESR, hsCRP with LDH) to track the LNs' progress more frequently, added adjuncts and then worked to establish a working dose for a mild chemo regimen (heavier chemo regimens tend to overrun these tests with inflammation and cell damage).  We did this while we waded through the less able surgeons to find a good one.  In our case, a particular oncological surgeon was more experienced with para-aortic LN and was considered more adept than the MDA trained thoracic surgeon.  He was extremely fast.

You would do well to start a new column for your situation, these old ones are defunct and upset some people. 

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6241
Joined: Feb 2009

This is a very old post.  I'm not sure this person even is on here anymore.  Just would suggest starting a new post.

Kim

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