Standard follow-up for Stage II

Patrusha Member Posts: 487
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all. I skipped my chemo yesterday and will be talking to my oncs next Friday about quitting altogether. When I asked my onc what the follow-up care would be, I half expected he would recommend a colonoscopy and Cat scan in January, which would be six months after my diagnosis and surgery. But he said, no, those tests would be done in July, a year after diagnosis and surgery.

That makes me a little uncomfortable but he insists it is the usual recommended plan of action for Stage II and even Stage III patients. And yet, there are so many here who seem to have follow-up colonoscopies and scans at three months and six months following surgery. Am I wrong here? What am I missing?

I go to a major comprehensive cancer center.... but I just gotta wonder.....


  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    Stage II here, and my three doctors (GI, chemo, radiation) are all in agreement that standard follow up for me is colonoscopy and CT scan one year out (plus blood work every one or two months). But I don't understand much at all about variation in treatments corresponding to subtypes of stage II.

  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
    Hi Pat -

    Not sure about Stage II specific treatment. But even at Stage IV, my oncologist only wants a colonsocopy once a year (and my GI doc believes that is too frequent - he wanted to wait 2 years at first and now wants to go 3 - an argument between him and my oncologist - but not until next November rolls around). If they didn't get all the way through with your colonsocopy at diagnosis, then of course you would want want to complete the evaluation.

    Standard Stage III involves CT scans every 3 months for a couple of years - at least that is what my oncologist says. Being Stage IV and NED I now have CT and PET scans every 3 months - that certainly is not the recommendation for Stage II. Maybe if you are nervous, you can convince your doc to check things out at 6 months for the first couple of years.

    Take care,

    P.S. Good luck with the "no chemo" conversation.
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    Hi Pat,
    I had a scope at 6mos but only because the original one did not get past the cancer. I had a scan every year as well as a chest xray(that was for st3).Ron.
  • Russell05
    Russell05 Member Posts: 60
    Hi Pat
    I was stage 3 and had follow up w/ oncol. every 3 months for blood work and colonospy every 6 months for 2 years then after that I will go to once a year.
    Yet I must addmit they have found polops each time I have had mine, maybe thats the reason for them being so frequent. But as I remember that was the plan anyway.
    I hope this helps. And dont worry all will be ok :)
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
    All doctors seem to have different wasys of doing followup.

    I was stage 3 and had cat scans and bloodwork every 3 mos. for two years and yearly colonoscopies. I am now having scan every 6 months. A whole year is a long time to wait. I would ask for at least 6 months scans.

  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Stage III rectal here (but wierd...NOT 'normal' adenocarcinoma...sigh). Colonoscopy each year, starting one year post, for the next 3 years...then, well, my gastro said "Kathi, do you forget you had cancer TWICE in 19 months???"...
    I have 3 month onc checkups with bloodwork, but my onc believes that if I am not presenting with anything, all is well.
    BUT I had non-polypar rectal cancer...never had a polyp.

    Hugs, Kathi
  • HowardJ
    HowardJ Member Posts: 474

    I'm stage II. Had colonoscopy and CT at one year post diagnosis/surgery. Was to have CT at two years but had it a few months early (along with a PET) because of some symptome I was having (all clear). Also being followed with exam, blood work, CEA every 4 months. Plan is to go to 6 monthly visits after two years (coming up later this month), then re-do the colonoscopy next year (3 years post diagnosis, 2 years from last scope).

    Here's a good summary of the ASCO recommendations:

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  • JADot
    JADot Member Posts: 709 Member
    Stage II here. Was told to have a colonoscopy 1 year after diagnosis, blood work every 3 months and PET scan every year. I asked for PET scan every 6 months.

    Here's the thing - just ask them for what you want, and at the frequency that you want. Then make sure to get pre-authorization with your insurance co. before the procedure. There's no reason why you have to be scared and guessing.

    Good luck!

  • nudgie
    nudgie Member Posts: 1,478 Member
    I am also a Stage II NO/MO and stopped my FLOFOX regimen after 6 treatments out of 12. Made an appt with Onc Doc to discuss next steps. He is what my Onc Doc tole me:

    First, I will have a colonoscopy before reconnecting my colon. Then will have 2nd surgery to reconnect colon. CT scan sometime after surgery and then a colonoscopy 6 months after 2nd surgery then see my Onc Doc every 3-6 months for blood work and CT scans for the next 5-years. I hope this helps.