Rectal Cancer-What Is Post Surgery Chemo Plan?

Golfgirl10 Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1

My husband was staged with T3, N1 rectal cancer in February. He did six weeks of 5FU chemo with radiation. He had his pelvic lymph nodes removed along with about a foot of colon with the rectum just this week. The frozen margins tested in surgery came back negative for cancer. We won't have the final pathology back for another week.

I was wondering what the post surgery chemo plan will be. Initially we were told to expect 12 rounds of Folfox6 after surgery. If the final pathology comes back showing no cancer, will this alter the chemo plan? Is there a standard post surgery chemo plan if your initial diagnosis was T3, N1? What chemo are other rectal cancer patients doing post surgery?



  • KierstenRx
    KierstenRx Member Posts: 249
    I also had rectal cancer stage III and did the chemo and radiation. I had surgery with 18 inches removed and permanent colostomy. My margins came back clear and lymph nodes clear although the pre-surgery PET scan showed 1-3 lymph nodes probably were affected.
    According to my oncologist he treated me very aggresive due to my young age (32). I did 8 rounds of FOLFOX with Avastin. He felt that was a good amount without getting too much toxicity or sided effects (I did have pretty serious neuropathy after finishing chemo). Anyway treatment plans vary, but don't get discouraged if your husband can't do all 12. Sometimes they will reduce them to 6 or 8 and the results will be fine.
    Best of luck to your husband and you. I will keep you both in my prayers.

  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
    I also had stage 3 rectal cancer (T3, N1). My understanding is that most doctors will recommend post-surgical chemotherapy in this situation -- to wipe out any possible micrometasteses which might be floating around. It seems that FOLFOX with or without additional agents is most commonly recommended. Of course it is up to you and your husband whether to proceed or not. I decided to go for the postsurgical chemo. I was in good shape physically and wanted to be as aggressive as possible. Your doctor(s) should be able to discusss pros and cons with you, and provide scientific evidence if you wish that. Good luck with your decisions and with remaining cancer free.