surgery after radiation /chemo

betty Member Posts: 2

Information anyone?..Husband has a tumor in his colon/rectal ...Dr's have done six weeks of radiation with chemo..In April 2016...Cat scan showed only one tumor low in colon ..with no lymph nodes involved...Although it has taken a toil on my hubby at 75 years young hehas had only small amounts of side effects..Blood sugar increased, feet swollen, dry mouth..We are blessed ...My question is.".Does anyone know the estimate time before the surgery will be done to remove his tumor?" One doctor says wait about 4weeks before a catscan again related to swelling in the area radiated..Another said as soon as possible because the tumor just needed to be made smaller to remove it related to its location...Shouldn't a catscan show this one way or another?...Anyone got any experiences ?...My husband could use the time to gain strength however, ?I am concerned about this thing coming thoughthe wall of his colon into the lump nodes..What have the ppl that have had this tumors experiened ?...Sooner or later surgery?


  • betty
    betty Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2016 #2

    We see the doctor again in two days..Ty

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Hello Betty

    I cannot help, as I had surgery before my chemo and radiation. 

    I know there are several folks here that have gone the same route as your husband, and I'm sure someone will be along soon. 

    The forum can run very slow sometimes, so fingers crossed that someone can help you before the appointment. 

    Until then, I wish you all the best in the decision made. It is an important one, and very frustrating when you get two different opinons from the professionals. 

    Normally tumours in the colon are slow growing, so if they have shrunk it and radiated it well, I wouild say that waiting for a little recovery time would not hurt. That, of course is just my opinion. I do understand how one would want it taken care of immedietely, though. 


  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
    edited June 2016 #4
    Waiting time

    I was 77 when I had my surgery.  The Dr. gave me a 6 week rest between ending chemo/radiation and the surgery.  

    Since no lymph nodes were involved in my case either, the surgeon said I didn't need any more chemo. a colonoscopy 10 months later showed me NED (no evedence of disease).  I have been NED ever since.  Just turned 84!!!Good luck to you and your husband.

  • BillO60
    BillO60 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2016 #5
    Wait Time

    I'm a bit younger (61).  The surgeon gave me an 8 week recovery period before the surgery. That had alot to do with needing to schedule two separate surgeons to perform the surgery.  The radiation/oncology folks and the surgeon told me that 6 weeks was a minimum. 

    I was in a hurry to get the surgery over with but, as it was explained to me, while the radiation is focused on the tumor it also can cause damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.  The surgeon wanted to make sure that the area had healed enough so that when they went in to remove the tumor the surrounding tissue would hold together. 

    The way they explained it (in really basic terms) the goal of the radiation is to turn the tumor to mush and shrink it so they can reduce the amount of good tissue (that surrounds the tumor) they need to remove.  Ideally, the tumor is not growing and if an earlier biopsy did not show any lymph node involvement then it would be surprising that any would occur during the radiation/chemo therapy or during the recovery phase.  Even though your husband is not going in for radiation treatment, the radiation is still working on the tumor and will for several weeks.  That's one of the main reasons for the recovery time. 

    Also, the chemo can reduce the bodies immune response to infection and taking time to recover and rebuild the immune system helps to avoid any complications after surgery.

    So, the recovery period is really important before surgery. 

    The CT scan will give the surgeon an idea of how much the tumor has, hopefully, shrunk. Since the radiation is still working, doing the CT scan closer to surgery will give the surgeon a better idea of how effective the therapy was.

    Hope that helps and I wish you and your husband well.


  • swimmer22
    swimmer22 Member Posts: 60
    I waited 9 weeks after-- my

    I waited 9 weeks after-- my doctor indicated that radiation continues to work 2 months post last treatment. I was fortunate and had a complete response to the radiation treatment with surgery to remove scar tumor. Best of luck to your husband.

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    edited June 2016 #7

    Chemo  and radiation continue to affect the body even after last treatment. 

    From what has been shared here, it seems that there is usually at least a 4 week wait time.  If done too soon can cause issues for healing of surgical sites.

    Wishing you and hubby the best.

    Marie who loves kitties