Para-aortic lymph nodes in CT report....


Hello everyone,

I am sincerely trying to calm my anxiety and not freak out.

My husband has been diagnosed with rectosigmoid-sigmoid cancer. The CT report for “staging” says T3-4a, N2, M0.

However, I’m concerned about a part of the report that mentions, “multiple, prominent para-aortic lymph nodes.”

Is that what makes him N2? Or wouldn’t that make him M1?

So far they told us this is Stage 3 but isn’t this a metastasis? 

I’ve done the search engine on Colon Club for PALN and I’m scaring myself.

What does “multiple PROMINENT nodes” really mean?


  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member

    I have learned not to read the CT reports and to wait until I visit the doctor.  The way they word things can cause anxiety when it is not warranted.  The main audience of the report is the doctor and sometimes they use terms that do not really make sense to the consumer--or quite honestly, are insensitive to the concerns of the consumer.  I spent many sleepless nights over terms in a CT report that were really not meaningful.  Hopefully this will be the case for you as well.  Best of luck.

  • darcher
    darcher Member Posts: 304 Member
    Got told nothing

      I had a CT scan right after the colonoscopy and I don't recall them giving me any type of written documents.  The endoscopic ultrasound is when I got told it was stage 3 something.   Turned out it was just that.  No lymph nodes or anything else but still, stage 3 cancer is scary as hell on it's own.  From what I understand the real staging isn't done until surgery when they can get in there and do pathology on what they find.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 708 Member

    lymph nodes is still considered stage 3. You only move to stage 4 when it spreads to organs (liver, lung etc). My husband was diagnosed stage 3 8 years ago. Was not stage 4 until it moved to his liver in 2014.

    it means just was it say he has many para aortic lymph nodes that more noticeable, brighter etc  it could a virus, infection, or cancer but let the Dr explain it and what he or she thinks   as after looking. Make sure they actually do read the scan themselves, some just read the reports.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
    edited July 2018 #5

    Please stay off the internet and let the doctor interpret this for you.  There are some things that sound scary but aren't but there are things we can read differently with the reports.  If there is lymph node involvement then it is stage 3.  Just wait until you talk to the doctor.  Wishing you well.


  • tanstaafl
    tanstaafl Member Posts: 1,313 Member
    multimodal treatment with continuous improvement

    We decided on a mild, nonstandard immunochemo, for every day use,  based on extra blood tests, pathology, scans  and continuous improvement.  When we had the chance (and necessity), we had the worst para-aortic cluster removed surgically by the head surgeon of the best hospital in the region.  Everybody else knew it wouldn't work...

    We also used a faster acting, oral chemo until the day before and then, the day after successful surgery with wound healing supplements and IV vitamin C, other hard-to-get agreement items.  There are interesting perioperative chemo papers from Japan.