Rectal cancer recurrence gates

Hello all, I'm new to this forum. I was diagnosed with Stage 3B rectal cancer in July 2018. I've been treated at MD Anderson with radiation/LAR/ileostomy/chemo/reversal and am now awaiting my second scan in Dec.

The MD Anderson website has a very good online survival calculator but I'd like more information on what percentage of post-treatment survivors encounter recurrence at each year mark. I've found information that blends both colon and rectal cancer recurrence rates and year gates, but that is not useful as from what I've read colon cancer recurrence happens faster than rectal cancer.

The only legitmate data I've seen was from a 2003 medical paper on rectal cancer that stated of those that will experience recurrence 89% happens by year 5, 98% by year 7, and 100% by year 10.

Does anyone know of more recent data? I just want to know when I can start breathing easier about being out of the woods. Thanks Laughing


  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    edited July 2020 #2

    Welcome to the group and sorry you have to join us, but you have come to a great group that can help you get through this new situation you have found yourself in.  We have been through almost every situation and have talked about everything and anything when it comes to C/R disease. 

    As to your question, everyone is different so there is no graph or chart that can determine the chance of recurrence, nor the rate of survival.  It just isn't out there.  Please don't go looking on the internet for information either as it is outdated and not accurate.

    The best way to remaining cancer free (NED, no evidence of disease) is to make sure you have all the testing done that they ask of you.  You are better off coming here with some questions, plus always asking your doctors of any concerns that you might have.  Come back here often with any questions.

    Wait for your scan in December and see what that shows.  It sounds like you have done everything they are asking of you so that is great. 

    Once again, welcome to the group.  Wishing you the best going forward.


  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,269 Member
    edited July 2020 #3
    Lies, damn lies and statistics

    One of the accepted philosphies on this board seems to be, "I am not a statistic."  And statistics can be misleading for so many reasons (perhaps search some old posts).  With that said, I think it is natural to want to learn something about ones chances.  You might want to do some reseach on pubmed (if you are not doing so already).  There is likely ample reseach on the topic.  Best of luck to you.