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Recurrent rectal cancer.....

Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2004

My husband is a patient at MD Anderson. He went in for his ct scans (it has been 18 months since colon resection) The report said that there was an unidentified cluster of nodules in the rectum area that needed to be watched. I was wondering if any of you have had any type of scare like this and it turned out to be nothing malignant. Both of us are thinking that it is a reoccurence. The drs there say that we just have to wait, and they will do ct scans again in 3 months. CEA level is normal, but it always has been. I don't post very much, but I read often. This is really a great site, much hope is given here along with good info....

Thanks guys,

Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

Try not to worry. My husband had something similar one year after surgery. They did a colonoscopy and ultrasound this past February and it was just scar tissue.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, Elaine -

I had a pretty good scare twice - not exactly the same, but certainly enough to ge me thinking gloom and doom for a few days - each time it was a nothingburger. Try not to let your mind build monsters for you. I know that's easy to say - and there is nothing more aggrivating than hearing the doctors say "W have to wait and see if it grows." Why wait to see if it grows?!? Friggin' just cut me open and rip that crap out - even if it isn't something! Well, we didn't do that, but that's where my head was at.

You guys hang tough and focus on enjoying each other and the summer.


- SpongeBob

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Have they not suggested a PET scan? That is what they did for my husband when nodules showed up in liver as a result of CT scan. The PET would indicate if there was malignancy. To wait 3 months would make me a nervous wreck!

All the best,


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4837
Joined: May 2005

I have some nodules now in my lung(s). I had a colon resection in sept 04, plus 60% of liver removed. Doing well, feel good, but I had a PET scan to see what the story was on the things in my lungs and the scan was inconclusive. I thought it was going to give me information one way or another, but it didn't. I have to wait another month or so for another CT scan to find out. So, I guess my point is that the PET scan might not give accurate info.

Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi Elaine,
My husband is in a similar situation as yours. He is 12 months past surgery and his recent CT showed something at the resection site that is most likely scar tissue. Colonoscopy was fine and CEA is .5. He will be watched too with a follow up CT scan in 6 months. We aren't really thinking much about it right now since his oncologists didn't seem to be concerned. Try not to worry. It's probably scar tissue.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I guess I would take some comfort in the fact that your medical team wants to "wait and see". It seems to me that if they were very suspicious, they would be taking a more aggressive approach. I recently had a recurrence (in my lung), and my doctors moved so fast (PET scan, biopsy1, biopsy2, meeting with thoracic surgeon) that my head was spinning.

That being said, the waiting can be excrutiating....You are in my thoughts....

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