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Pathology results

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2006

Just an update on my husband who had surgery for rectal cancer Dec. 7. It has taken a long time for pathology to come back but we finally got it and it couldn't have been better. Final pathology was T2 NO MX. After months worrying about "suspicious" nodes that the MRI showed this was great news. I have two questions

1. Only 9 lymph nodes were examined, what are your thoughts?

2. We were told that the MRI clearly showed tumor was a T3. The endorectal ultrasound could not determine if it was a T2 or T3. The surgeon said the tumor could have shrunk from the pre-operative radiation and chemo. and was now a T2 but they will never know. Again, your thoughts.

My husband will now have four months of chemo. starting Jan. 15.

Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband went thru something very similar. Chemo/Rad shrank his tumor to the size of smaller than a dime. Also did the chemo after surgery. Just thank God and enjoy the good news.
God Bless,

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

It sounds like your husband's situation is similar to mine. When I was first diagnosed the ultrasound indicated that it was a " deep T2 or T3". The chemoradiation shrunk the tumor greatly and I just had a local excision and no tumor cells were found. However 8 months later it had recurred, next to that area and I had an AP resection with permanent colostomy. There were only 8 nodes removed at that surgery. The reason is the radiation shrinks them. All my nodes were negative but one of the oncologists told me he couldn't accurately stage me due to the first chemoradiation. Thus I did Folfox for 9 cycles and then stopped due to the side effects. So far so good but my first followup scan will be in about 3 months.

Enjoy the good news. Dick

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Ginny,

Enjoy the news first. Congrats that it sounds like the tumors shrunk. I had only 11 nodes tested with one positive. You should ask your surgeon why only 9. I think this should give your hubby a great feeling. Good luck with the chemo and keep us posted.

Lisa F.

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

I had chemoradiation then surgery abd then chemo. They took 24 nodes none had cancer. What was the grade of cancer your husband had on the pathology report. Grade 1 is the most agressive with grade 3 being the least. My tumor was the size of a plum but by the time the chemoradiation was over it was 98% dead. They had trouble finding any active cancer and it was grade 3. There isn't much difference between T2 and T3 but T4 is through the wall with invaded some other local tissue. So T4 can be a great deal more troublesome. I hope it turns out to be T2NOMO. But in truth the treatments can be very close to the same as are recovery. I always thought they like to collect around 14 nodes so nine seems like a small number. Don't get overwhelmed by the staging system since we are all individuals and categories and recovery rates are nice indicators but they don't tell the whole story. Things sound really good for your husband treatments. The chemo will get harder for him and you but the day will come when this will be behind you.

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

I was DX with Stage II NO/MO colon cancer in July 06. They removed 14 lymph nodes all together, which if memory serves correctly, 7 on each side of the tumor.

From what I have read on the internet and from the Mosaic Study, they state that the more lymph nodes taken and examined the better the results.

CONGRATS on NO lymph node activity and spreading.

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