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Anyone do post surgery chemo?

Bobs1wife's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Sep 2010

We had post surgery check up today at Mayo in Rochester. My husband at surgery had a T2 tumor removed after Cisplatin/Irinotecan/radiation therapy. One lymph node of 37 had scattered cancer cells remaining. T2N1M0. Oncologists in Omaha and Rochester both say there are no studies that show a documented benefit from post surgery chemotherapy and that the choice really is ours to say that we want it, or not. Has anyone been in this position,what did you decide, and what has been the outcome? Linda

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mlbrooks852's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: Apr 2010

Dale had 3 out of 18 positive lymph nodes. For us the choice was to do chemo. We have finished 5 out of 12 rounds of Folfox. The verdict is yet to be known if it is helpful, but we are certainly hopeful.

paul61's picture
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Joined: Apr 2010


I had the same staging diagnosis that Bob has, T2N1M0. After surgery the pathology report showed cancer cells in one of the thirty lymph nodes removed. My oncologist recommended six rounds of Cisplatin, Epirubicin, and 5 FU.

I followed his recommendation.

I have to admit the chemo was not fun while recovering from Ivor Lewis surgery at the same time; but I made it. I am not sure if it made any difference because the tumor and affected lymph node was removed during surgery and subsequent CT scans have been NED.

However, the recurrence rate for Stage II survivors is 50% in the next two years. I would rather have the peace of mind of knowing I did everything I could to eliminate the cancer.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
6/21/2010 CT Scan NED

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

My husband was Stage 11B and only had the surgury. Now after a year and a half. It is in his chest cavity and possibly his lungs. The surgeon had said it wasn't necessary to have the chemo.
If I knew then what I know now. It may be tough but right now my husband starts the battle with chemo. Really think about it. If I were you I would do it.

K_ann1015's picture
Posts: 555
Joined: Aug 2009

I agree with Paul & William---
It is a very hard choice---but with this type of cancer that tends to easily find it's way to to the lymph & blood or circulatory system--- We decided that we had to at least try to do the post op chemo. The docs did let my dad wait for a number of weeks---but it was tougher than we all thought. But, at least w=we felt we did everything we could----and the oncologist "strongly" recommended it" so how could we say no? How could we take someone with that experience & knowledge and say---'hmmm--- no thanks..."

My dad is doing well right now--post op 12/09 at Duke--has some follow up scans at the end of this month---I pray that they are clear, but at least we know we did all that we could, if that is not the case.

many prayers for you both---this is a situation that no one sees coming...

sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi, Out of my 28 nodes checked, one still showed positive after surgery. I wasn't asked, my oncologist said we'd do more chemo. I had to stop it two weeks into treatment, but because of the scans since I beleive it helped. I'm still showing disease free after two years.
Today ,i found out a friends mother, who had stage 1 Brest cancer two years ago, now has cancer in several places. Her dr. said because of the stage and surgery, she didn't need chemo.
My advice is, be safe, have the chemo.
My prayer is that whatever your decision is, it's the right one for Bob.
Prayers are with you, Sandra

Donna70's picture
Posts: 921
Joined: Aug 2009

I was stage T3N1MO before Ivor Lewis surgery and after surgery one of the lymph nodes removed had cancer. My dr talked to me said the same thing there is no definite proof that post op chemo prevents the spread but said in his opinion did he want to be looking at me a year from then and I had a recurrence. He did not have to say more and I wanted anything done to help stop it. This EC has a terrible habit of coming back when you do everything but a guarantee if you don't do what you can do of coming back. So I opted for the 3 cycles of Taxotere and it was pretty rough and made my healing take a lot longer but it was worth it. Feeling good now. You will see other people had other kinds of chemo for post surgery. My dr thought the Taxotere was what I could tolerate since I had gotten pretty sick before surgery from the radiation and Cisplatin and 5 FU. It just makes sense to try to do what you can to prevent a recurrence. Good luck. take care and prayers for all.

GerryS's picture
Posts: 240
Joined: Aug 2010

I, too am being treated at Mayo. I have been very satisfied with their care. Our daughter was also treated at Mayo in 1985 for Ewings Sarcoma at age 5 and she is now 31 and healthy!
After my surgery in March I underwent 2 rounds of chemo as some cancer cells found in one node. T2N1M0 Chemo is hard but I endured and am hopeful the cells do not return. Good luck to Bob and God Bless .......

Bobs1wife's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Sep 2010

Wow, the majority vote is in, and-YES, ADDITIONAL CHEMO! What all of you are saying confirms what I have been thinking especially with that one lymph node coming back with scattered cells. It just seems so strange to have 2 oncologists say they wouldn't have mentioned, or advised, additional chemotherapy. After inquiring it was still very, "not what they would usually do." Your experiences are so valuable. Thank you for sharing with us. Linda

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Bobs1wife's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Sep 2010

I have another question regarding HER-2 and testing of the tumor. I also inquired at our post op check on Friday about testing of the tumor to see if it would help if we requested post op chemo. We were told that they didn't do that as there is no evidence of a benefit to know. We did have some staining tests, but I believe it was just to confirm that the esophagus tumor was the primary tumor and supported the diagnosis. I know there has been some discussion here, but we are just now trying to get "in-the-know". I would really like to know if you have had experience with testing and HER-2 positive/negative results. Linda

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