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PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis.
I suggest you speak with your oncologist for the best information for your particular situation. This is all med-speak for the staging of your cancer. The T4a is one thing, the N2b another. Do yourself a favor and don't take the statistics you may find too seriously. It's a major generalization and they can be misleading (often in a bad way)
I don't want to give you misleading or incorrect information. I think the T4a has to do with whether it's metastisized (spread) and the N2b has to do with lymph node involvement.
The best advice I can give is to make sure you are getting the best possible care. Get a second opinion. Find out what options are available. Try to get someone who can go to Dr appointments with you to take notes, provide support, etc.

Cancer is serious BUT many are doing well and either living with or beating it.

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

I am almost a year out from surgery and I'm still figuring out all those crazy codes. I took my pathology report and googled everything. On one hand it helped me understand on the other it confused me and scared the pee out of me! I agree with previous post talk with your oncologist if in doubt get second opinion, it is your cancer your treatment your life. Ask questions . Take someone with you to help you remember, start a notebook to put all medical / treatment information, keep a list of questions as you think of them, My son bought me an IPAD so I would have something to do while I was taking my treatments it is my mobile cancer central. Keep a journal,

Try to stay positive, be proactive, be informed and cry when you need too! But don't forget to laugh!

Good luck to you and keep us posted, I've not been on here long but it has been a blessing to me!


Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2010

This is another website - a forum and a very valuable resource.


The very first topic is "terminology" and it explains all words you are going to be hearing in the near future including all the staging terminology (what you referenced above).

Both this website and the Colon club one are great for going online and asking for advice or questions.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

Sharon, Talk to your oncologist and take notes. I also asked and got pictures. I was Dx on 1/13/12, hemicolectomy on 1/31/12 and I have completed chemo #3 of 12. Ask until you know every aspect and it make sense to you word for word. Do not Google as each case is different and you cannot trust the info. Make sure you have a great relationship with your Onco dr and you are comfortable with him/her. Remember alot of people are getting through this every day. Gather your thoughts together and talk to your Dr. Best of luck - this is a fight you can win!

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome to the Board. If you go to American Cancer Society home page under "Learn About Cancer" Type in the box How is colorectal cancer staged and it will come up with an explanation what the T4AN2B is. It will explain what each letter or number means.

What did your doctor tell you?

Take care and don't panic and come back with any questions you may have.


joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

One of the first things i learned from everyone on this web site and others... is to "take control, and ask lots of questions".

i also found that many web sites will definately freak you out... be careful on the information you gather, and be sure to be able to process the info and know that EVERY cancer patient is different.

These Oncologists never really know anything to 100% certainty... each case is different.

I have found the info on www.cancer.net to be pretty factual, and my oncologist encouraged me to make sure i am getting the "right info at the right time". He also said to call him or email him with questions... and to make an appointment to talk anytime.
Not sure all onc's are like this... but i'm so thankful that my team of 4 docs are an email away. My onc also has a physicians assistant and i think she is smarter than the oncologist... and lastly, Nurses are there for you. when you are getting treatments... strike up a conversation and ask questions to them.

tell them how you feel... complain to them, and they will definately process the information to your benefit.

i had such nausia and vomiteitn during my 4th - 6th week of chemo treatments, i complained every weeek to the nurses... and they ecouraged the onc to add some additional premeds... it worked. Haven't been sick since then. I'm 14 weeks in with 10 weeks to go during this round of chemo.

don't be affraid to push your docs and nurses... they don't want you to become depress, scared or fearful. You need to be as relaxed and have LOW Stress to beat this... ask questions, laugh at some of the answers, and be the boss.

my best to you.


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