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Not sure about surgery

Posts: 265
Joined: Aug 2011

Hello friends,
I wanted to ask you all a question. My husband was dx with Stage 4 rectal cancer last June with 5 lesions on his liver. They did chemo and liver resection. Then he had chemo/rads. Then he had a Pet scan which showed 4 new lesions. Instead of doing the rectal surgery they put him back on a different chemo-folfiri which he is still on. He just had a colonoscopy and the doctor said he saw no evidence of the original tumor,only scar tissue. The plan was to do another liver resection in February of 2013 along with the rectal surgery. This seems like a huge surgery to me. Has anyone ever made the choice to not have the rectal surgery? I know they say you have to remove the area where the cancer used to be but I was just wondering if it is really necessary. The doctor who did the colonoscopy said he removed some tissue from the area but he saw no evidence at all of the tumor. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. Thanks and Blessings to all, Teri

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3270
Joined: Jan 2010

You ask if the rectal surgery is really necessary, even though no evidence from tissue sample after chemo.

That is a tough one. I know you and your hubby would like to forego that part of the plan, but the tumor is not the only site which is removed during a surgery. Lymph nodes are also taken.

Has he had a recent CT scan of the pelvis?

Perhaps it is time for a second opinion. We all would hate to have unnecessary surgery, but we also would hate to not do it and have to go back in later because it again became active.

Wishing you both the best possible information to aid in making this decision.

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 158
Joined: Jan 2012

The choice to have the rectal surgery is a very personal one. I have seen some people on the various blogs choose not to have the surgery after chemo/radiation because there were no signs of cancer. This was my situation. My chemo/radiation removed all of the visual signs of the tumor but for me I had to get the whole area cut out to have peace of mind. Cancer cells are sneaky little things. After researching and talking to a lot of people, I had my rectum removed, temp ileostomy for 11 months then just had my reversal surgery. I have learned you can live a normal life without a rectum. Seems crazy but our bodies adapt pretty well to change. Help your husband do all of the research and let him go with his gut instinct and support him all of the way.

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