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Is Anyone NED Years After T4 tumor?

TheLadySkye's picture
Posts: 195
Joined: Oct 2013

Although I have been diagnosed as Stage II small intestine cancer and have undergone successful resection, I am currently on FOLFOX chemotherapy due to some risk factors for recurrence.  Among those is that my tumor was classified as T4 and I did have an bowel obstruction (though not complete, I don't think.  It was managed and my surgery was not an emergency).  So I have some questions for you super knowledgeable folks since the idea of recurrence scares me an awful lot.

Is it possible to be NED years after a T4 tumor resection?  Does anyone here have that experience?

Why is a bowel obstruction considered a risk factor for recurrence?  I understand if the intestine was perforated, but why would an obstruction itself be challenging in that respect?

Any insights you lovelies could provide would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Seems like there would be a difference in chance for recurrence depending on this.


But in general, I would sat that the fear of recurrence is just very normal, whatever the stage.  Even lower stage cancers can return, so I think almost everyone, once they receive a cancer dx, have this worry.  Imo, the important thing to remember is that you are now "on the radar" so to speak.  You will be getting regular check-ups and your doc will be keeping an eye on things.  If you do have a recurrence, it's very likely it will caught quickly and dealt with before it has a chance to spread.  I personally started at stage 4, had three recurrences, and have been NED for two years, so NED is still a possibility even when the cancer keeps popping up.

I think the passage of time as you remian NED will gradually help to lessen this fear as well.


TheLadySkye's picture
Posts: 195
Joined: Oct 2013

As far as I know, my doctors did not differentiate whether it was T4A or T4B tumor.  I'm not even sure if that tumor designation is applicable given that while I am being treated similarly to colon cancer, my tumor was actually in the small intestine, and perhaps the values are different.  Or perhaps not.  I don't really know.  I just know that the T4 designation was given to the tumor because it invaded the serosa, though thankfully there was no evidence of vascular or perineural invasion, no evidence of lymph node involvement, and no evidence of metastasis during resection and pathology.  However, because it was classified as T4 (Stage 2B) and because I presented with obstruction, they deemed some of the factors "high risk" and so recommended FOLFOX chemotherapy to hopefully eradicate any stray cells.

It's scary.  Between being worried about recurrence, ongoing recovery from the surgery, and how sick I feel during the "on" weeks of chemotherapy, it's been pretty overwhelming.  It amazes me when I come here how optimistic and supportive everyone is when there are days I feel like all I do is cry and be afraid.  You all are pretty darn amazing.

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

everyone is different. Just make sure you keep your appointments and follow up. Recurrence can happen at any stage, but a good attitude and healthy lifestyle can make a big difference. I really hope that cancer will leave your life forever! Smile 

Best wishes!!!


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