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Waiting period between radiation and surgery

Jen1988
Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may you had a wonderful time with family or surrounded by the love of those who care for you.

My husband, Donny finished chemoradiation on October 28 and he is scheduled for surgery on Jan 11 about 10 weeks after. He dx with stage 3 rectal cancer. Would anyone share your experience on how long is the waiting period between chemoradiation and surgery? And if there is anything you did between those time like more chemo...or taking any supplement? The surgeon did not order anything, only wait for the surgery. 

Thank you,

Jenny

lizard44's picture
lizard44
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

Jenny, I was on  neoadjuvant chemo- Folfox plus Avastin, but with no radiation, and  experienced.  There was  significant shrinkage of the tumors according to the CT scan afterwards. I  was told by both the surgeon  and oncologist that they  prefer to delay surgery for at least six weeks because it takes at least six weeks, often longer, for the Avastin to  leave the body.  However, with h me, since I'm stage 4,  and there were several  questionable liver lesions in addition to the definite  cancerous one, they decided to forego surgery for now and try for a more complete response by beginning chemoradiation, which began last week.
  But   I think you said your husband was on 5-FU and radiation, which is different.  From what I've read, in studies  evaluating  different wait times following chemoradiation, " several recent retrospective studies reported that prolonging the interval beyond 8 or even 12 wk may lead to significantly higher rates of tumor downstaging and pathologic complete response. This in turn, according to some reports, may improve overall and disease-free survival, without increasing the surgical difficulty or complications." Source: J Gastrointest Oncol. 2015 Jun; 6(3): E38–E39.

doi:  10.3978/j.issn.2078-6891.2014.106


If you  feel you need more information from the doctor about the delay, ask for  his reasons, and also if  there is anything your husband should be doing in the way of diet, supplements,  lifestyle, etc. I hope your husband does experience further downsizing before surgery. Meanwhile, enjoy this 10 week respite as his body recovers from the  treatment. I hope all goes well.

Grace

Jen1988
Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 2015

Dear Grace, thank you for your respond and information. Doc did say the reason for the 10 wks waiting is for radiation to take more effect.. But He did not tell us to have chemo or anything in between.. Just wondering if anyone doing anything while waiting since i red some had more chemo. Thank you for your kind support.

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I finished my chemo and radiation in March and had the surgery in June. So two months between. It was nice to get back to health before the surgery. I wasn't told to do anything in particular during that time and had gone back to work a few weeks after the chemo and radiation was done. I hope this helps.

Jan

DD3's picture
DD3
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2013

wife's surgeon had her wait 8 weeks between chemo/radiation.  Primarily because the chemo/radiation beat her down.  He wanted her to be stronger for the surgery.  So, we waited with no treatment between the two. Just a lot of protein to help build her strength back up.   I did ask the surgeon could this effect the overall outcome and effectiveness of the treatment.  He said no....  Going on three years NED.  I sure hope he was right.  Hang in there....

Scattom
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2015

hi jenny

i was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in May 2015.  I did 28 days of chemo and radiation.  I had to wait 10 weeks before my surgery so everything could heal and still string my tumor.  I had my surgery on Nov 16 with a temporary islosomy bag.  I will have additional chemo treatments for 12 sessions with my reconnection surgery in 8 months.  

i did great and had no pain after the surgery.  I was in the hospital for 6 days because of leakage problems only.  My cancer responded well to the treatment and I found out yesterday that the surgeon got all of the cancer.  18 lymph nodes were negative.  For me, I was scared but I had a good support system.  I m thankful that everything will get better.

good luck

Jen1988
Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 2015

Thanks so much Jan, DD3, and Scattom for sharing your experience.. 

Would you also let me know whether your surgery was open or robotic? Hubby will have it robotically. 

Scattom: welcome to the site.. Happy to know your surgery was a success and you r healing good.

 

DD3's picture
DD3
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2013

my wife's was open.  The surgeon remove approximately 8 inches of her colon/rectum.  Clean margins.  Took out, I believe 15 lymphnodes of which 6 tested positive.  Ugh.  Stupid lymphnodes. After all was said and done.  The was diagnosed as Stage IIIB...... 

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

strength as possible to prepare for surgery. ( As he probably experienced, the radiation "burn" intensified in the 2-3 weeks after treatment ended). I had lost quite abit of weight and strength during neoadj chemo and rad but regained a bit in the wait from midJuly to Sept 2. Surgery was the oldfashioned way, lasted 7 hours followed about 8 weeks later(I kept putting it off as i didn't feel "ready" for it til onc said-next week)by 9 doses of FOLFOX,tho the last 4 had no oxi(making it FOLF?) You both MUST maintain a positive attitude>>>>>>>>>

Jen1988
Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 2015

Thank you for sharing your experience and (Wife). And you are correct.. Hubby need to gain strength and weight. He lost 10 lbs during chemo/rad, so far only gain back 2 lbs. It's not easy to gain as we eat mostly lowfat and limit sugar.. But  still we keep trying.. We still have 1 more month. Thanks for the advise. 

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