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Para-aortic lymph nodes in CT report....

Posts: 19
Joined: May 2018

Hello everyone,

I am sincerely trying to calm my anxiety and not freak out.

My husband has been diagnosed with rectosigmoid-sigmoid cancer. The CT report for “staging” says T3-4a, N2, M0.

However, I’m concerned about a part of the report that mentions, “multiple, prominent para-aortic lymph nodes.”

Is that what makes him N2? Or wouldn’t that make him M1?

So far they told us this is Stage 3 but isn’t this a metastasis? 

I’ve done the search engine on Colon Club for PALN and I’m scaring myself.

What does “multiple PROMINENT nodes” really mean?

SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1168
Joined: Apr 2017

I have learned not to read the CT reports and to wait until I visit the doctor.  The way they word things can cause anxiety when it is not warranted.  The main audience of the report is the doctor and sometimes they use terms that do not really make sense to the consumer--or quite honestly, are insensitive to the concerns of the consumer.  I spent many sleepless nights over terms in a CT report that were really not meaningful.  Hopefully this will be the case for you as well.  Best of luck.

darcher's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: Jun 2017

  I had a CT scan right after the colonoscopy and I don't recall them giving me any type of written documents.  The endoscopic ultrasound is when I got told it was stage 3 something.   Turned out it was just that.  No lymph nodes or anything else but still, stage 3 cancer is scary as hell on it's own.  From what I understand the real staging isn't done until surgery when they can get in there and do pathology on what they find.

Ruthmomto4's picture
Posts: 683
Joined: May 2013

lymph nodes is still considered stage 3. You only move to stage 4 when it spreads to organs (liver, lung etc). My husband was diagnosed stage 3 8 years ago. Was not stage 4 until it moved to his liver in 2014.

it means just was it say he has many para aortic lymph nodes that more noticeable, brighter etc  it could a virus, infection, or cancer but let the Dr explain it and what he or she thinks   as after looking. Make sure they actually do read the scan themselves, some just read the reports.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Please stay off the internet and let the doctor interpret this for you.  There are some things that sound scary but aren't but there are things we can read differently with the reports.  If there is lymph node involvement then it is stage 3.  Just wait until you talk to the doctor.  Wishing you well.


tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

We decided on a mild, nonstandard immunochemo, for every day use,  based on extra blood tests, pathology, scans  and continuous improvement.  When we had the chance (and necessity), we had the worst para-aortic cluster removed surgically by the head surgeon of the best hospital in the region.  Everybody else knew it wouldn't work...

We also used a faster acting, oral chemo until the day before and then, the day after successful surgery with wound healing supplements and IV vitamin C, other hard-to-get agreement items.  There are interesting perioperative chemo papers from Japan.


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