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Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

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Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby sandrichelle » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:47 pm

Has anyone here had to have radiation to their entire pelvic region for Colon Cancer POST surgery?
Dx Stage IV CC 02/12-56.1 CEA
Resection/Bye Bye Uterus 02/12
Folfox 03/12-08/12
05/01/12 3 TX CEA-6.5
07/23/12 10 TX CEA-5.0
09/18/12 PET shows 3 suspicious spots CEA -15.5
09/25/12 CEA- 23.8
10/23/12 CEA-51.8 1st of 6 FOLOFIRI
http://www.yeswecansir.com
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby NWgirl » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:45 pm

I wouldn't say my "entire pelvic region", but I did have radiation post surgery.

When I was first diagnosed (via a scope), I was staged as late stage 1, early stage 2. I had tons of diagnostic tests to determine whether I had any lymph node involvement and they all came back showing no lymph nodes were involved. So I went straight to surgery. Unfortunately for me, the pathology revealed 27 of 38 nodes affected with cancer. Bad day for me. So I had 4 rounds of FOLFOX, then radiation/chemo, then 8 more rounds of chemo.

Because the surgery had obviously removed the tumor, the radiation was directed at the field where the tumor had been removed.
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
2012 Colondar Model
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby WorriedWife » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:36 pm

You know..I wonder what makes an oncologist decide/prescribe chemo or radiation? My hubby is stage 2, no lymph node involvement, had surgery, everything is fine now....they want him to do mop up chemo..i wonder why not radiation? Or I wonder if radiation is to shrink tumors only?
Hubby
CC Stg. 2b
Dx 6/12
surgery & reconnect
opted out Folfox
Pet Scan Aug NED
abscess/fistula for over a year
ongoing Dec 2013
Praying for each and every one of you
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby Redtexa5 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:00 am

Normally you don't get radiation for COLON Cancer as the colon is not a stable target, your intestines move so, as it was explained to me, they can't get a stable point to aim their beam at. Also, as long as the cancer is confined to the colon, stage 2 and below, resection of the effected bowel is simple as the colon is basically floating in your abdominal cavity. The rectum, while it is still the colon, is held in place as it passes through the pelvis and the muscles that allow us to control our bowel movements so you have a stable target, and there are many muscles etcetera that need to be cut to remove the affected bowel so typically they want the tumor as small as possible with nice clean margins before they cut to keep the collateral damage to a minimum, so the order is reversed from typical colon cancer treatment with chemo and radiation before surgery and then chemo if needed after. At least that is how the radiation oncologist explained it to me. As far as irradiating the whole pelvis, I have never heard about that, sounds very strange as there is lots of soft tissue there that they usually don't want to irradiate. So speaks the Colon cancer survivor who had radiation and chemo BEFORE they removed the tumor, but I was a very odd case. Take it from me it is not the type of fame you want.
Start of symptoms 9/08
Dx Stage IIIc/IV CC 2/09
T4bNxM0
Colostomy 2/09
Radiation/5FU 3/09-5/09
FOLFOX 6 6/09-8/09
9/09 Tumor removed Colostomy reversed
10/09-1/10 FOLFOX 6
3/10-3/14 NED
2/14 Colonoscopy NED
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby weisssoccermom » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:14 am

worried wife
It's very simple. The colon isn't fixed - it moves and radiating a 'moving target' is difficult. The rectal area, which is what you are probably referring to, is fixed -it isn't constantly moving so yes, it can be radiated. Also, the pelvic region is rich in lymph nodes and to help stop local spread, radiation for rectal cancer is usually rxd for stage II and above. In addition, radiating the colon is rough. Some portions of the colon for the rectal cancer patient get radiated and the collateral damage can be brutal. Radiation is not solely used to shrink a tumor. It is also used, in circumstances where clean margins were not able to be obtained to provide that 'extra' measure of safety - i.e. kill any stray cancer cells. Trust me, if the rad onc doesn't feel your husband needs radiation - be happy.

Redtexa5 - yes entire pelvic radiation is not uncommon. Rectal cancer patients who receive traditional radiation, contrary to popular belief, generally do not have radiation solely aimed at the tumor. The lymph nodes are also radiated and, because of radiation 'scatter', a large portion of the pelvis is also radiated. It's actually quite common for damage to the vaginal area, the bladder as well as portions of the large intestine (and sometimes the small intestine as well). Also want to clarify that no, the rectum is NOT considered part of the colon. It has a definite beginning and end and is classified as such. It is entirely different from the colon. While yes, one reason radiation is used is to shrink the tumor it is by far not the only reason. Studies have concluded that for the rectal cancer patient, radiation significantly improves local recurrences - actually a more important reason that merely shrinking the tumor. In addition, most rectal cancer patients do end up losing most, if not all of their rectum, even when the tumor is higher up so while shrinkage may be of more significance to the low lying rectal cancer patient, it just isn't as important to those patients whose tumor lies higher up. Even in cases where the tumor is nothing more than a scar - generally speaking the entire rectum is removed.
Dx 2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 mths Xeloda only - blood clots 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby WorriedWife » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:26 am

Redtex and Jaynee,

I am amazed at how much you know! Thank you for the answers!! :D
Hubby
CC Stg. 2b
Dx 6/12
surgery & reconnect
opted out Folfox
Pet Scan Aug NED
abscess/fistula for over a year
ongoing Dec 2013
Praying for each and every one of you
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby Amy14760 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:18 am

I also had radiation/Xeloda after surgery. The tumor was very small and all tests only showed only one possible lymph node involved. The surgeon was confident that he could remove the tumor with clean margins and spare me the radiation. As it turned out, pathology report came back with 15 out of 19 lymph nodes involved. At that point the tumor board recommended that radiation be done. I personally had a tough time with radiation because I was not able to stay hydrated. The last 2.5 weeks I got a daily 1 liter drip to get me through to the end. Best of luck to you. Amy
Jun 12: Rectal cancer - Stage IIIC pT2N2 (15/19 pos nodes) - age 49
Jul 12: Resection w/ileostoma
Aug 12: 6 weeks rad w/Xeloda
Sep-Jan 13: FOLFOX - 6 rounds
Jan 13: clean scan
Mar 13: Reversal/Port out
Aug 13: Clean scope
Currently NED
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby prtza » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:49 am

sandrichelle wrote:Has anyone here had to have radiation to their entire pelvic region for Colon Cancer POST surgery?


Yes, I had, for tumour invasion. The lower edge of the treatment field passed through my bladder.
DX CRC 2/29/12 Signet Ring Cell @44 YOA
Left hemicolectomy 3/9/12
T4N2M0 Stage IIIc 10/11 LN
April-June 2012 30 treatments chemoradiation
6 cycles XELOX 7/11/12-11/7/12
12/7/12 NED
Recurrence Jan '13
Starting FOLFIRI 2/20/2013
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby sandrichelle » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:34 pm

Thank you all..for those of you that did have it, would you say it was worse or easier than chemo (FOlFox) that is?
Dx Stage IV CC 02/12-56.1 CEA
Resection/Bye Bye Uterus 02/12
Folfox 03/12-08/12
05/01/12 3 TX CEA-6.5
07/23/12 10 TX CEA-5.0
09/18/12 PET shows 3 suspicious spots CEA -15.5
09/25/12 CEA- 23.8
10/23/12 CEA-51.8 1st of 6 FOLOFIRI
http://www.yeswecansir.com
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby weisssoccermom » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:37 pm

I only had one infusion of oxi - really terrible - so I'm not a good judge. Radiation can be VERY difficult - particularly for the female patient.
The main thing is you MUST KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AND YOU MUST TAKE PRECAUTIONS FROM DAY ONE!!!
It isn't good enough to do something after side effects/symptoms begin. Then it's really too late.
While chemoradiation isn't a walk in the park, it is doable with the knowledge ahead of time to take precautions. Unfortunately too many rad oncs just gloss over the issues or better yet (being sarcastic) avoid them all together. This is an area that I am PASSIONATE about and have worked with the area radiation centers to 'try' and educate them with simple, common sense advice.
Dx 2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 mths Xeloda only - blood clots 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
Perform random acts of kindness
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby NWgirl » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:25 pm

For me, radiation was pure hell. A lot of my pain was inside. FOLFOX was no picnic, but radiation (for me) was worse. Just my experience.
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
2012 Colondar Model
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby SugarBubbie » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:53 pm

radiation was really hard.......please do as weissermom says and get prepared. I thin you can search for all the tips on here. No lotions before radiation, use glyverine soap only, and drink lots of water.
DX Stage II anal cancer 2007 age 57
Radiation 6 weeks
Xeloda/oxilaplatin
DX Breast cancer Jun 2011 Stage 2 no lymph nodes
Taxol 12 weeks FAC 4 tx, 31 radiations
5 year survivor certificate from MDA 2012 for anal cancer
NED for breast cancer Mar 2013
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby prtza » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:12 am

sandrichelle wrote:Thank you all..for those of you that did have it, would you say it was worse or easier than chemo (FOlFox) that is?


For me, radiation was far easier than chemo (XELOX)
DX CRC 2/29/12 Signet Ring Cell @44 YOA
Left hemicolectomy 3/9/12
T4N2M0 Stage IIIc 10/11 LN
April-June 2012 30 treatments chemoradiation
6 cycles XELOX 7/11/12-11/7/12
12/7/12 NED
Recurrence Jan '13
Starting FOLFIRI 2/20/2013
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby Merlin » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:32 pm

I have stage iv colon cancer. Had tumor removed, sigmoid, and since tumor broke through colon wall, radiation to pelvic area was recommended. I laid on a table as radiation was applied at five different angles. Took about 10 minutes. Had it for five weeks, m-f. Also had the 5 fu pump, m-f. The last two weeks I had pretty bad abdominal discomfort. I found kiefer, a liquid yogurt very helpful. I drove myself to all treatments. After that, I had an attempted liver resection in jan '12 to remove the one liver met that showed on scans. Unfortunately, many small ones were found, so none removed.

Had chemo, FOLFIRI, for 6 months, and SIRT spheres to liver during that time. The one tumor that shows up has shrunk 50%. I am having a liver resection this Monday.

Good luck to you.

Lisa
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Re: Radiation Post Chemo and Surgery for Colon Cancer

Postby mich » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:06 pm

my husband finished pelvic radiation 2 months ago.... he had pelvic radiation because of a margin that couldn't be reached after a retroperi lymph node resection. His recent scan was clean and his cea normal at last check! it will be 6 years this January since initial diagnosis:)
He has already beat those internet odds!
Dh DX 1/07 stg 4 age 48
colon & liver resect
1 yr chem
oxy reaction
3yrs NED
3/11 node recur
6 mnts chem no oxy
6/12 node active
7/12 peri node excised
8/12 Rad & chemo
4/13 Lung met
lobe removed
11/2013 chemo
4/17/2014 Nodes
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