No, they don't take out the nodes with the excision, unless perhaps one is 'caught' up in the excised specimen. Studies done on thousands of excised specimens have shown that there is a correlation between no node involvement and the response the patient has from chemoradiation. I wish that there was a way that they could just go in and take out the nodes surrounding the rectum but it doesn't work that way. I made a decision for me that worked and, obviously, I am pleased with the results. It isn't a choice or even an option for everyone. There are some studies that indicate that this option is just as viable for a certain subset of patients....problem is how do you identify you fits into that subset?
As for the nodes...well, had my excision come back with anything other than no cancer cells or microscopic cells, I would have had to seriously consider the more radical surgery. I really wanted to avoid that option at all costs...thankfully, I didn't have to worry about it.
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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