susie0915 wrote:I wonder if I was able to do watch and wait how long it would've taken for those cancer cells to grow or how I would know if they did not get into my blood stream.
Don't get me wrong, I think the watch and wait program has many benefits and can provide patients with such a better quality of life, but do you worry about there still being some cancer left in the tumor area? Is there another test that can pick up cancer cells other than pet scan or sigmoidoscopy I had. Would an endoscopic ultrasound be able to pick up residual cancer cell?
Susie you got valid point.
Curentlly there is no test that will pick up microcells left after chemo/rad. Thats why extra chemo is given after chemo/rad, to wipe out anything left behind, and than close follow up for years.
Surgery or no surgery, there is no quaranty, with surgery, technique is very important, to get every thing out in one piece, not to make wholes in sample, and to obtain clear edges, so I was told by my surgeon.
There has been debate going on for years about cancer cells spreading when touched or cut through.
pCR (pathological complete response) result is the only sure thing, in my opinion,every thing else is up in the air, but that requires surgery to prove it. Lymph nodes involment play major role as prognostic factor.
Even some people that had pCR, still get chemo, all depends on who is taking care of you.
There was study, I posted link earlier where with just 3 extra folfox treatments, cCR went from 25% to 50%, thats huge difference, so probablly down the road the whole approach in treating rectal cancer will change.
Old approach, W&W, was chemo/rad only, new one chemo/rad followed by chemo.
This new approach is part of big trial currently taking place, and by looking at above result, looks very reassuring.