mozart13 wrote:Just had MRI and colonoscopy this week. All negative.
It’s been year since I finished chemo/rad.
Not sure if that made much difference, but when they did radiation year ago, they focused on lymph nodes, and nailed it!
Mozart, congrats on your continued NED, and thanks for posting all the interesting research links!
I visited with my surgeon last week and mentioned we had seen recurrences with some W&W patients who didn't have mop-up chemo. She said there is data to show that recurrence rates are indeed higher for those who don't have the chemo, she said there is a lot of activity on the W&W website but only Drs can see it. She also said studies have shown that patients who undergo surgery but elect not do do the chemo also have higher recurrence rates. I believe this means that, no matter the treatment, for rectal cancer patients, a course of chemotherapy will definitely reduce your odds of a recurrence!!!
The reason I had an appointment with my surgeon was that the results of a November MRI were inconclusive, and the expert radiologists were not sure if there had been a significant change in the rectal wall at the former site of my tumor. My surgeon elected to wait a couple of months so that if I did have a recurrence there would be more time for it to show itself.
Fortunately I do not have a recurrence
it seems the scar tissue at the tumor site is softening, in fact my surgeon said if it wasn't for the fact she had marked the site, she would not have been able to find it. Another MRI turned out negative this time, so all is good!!!
I was also examined by my radiation oncologist who confirmed there was no recurrence. He also pulled up the inconclusive MRI on his monitor and showed me how it worked. The screen shows a cross section of your body from front to back, but it's like viewing an old black and white movie with all the various organs and bones being different shades of grey. The Dr can then scroll up and down the body vertically and see how the various organ walls etc change. I can see why they need experts to interpret the images, I was lost almost immediately.
I'm not certain but I think they may have upwards of twenty patients on W&W at this Kaiser facility, so it's just a matter of time before results become available. From other studies I've seen they need five year survivor rates for the studies to be meaningful. I just thank my lucky stars every day that I was fortunate enough to be included in the program and treated by such an outstanding group of professional and caring Doctors.
Peter, age 65 at dx
DX 4 cm x 4 cm very low rectal adenocarcinoma into the sphincters 01/15
Stage III T3 N1 M0 with two suspicious lymph nodes
26 sessions IMRT radiation with 1,000 mg Xeloda twice per day 03/15 to 04/15
Complete clincal response to the chemoradiation...the tumor shrank completely away 06/15
No surgery...Habr-Gama watch and wait protocol instead
Xelox chemotherapy 07/15-12/15
MRI and rectal exam every three months starting 07/15
MRI and rectal exam every six months starting 07/17