Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Really glad to hear though that this forum is of help to you.
This may not be a popular opinion, but my inclination in general would be that if your staging comes back at I or II, you could probably be well-handled by a competent local oncologist, then go to a major hospital for surgery. If it came back at III or IV, then I’d be heading to MSK to make sure the whole plan (chemo, radiation, surgery) is properly integrated.
However my first impression was that given you’re “only” an hour away from MSK, then I’d be inclined to go anyway. However I’m also conscious an hour may be a lot more inconvenient for some people that others, so I won’t try to make a judgement on that.
Rectal cancer can be slightly more complicated, due to the need to work radiation therapy in with the plan, and also an often more complex resection. 5cm is also getting on the lower side, so sphincter-sparing becomes a priority. In this case it’s definitely better to err on the side of a high-volume cancer centre that uses a multidisciplinary team approach.
Just my $0.02 - best of luck for the staging!
2018 Dx RC, 12cm high
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+. 4 liver mets
pT3N1aM1a Stage IVa. MSS NRAS G13R
CEA: Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0, Mar-20=2.2, May-20=1.9, Jun-20=2.1, Sep-20: 2.1, Dec-20: 2.3, Mar-21=2.5, Jul-21=3.1
11/18 FOLFOX x6
3/19 Liver resection
5/19 25x pelvic radiation; complete met. response
07/19 ULAR w ileo, 1/27 LN+
08/19 Found liver spot
08/19 FOLFOX x1, FOLFOXIRI x1, FOLFIRI x5
12/19 Liver resection
02/20 Ileo reversed
03/20 NED (CT/PET/MRI/scope) - latest scans Jul-21