- the general surgeon will deliver pathology results. Shouldn’t an oncologist be involved?
When the surgery is done and you are home, the surgeon refer you to an oncologist if needed.
- pre-op she asked general surgeon how many lymph nodes would be removed. He said he’d know when he got in. Does this make sense? I thought # of lymph nodes removed was largely determined by clinical staging
Staging is determine after surgery and pathology. The surgeon remove the colon and surround area. The pathologist go into the tissues to determine how lymph nodes removed and have cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/staged.html
- post op surgeon said he saw no cancer spread during surgery when looking with the naked eye. Is his visual inspection relevant? Would any cancer specialist reassure a patient because he couldn’t “SEE” more cancer?
Surgeons remove what they can see. They want to get in and out and not stay too long. A pathologist and staging will determine if there are any likelihood of cancer cells left. If there are positive lymph nodes with cancer, then an oncologist will provide a recommendation of drugs/chemo and how much/cycles base on patient and their health.
-She was told she would receive a pet scan after resectioning to see if it has spread. Why wouldn’t they want to know this prior to resectioning?
There might not be any detectable at the moment. After surgery, if the lymph node has cancer then it can spread to other location.
You can request to read the pathology report and surgery report. It can give you an insight information of the cancer size, how much of colon removed,..etc.