Stage 2 colon cancer tumor removed - no chemotherapy?

Posted by chris221 @chris221, Jan 31 2:53pm

I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer in Nov. 2018. My oncologist determined I needed no treatments since no cancer was found in the lymph nodes or anywhere else. Also, something about my cancer cells being lazy, non aggressive. I do have to be scanned twice a year and a yearly colonoscopy yearly. My colonoscopy was good this past November other than two small pre cancerous polyps which were removed. However, my January CT scan showed a thickening of my colon under my rib cage. My cancerous tumor was in the lower sigmoid colon. My oncologist seemed not to be very concerned, but scheduled me another scan in 3 months to look at it again. My question is what are the chances of another tumor growing quickly enough that it would return and cause the CT to show thickening only two months after the colonoscopy?? Also my CEA has jumped from 2.6 in June to 3.9 in January. I am awaiting an oral surgeon’s appt to take out two infected wisdom teeth, and was wondering if the could be the cause of my CEA elevation. I know I shouldn’t worry, but the cancer word is scary once I was diagnosed.
Thanks for any opinions.

Hi. I don’t have any answers, but you have some great questions. Three months out from a colon resection, it was cancer. I think about what could happen going forward. So, I think your questions are very relevant. I hope it all goes well for you. Will be checking to see if someone weighs in

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@virgo1952

Hi. I don’t have any answers, but you have some great questions. Three months out from a colon resection, it was cancer. I think about what could happen going forward. So, I think your questions are very relevant. I hope it all goes well for you. Will be checking to see if someone weighs in

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Thanks. I'm probably worried for nothing. My MD said a tumor developing only about 2 and a half months after a clean colonoscopy was remote, but with cancer I'm sure nothing is impossible.

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@virgo1952

Hi. I don’t have any answers, but you have some great questions. Three months out from a colon resection, it was cancer. I think about what could happen going forward. So, I think your questions are very relevant. I hope it all goes well for you. Will be checking to see if someone weighs in

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And I wish you a speedy recovery, and a cancer free future.

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Chris , statistically for stage 2 colon cancer with no lymph nodes affected there is a 10% chance for the cancer to come back within 3 years . i was just watching a webinar today about that . https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/fight/library/gi-asco-2020-recap-webinar/
did your Dr do a circulating tumor DNA around a month after the surgery ? . check the webinar . take care , Hrant

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Hi @chris221, I just want to clarify. You had surgery to remove the stage 2 tumor, right. And then no further treatment was required, i.e., chemo or radiation. Am I reading that right?

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@hrant

Chris , statistically for stage 2 colon cancer with no lymph nodes affected there is a 10% chance for the cancer to come back within 3 years . i was just watching a webinar today about that . https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/fight/library/gi-asco-2020-recap-webinar/
did your Dr do a circulating tumor DNA around a month after the surgery ? . check the webinar . take care , Hrant

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Thank you. And no, I know nothing about a tumor DNA. They were optimistic and saw no benefit for treatments at the time. My oncologist doesn't seem concerned, he said he was leaning toward a bad pic snap with the ct scan causing the thickness. Then today I got my labs and my CEA was 3.09 compared to 2.6 in June. I realize I'm more fortunate than most, and shouldn't worry. It's just anything about the C word scares me.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @chris221, I just want to clarify. You had surgery to remove the stage 2 tumor, right. And then no further treatment was required, i.e., chemo or radiation. Am I reading that right?

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Yes you are right. Thank you for replying.

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@chris221

Thanks. I'm probably worried for nothing. My MD said a tumor developing only about 2 and a half months after a clean colonoscopy was remote, but with cancer I'm sure nothing is impossible.

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Hi Chris. Just read your response. Please don’t think it is just undo worry. I think your questions are legitimate I know I have similar thoughts even though our situations are different. Without going into great detail, I ended up with c-diff ( bacterial infection) after my surgery. I kept emailing my dr until he finally ordered the test which came back positive. If I hadn't advocated for myself, I may have still had it. So, better safe than sorry!!! Just saying……..

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@virgo1952

Hi Chris. Just read your response. Please don’t think it is just undo worry. I think your questions are legitimate I know I have similar thoughts even though our situations are different. Without going into great detail, I ended up with c-diff ( bacterial infection) after my surgery. I kept emailing my dr until he finally ordered the test which came back positive. If I hadn't advocated for myself, I may have still had it. So, better safe than sorry!!! Just saying……..

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Thanks.. I know nothing to do but rely on my oncologist now, since I'm having no symptoms of anything being wrong.Other than the ct showing a little thickening. He ordered another scan in about 3 months. He said if he was actually very concerned he would have ordered another colonoscopy since he said that would be the only way to be 100% certain. He didn't want to put me through another one so soon, since he says the chances of anything coming up within 2 and a half months is very remote. Again, I may worry for nothing, it's just after I had a bad experience with a "thickening colon" it did alarm me some.

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Of course it would. These are issues that most of us arenot educated to deal with on our own. We depend on the expertise of our doctors. I have found it’s a learning for me. In today’s world, we need to learn as much as we can about our bodies and to be proactive in our health and medical needs. Having a place to ask questions and exchange information is great. Nobody needs or should be left to go it alone. No judgement here.

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@virgo1952

Of course it would. These are issues that most of us arenot educated to deal with on our own. We depend on the expertise of our doctors. I have found it’s a learning for me. In today’s world, we need to learn as much as we can about our bodies and to be proactive in our health and medical needs. Having a place to ask questions and exchange information is great. Nobody needs or should be left to go it alone. No judgement here.

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Thanks again.

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Hi @chris221,

I just thought the following information might help allay some of your concerns.

Results from clinical trials are not supportive of using adjuvant chemotherapy for all patients with stage II colon cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). https://www.cancer.net/research-and-advocacy/asco-care-and-treatment-recommendations-patients/adjuvant-chemotherapy-stage-ii-colon-cancer

In stage I colon cancer, surgery to remove the tumor is the only treatment needed. Stage III tumors, which are tumors that have spread to the lymph nodes, are treated with surgery followed by chemotherapy––adjuvant chemotherapy––given after surgery to reduce the risk of a recurrence of the cancer. Stage II disease falls somewhere in between. An estimated 75% of people with stage II colon cancer will be cancer-free 5 years later, without adjuvant chemotherapy, but 25% will not. The debate over which patients are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy is an ongoing one! Here is some detailed information from the American Cancer Society:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/treating/by-stage-colon.html

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Hi Chris. Been weighing in this am after a while getting my world back on track. I know for myself the cancer was centralized in my sigmoid and the 23 lymph nodes the doctor removed were biopsied. They came back clean. I did lose 12+ inches of colon, I required no further treatment (chemo). I will have a colonoscopy at one year (10/2020) and then see what’s up. Barring, I don’t have symptoms that would warrant surgery/treatment 🤞I see you were sent info regarding further treatment and whether it is necessary or advisable. So, wanted to share my experience and what my doctor recommended. Hope you are doing ok. (other than this stuff). sasha

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