Follow up evaluation after surgery for colorectal ...

Follow up evaluation after surgery for colorectal cancer
Created by host on 8/15/2015 5:18:36 AM

About Follow upevaluation after colorectal cancer surgery

 ? Why should there be a postoperative follow up program

Surgery is the most effectivetreatment for colorectal cancer. Evenwhen all visible cancer has been removed, it is possible for cancer cells to bepresent in other areas of the body. These cancer deposits, when very small, areundetectable at the time of surgery, butthey can begin to grow at a later time.The chance of recurrence depends on thecharacteristics of the original cancerand the effectiveness of chemotherapy,if needed, or other follow up treatment.Patients with recurrent cancers- ifdiagnosed early- may benefit, or be cured,by further surgery or othertreatment

Another good reason forpostoperative follow up is to look for newcolon or rectal polyps.Approximately one in five patients who has had coloncancer will develop a newpolyp at a later time in life. It is important todetect and remove thesepolyps before they become cancerous

 ?How long willmy follow up program last

Most recurrent cancers are detectedwithin the first two yearsafter surgery. Therefore, follow up is most frequentduring this period of time.After five years, nearly all cancers that are goingto recur will have done so.Follow up after five years is primarily to detectnew polyps, and can,therefore, be less frequent but advisable for life

 ? What might I expectat my follow up visit

Your doctor will examine youapproximately every two or theremonths for the first two years, and discusesyour progress. A CEA blood test canbe done, as a method of trying to detectrecurrence of cancer. Because this testis not totally reliable, other followup examinations may be advised. Theseexaminations may include flexiblesigmoidoscopy ( an examination of the rectumand lower colon with a flexible,lighted instrument ), colonoscopy (examinationof the entire colon with a longflexible instrument), chest X-rays, andsometimes CT Scans or ultrasound tests

 ? What about my family

Close relatives of patients withcolon and rectal cancer (parents,brothers, sisters, and children) are atincreased risk for the disease. Becauseof this; periodic examination of thelining of the colon, using a colonoscope todetect small polyps, is advised. Ifpolyps are promptly detected and removed,cancers cannot develop. Other factorswhich increase the risk of developingpolyps or cancer include cancer occurringat an early age, and a personalhistory of breast or female genital cancer

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