My cancer was in the colon and I do know that treatment is different. My understanding with rectal is that radiation is first, then surgery. I have also heard it done where chemo was after surgery, maybe before and after surgery? Not sure.
A high CEA now could be due to your primary cancer and really doesn't give an idea of the spread of the cancer. Tests like a CT scan or PET scan give the best idea of lymph node, liver, lung involvement. The colorectal surgeon also will check these areas when they do the surgery.
As I understand it, a CEA test only shows that there is a probability that you have colon or rectal cancer and to follow the effects of treatment(s). It is not used diagnostically either for a primary tumor or metastatic tumors. It is also not very specific because it can be high for several types of cancer... not just colorectal ones.
my name is ed 31 yrs old . went threw chemo radation from last year 08 in dec. to feb 9 of 09. my tumor was really low so radation really hurt me there was a bad burning feel cheymo was not bad though. then had 6 weeks to prepare for surgey.
I had rectal cancer and the first phase of my treatment was to have radiation and chemo. I had 6 weeks of both. I was able to take oral chemo pills at home, and had to go to the hospital daily for radiation treatments. I only had to be at the hospital for about 20 minutes a day and the actual radiation only took about 5 to 10 min from start to finish. For most of the six weeks I felt normal, but starting about the 5th week I began to have diarrhea. I adjusted my diet and took Imodium to manage the diarrhea. The week following the radiation I had burns (like sunburn in the lower region) so I stayed home and rested in bed. For me the entire process was not too bad.
Feb 08-Diagnosis Rectal Cancer, liver mets
Mar-May 08, Xeloda
June 08, Hysterectomy, Bowel Resection, Temp Ileostomy
July-Oct 08, Abscess drain tube surgery
Oct 08-Feb 09, Folfox
Apr 09, Liver resection
June-Sept 09 5FU
Feb 10 Ileo Reversal
43 years old here and diagnosed last March with colon cancer, but very low-bordering on the rectum area. I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and 24/7 chemo with the pump.
Then I had surgery to remove the tumor and about 20" of my colon and most of my rectum, and now am going through 8 cycles of Oxi. 6 down 2 to go, then the reversal.
I think for lower colon cancer, the chemo/radiation is fairly standard. In my case, the radiation didn't shrink the tumor as they had hoped, but it did something because the pain I was having before chemo/radiation stopped, as did the bleeding. But towards the end of the radiation, extreme pain when ever I had a bowel movement, and I have heard that the radiation really messes up your insides...but less than cancer does!
Thank you all,
I know I have a long road ahead of me. I have just started to take laxatives due to the tumor is very painful and blocking normal bowel movements.
On a good note my family kidnapped me and took me to Flagstaff to play in the snow. Not the smartest think since I have my PET tomorrow and wasn't supposed to over exert myself. Well thats me in a nut shell some body tells me no and well....... yes I do.
I have many questions and I'm sure I will be spending a lot of time here.
Again, Thank you!
I am 35 with rectal cancer. It was detected through a colonoscopy and I immediately started treatment. I started with 8 chemo treatments every 2 weeks. Then I was given 3 weeks to recover for surgery. They removed all of my colon and rectum and categorized the cancer as stage 3c. 2 weeks after surgery they started radiation and 5FU chemo for 7 weeks. Then I had 8 more chemo treatments.
Originally my CEA was very high (787) but during treatment and after surgery it continued to fall.
I wish you luck and pray for a successful recovery.
1/15/09 - Colonscopy Biopsy (Stage IIIc Colon Cancer)
1/26/09 - FOLFOX - 5-FU, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, avastin
5/5/09 - Removal of Stage IIIC Colon Cancer Tumor & Permanent Ostomy. 13 lymph nodes removed 12 positive for cancer.
8/6/09 - Started 6 weeks radiation w/5-FU pump
9/21/09 - FOLFOX regimen - 5-FU, leucovorin & oxaliplatin.
10/12/09 - FOLFIRI regimen - 5-FU, leucovorin & irinotecan.
05/07/10 - Stage IV cancer in bones and lymph nodes.