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Thread: How well can a ct scan diagnose stage of stomach cancer?

  1. #1
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    How well can a ct scan diagnose stage of stomach cancer?

    My 57 year old father was diagnose with stomach cancer this march and the doctors decided to do a partial gastrectomy. They told me that during this operation they will be able to decide the stage of the cancer by collecting tissue samples and sending to pathologist. Base on the scan they thought they just had one mass to remove. However when they got in they saw black spots everywhere and so it was diagnose as stage iv.

    My dads now doing chemo and its spread to his liver. My question is...base on what I've read on these threads, staging was usually determine through the scan. Was our radiologist and cancer surgeon just not experienced enough to see the stage through the scan? I feel like a complete gastrectomy would have been far better but because that wasn't the original plan the doctors didn't do that.

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    Info may help ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirigo View Post
    My 57 year old father was diagnose with stomach cancer this march and the doctors decided to do a partial gastrectomy. They told me that during this operation they will be able to decide the stage of the cancer by collecting tissue samples and sending to pathologist. Base on the scan they thought they just had one mass to remove. However when they got in they saw black spots everywhere and so it was diagnose as stage iv.

    My dads now doing chemo and its spread to his liver. My question is...base on what I've read on these threads, staging was usually determine through the scan. Was our radiologist and cancer surgeon just not experienced enough to see the stage through the scan? I feel like a complete gastrectomy would have been far better but because that wasn't the original plan the doctors didn't do that.
    My mom had a full gastrectomy in 2011 aged 60 and it was a huge adjustment for her for lifestyle perspective, especially eating. The oncologist wanted her do chemo and radiation, she did it for a week and it was decided she couldn't tolerate it, she lost 12 kilos in two months, so we didn't even do the radiation. Anyway, fast forward to two weeks ago, she now has a tumour on her liver and we have been told she has metastatic cancer and surgery is not an option due to it been too close to the blood vessels and also because of the metastasis factor . She now has the option to do oral chemo, Xeloda, which is less aggressive than intravenous chemo, which we are considering. Hope this helps somewhat ... and all the very best!

  3. #3
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    Investigations do vary from one place to another. Most hospitals would perform CT staging when a cancer has been found on endoscopy. However they are not 100% as they don't pick up very tiny growths that have spread to the lymph nodes. There are other radiological investigations such as PET scans that can sometimes help, but ultimately the stage may be defined at operation. Most surgeons these days would do a staging laparoscopy or keyhole surgery to look in to the abdominal cavity. They can then ascertain if there has been any lymphatic spread and whether there are any metastases in the liver or secondaries as they are sometimes known as.

    The partial gastrectomy is normally used for palliation in this situation, where the tumor lies low in the stomach near or at the exit of the stomach known as the pylorus. A loop of small bowel known as a Roux-en-y is brought up for food to empty in to. A partial gastrectomy can also be used in curative surgery in certain circumstances, although sadly not in your dads case.

    I understand what you are going through as my father had stage IV stomach cancer when he was 66 years of age so this particular cancer is no stranger to me at a personal as well as at a work level.

    Hope this helps and best wishes.

 
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