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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can rectal cancer be cured?

Answered by
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Dr. Shoaib Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 9410 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 29 Oct 2015 in Cancer
Question: my sister has just found out she has rectum cancer, the doctor has said its bad its slow growing cancer. colon on top of her rectum it's about 9.5cm he said it was slow growing she has had it for a while he said the ct scan showed spots on liver an limp nos are in larged senting for more test and to a chemo DR he has not said if this will help he just said it will shink the cancer CAN THIS CANCER BE CURED.oh they said it was like a tree leaf like.
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Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
All depends on whether or not metastasis is present

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help. The nodes or soots seen on the liver along with lymph node enlargement indicate a possibility for metastasis (which means spread of cancer from the primary location.

Metastasis is always bad news as it indicates the progression of the cancer into the tertiary or later or final stages. So my response to your question actually depends on whether or not metastasis has been confirmed. If there is metastasis then sadly we can only estimate a certain life expectancy along with sucessful chemotherapy.

Your sister's doctor has not recommended surgery yet which is either because he/she is still waiting to confirm or rule out metastasis. If metastasis is present then there is no point of operating and it is also contraindicated in most cases.

Chemotherapy, based on the individual response can add quantity of life the the patient. I am sorry to hear about your sister, and please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 17 hours later
My sister name is hope yesterday she had a surgery to take another biopsy in the roots of cancer and to enlarge the rectum ,it was almost closed they are sending her Tuesday to talk to chemotherapy Doctor and Wednesday to radiation Doctor then they said they would see us back in office Wednesday afternoon ,I can tell with the way the Doctor is talking it is not good , I just don't know what to do she just had a new baby and has 5 more at home ,ages 12 ,10,7,4,2,and a new baby that looks as if they will grow up with out a mother, and she is a great mom, never has done drugs, smoked, nothing but good I don't understand1 sorry this is to be a question , with it being this bad is it worth her going threw all the chemotherapy,radiation ,how long does it take for this kind of cancer to take a life?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 41 hours later
Brief Answer:
My most sincere apologies for the delay, I am really sorry

Detailed Answer:
Hi ma'am.

I am really sorry for the delay, and before answering your question I would also like you to know that I am here to hear you out, and that does not necessarily mean that you need to mention or ask a question with each reply.

I cannot even begin to imagine how devastating this must be to all of you, and her kids do not even understand the seriousness of things at this point in time. Chemotherapy does lower the quality of life, and that is a fact. Her children as well as everybody around her have to be ready to see her slowly lose control over all her bodily functions, lose a lot of weight and also start looking like someone she was not. Mood swings, and all the other things will also jump in making her seem like a totally different person, and not someone she would voluntarily ever want to be. But chemotherapy does add a few years to life, prolonging the quantity of life but as I said lowering the quality of life.

So chemotherapy is actually completely her and her family members choice, without that we can expect her to leave us much much earlier. Without chemo it can take a few months or even earlier, but with chemo we can expect a few years at the least (approximately 2 years in her case), but with a low standard of life.

I am really sorry for the delay as my profession sometimes makes having a watch totally redundant. Please do not hesitate to write to me anytime, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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