Lymph nodes in bowel wall - to remove or not remove?
13/7 - Thanks everyone for helpful and thoughtful commits. Much appreciated.
Hi everyone, I'm going in for rectal cancer surgery next week and have a question for anyone who may have had a choice to make on whether to remove a lymph node in the bowel wall that may or may not be cancerous. After being diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer in Jan this year my tumour and 2 of the 3 inflated lymph nodes in the bowel wall responded well to 5 weeks' chemo-radiotherapy in March/earl April, but my multidisciplinary team are concerned about one lymph node which hasn't responded to the treatment, and actually seems to have grown slightly since the original scans in Jan/Feb. The team's recommendation is to remove this node whilst removing the rectum where the remains of the tumour are, however this makes future sexual function and continence more likely to be problematic. It feels like a classic Catch 22, as they won't know if the 'rogue node' is cancerous or not until they remove it and examine it. I'd be very interested to hear from anyone else who is or has been in this position, and how they reached a decision on how to proceed. My surgeon was clearly on the fence, but others in the MDT had clearly recommended going for the node in order to maximise a positive medical (as opposed to future quality of life) outcome! Thanks. Jeff, Edinburgh