Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0343 - Risk of Recurrence

As we enter the month of November, I'm anticipating my first follow up procedure, a colonoscopy at the end of the month by the same surgeon who performed my low anterior resection in late March of this year. A recent press release in the UK claims that the most significant factor in a recurrence of a cancerous tumour in the rectum and for life-expectancy at 5 years after surgery is the quality of the surgery itself. But, in addition, it found that a pre-operative chemo-radiotherapy combined with the best quality surgery could result in less than 1% of patients experiencing cancer recurrence within 5 years of the surgery.

I have every reason to believe that the quality of the surgery performed on me was of high quality. I also believe that the treatment regime recommended to me of preoperative chemo-radiotherapy, surgery, and post-operative chemotherapy was the best, most up-to-date regime possible at the time. Not only that, but my confidence in the recovery recommendations and my followup team is very high.

Whether this means I should consider myself a likely candidate for the less than 1% recurrence rate group or not is obviously something that only time will tell. But it is something worth pinning my hopes to.

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