Dr. Paty on High-Risk Period for Rectal Tumor Regrowth

Philip B. Paty, MD
Published: Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016


Philip B. Paty, MD, surgeon, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the high-risk period for rectal tumor regrowth in patients.

The high-risk period for regrowth of the tumor is the first 18 months following treatment, Paty explains. In this window, most practitioners who are conducting the "watch-and-wait" approach are doing so with patients in 3- to 4-month intervals. This would include a digital exam with a flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy, careful examination of the rectum and tumor bed, and any scarring. The clinical examination is supplemented by cross-sectional imaging. High-resolution MRI is the optimal technique to use, especially when assessing the lymph nodes.

After the 2-year period, the risk of local cancer regrowth drops significantly, he adds, and patients are then examined at 6-month intervals. Currently, most researchers believe that patients should continue to be assessed annually for the remainder of their lives.
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Philip B. Paty, MD, surgeon, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the high-risk period for rectal tumor regrowth in patients.

The high-risk period for regrowth of the tumor is the first 18 months following treatment, Paty explains. In this window, most practitioners who are conducting the "watch-and-wait" approach are doing so with patients in 3- to 4-month intervals. This would include a digital exam with a flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy, careful examination of the rectum and tumor bed, and any scarring. The clinical examination is supplemented by cross-sectional imaging. High-resolution MRI is the optimal technique to use, especially when assessing the lymph nodes.

After the 2-year period, the risk of local cancer regrowth drops significantly, he adds, and patients are then examined at 6-month intervals. Currently, most researchers believe that patients should continue to be assessed annually for the remainder of their lives.



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