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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.

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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