Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


What next? Confused about lymph node.

I have added this to nurses section too but thought I would add in here just in case anyone had any thoughts or knowledge etc. Thank k you!

Good morning!
Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide.
My mum had surgery in September to remove a rectal tumour (successfully) and is recovering well and currently on her second round of chemo.
However, two lymph nodes prior to the surgery had stood out as enlarged and needed to be removed but one was outside the surgical plain so is still there (it can’t be removed). 22 nodes were also removed with nearly half being positive.
This remaining node, (she has still not had follow up scans), could it have been treated by the 5 days of radiotherapy she had prior to surgery or by her chemo now? As it is inoperable, can it in any way be treated if it is cancerous? My mums colorectal nurse is fab and so helpful but she tries to keep me positive by not ‘racing ahead’. I understand this completely but I don’t want definite answers - just some more knowledge. It’s my way, I like knowing and I feel like as I’m my mums main support and eldest child with a very young family, I need to know potential options. I like to feel prepared for the worst as awful as that sounds.
Anyways I apologise if I’m asking things that are too broad or can’t be answered but I thought even some general details may help. The internet is a minefield and I’m even more lost after googling things!
Sam :x:


Hi @Samanthalouise and a very warm welcome to the forum! I’m sure you’ll find the lovely knowledgeable people on here a great source of information, experience and support!

It’s very difficult to provide definitive answers to your questions of course but as the Colorectal Nurse has said, try not to think too far ahead at the moment. Many people will advise that taking things one day at a time is best and this certainly works for me a lot of the time!

It sounds like your going to be an amazing support for your lovely Mum and I’m sure she’s so thankful of that! Look after yourself and your litttle ones too!

Sending all my very best wishes,

K ????❤️


Thank you for this, you are right. I just hate the not knowing our options.
I think I thought that if the node is positive, the only treatment would be long term chemo. However, would radiation be a possibility and more ‘effective’? (She has already had 5 days of singular sessions before surgery so I wasn’t sure if she can have any more). However this is what I can’t get an answer for :(
I thought it was a yes or no answer.m but maybe not? I do understand. Just finding it hard.
Thank you again for your reply, you speak very wise words and I send you love and well wishes too :x::x::x:


Hi @Samanthalouise I saw your repost in the Nurses section which I think only the nurses can reply to.

Nodes can sometimes be successfully treated by radiotherapy. I had 6 weeks of chemo-rad to treat a node area.

I don’t know much about it except for my own circumstances, but I would have thought
- it depends on where the nodes are located
- the extent of disease in the nodes
- considerations of whether the area has already been exposed to radio

I think you’re asking all the right questions and it must be very frustrating that no-one is addressing them!


Thank you so much for your reply.
I am very glad to hear you have had some successful treatment - this is wonderful news! I can only hope that if needed, that my mum has similar positive results.
Yes, sometimes I know I ask too much and the colorectal nurse dealing with us is fab and likes to keep us in the ‘now’ but it’s just not me. I try, but I also like to know as much as possible for my own sanity and to help be there for my mum and sisters as and when needed.
Hopefully we shall know more when my mum is rescanned - it’s just the waiting game that drives me mad. I still can’t get used to it a year down the line!
Sam :x::x:


@Samanthalouise your mum’s lucky to have you supporting her. Best of luck with the next scan results!
ps with regard to asking too many questions, of course no-one can give any definitive answers about the future, but in terms of treatment options knowledge is power imho