Just Diagnosed


Little bit of advice please

Hi there,

I wrote on here earlier in the week and had lovely responses from you all. My partner was diagnosed last sat with rectal cancer, he attended an MRI on Wednesday and has CT scan tomorrow to work out staging which we are obviously petrified about.

This morning he has received a letter asking him to attend general surgery clinic on Friday To discuss the results.

I guess my questions are, does it seem like they have already got enough info from MRI to fully assess his staging without CT, is this a good sign?

Also, does general surgery clinic mean he will be having surgery or is this just the department that deals with all newly diagnosed people?

Many apologies for the rambling, just living in a very uncertain world right now and looking for a little clarity.


Cece :x:


Hi @Cece,

I'm not to sure tbh, I just had a CT with contrast of my lower and upper abdomen and they gave me that information from those results. I was also on SAU to begin with which is surgical assesment unit and then went onto a general surgury ward when I had my op. They also look at blood test results to determim what's where.
It depends where the tumor in the bowel is, if it's lower in the rectum they may do chemo first or if they can get to it may remove it first. Try not to second guess and definetly don't Google anything, all it does is cause more anxiety. I know this bit is so hard, the waiting for results is awful. It does get easier I promise. Annie :x:


Hi @CeceH , an MRI gives a clear picture of where the cancer is active, whereas a CT shows the size and whereabouts of tumours - these may be new growing ones or old hardened ones. So the scan your partner has had is just as good, if not better, than a CT, they just show the cancer in a different way. If there is any cancer anywhere other than the rectum this would have shown on the MRI.
We were immediately referred to an oncologist - that's the consultant who deals with chemotherapy and other chemical or medicinal treatments. A surgical referral suggests that they are thinking surgery is a possibility. The scan results will be looked at by a team including surgeons, oncologists and radiologists, and the decision will have been made collaboratively as to the best route through treatment.
Hope this helps :x::x:

Neill H

Hey @CeceH
I'm at a similar stage in my diagnosis and treatment, albeit maybe a couple of weeks ahead. So I very much understand how bewildering it feels.

I'm afraid clarity isn't necessarily something you can get at this stage. You really do have to take each bit one step at a time and don't try and second guess or Google. Very much easier said than done though.

It does get a bit clearer each day and I'm comfortable with my own next steps. Trouble is everybody has individual treatment as there is no one size fits all solution.

Try and stay positive and keep asking the questions. It will all become clearer but absolute certainty is a thing of the past. Just react and deal with each part as best you all can.

Good luck


Morning guys, I don't know if this will help in any way, but this time last year, we were in a very similar situation as yourselves. Husband diagnosed and we had no idea of anything. Life seemed to be consumed with the word cancer. It was everywhere! Anyway, Steve was diagnosed with Stage 4 Advanced Bowel Cancer with multiple liver AND lung mets. All these T's and other letters thrown around which made absolutely no sense to us at all. All we could hear was Advanced Stage 4. Life was very scary. Now for the positive bit. One year on and 16 cycles of chemo (folfori and cetuximab) and a Stoma, (which everyone on here knows how much Steve has not enjoyed having) and now he is getting ready for his reversal 23rd feb and all scans are now CLEAR and he is doing fantastically well. He even has more hair than before he started the chemo!!! The moral of this message is ............. Never give up, no matter how low you get, the people on this site are the key to keeping you going. Always ask ANYTHING and someone will get back to you (no matter what time of day or night). Someone here has either gone or is going through the same as you guys and I can honestly say there is hope and there is always something new taking place just around the corner. It hasn't been an easy ride, but do you know what?? Our lives have changed for the better and because of this we have become better people. Hang on in there and you can all be where we are in a years time. Good luck and huge hugs.


@CeceH, an MRI gives a much clearer picture than a CT, although both provide important information. I'll echo what someone said above, DO NOT Google! Most of what you will find on the general internet is rubbish. And scary. :)

Gary not Gavin

Agree with others. MRI is much better for oncologist and surgeons who will then make plans with... You maybe going to discuss treatment options with the team or even a temp colostomy before radiochemtherapy. Just try and be patient the day will arrive soon and as every one says PLEASE DONT GOOGLE. Good luck.
Gav :x::x: