Living well with bowel cancer

You can find lots of useful information about living with and beyond bowel cancer on our website.


Anyone on an no surgery watch and wait

Hello, this is my first post. I wondered if anyone was on a Watch and Wait approach (deferred surgery) following radiotherapy and chemo? What is the surveillance pattern you are on? I am being told different things by diff medics, including that no one knows the best pattern of scans and blood test or the timing. Any advice much appreciated. Thank you


Welcome to the forum @Indy
I hope that you find it a friendly and supportive community.
Sorry that you find yourself here.

There are many approaches to treat bowel cancer and the colorectal surgeons and oncologist’s have guidelines they follow. They are however guidelines and there are different approaches by different teams.
Many factors are considered to make an individual plan.
Has your radiotherapy and chemotherapy been successful?

Best wishes
Jane :x::x::x:


Hello Jane thanks for your reply and warm welcome. I do not have a detailed care plan as the docs day the gold standard is surgery but it would involve a permanent stoma. I have looked for guidelines through NICE but can't seem to find anything clear on watch and wait if the treatment appears to be a complete response. The consultant I spoke with last says no one knows what protocol is best yet. I am getting concerned about the number of CT scans in a year. Had around 12 now including the ones for radiotherapy. No idea if this is actually alot. Don't have any appointments with consultant, last one was almost a year ago and not sure how to go forward. Oh dear lots of questions! Thanks again for responding 🙂


Hi @Indy, a very warm welcome from me as well.

I can see why you feel so confused, but I am a little confused about why surgery has been deferred. Do I take it that it is because you have had a complete response to radiotherapy and chemo?

Most people on W and W seem to have bloods and a CT scan every three months. Your team will be keeping an eye on the number of scans you have - it is obviously about balancing risks with benefits 🤔

Assuming that you have a named colorectal nurse specialist - I wonder whether contacting them with a list of your questions and possibly a request to arrange an appointment with the Consultant would be appropriate?

You can also use the search facility above to read previous posts on ‘watch and wait’, - some of these may help clarify things for you.

Let us know how you get on, Kim :x::x:


Thank you for your reply Kim. I will do as you suggest. I think I am feeling alot of anxiety in general and perhaps focussing too much on the scans. Some reassurance that someone is keeping an eye on them will help as I've been through two diff hospitals, three diff departments and various consultants. I will also use the search button. Thanks again