Northwest Colon-Rectal Surgery, P.A.

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Follow Up Evaluation After Surgery For Colorectal Cancer

Why Should There Be a Postoperative Follow Up Program?
Despite our best efforts, cancers can recur. These cancer deposits, when very small, are undetectable at the time of surgery, but they can begin to grow at a later time. The purpose of the follow up program is to detect this recurrence of cancer as early as possible. Patients with recurrent cancers - if diagnosed early - may benefit or be cured by further treatment. Unfortunately if the recurrence is detected late, the chances of survival are poor.
Approximately one in five patients who have had colon cancer will develop a new polyp at a later time in life, so it is important to detect and remove these polyps before they become cancerous.

How Long Will My Follow Up Program Last?
Most cancer recurrences occur within the first two years after surgery. Therefore, follow up is most frequent during this period of time, usually every 3 to 6 months. After 2 years a yearly visit to the doctor is sufficient.
Follow up after five years is primarily to detect new polyps and will continue at this interval for life.

What Might I Expect at My Follow Up Visit?
Your doctor will examine you and a CEA blood test may be done, as a method of trying to detect recurrence of cancer. Because this test is not totally reliable, other follow up examinations may be advised. These examinations may include colonoscopy, chest x-rays, and sometimes CT scans or ultrasound tests.

What About My Family?
Close relatives of patients with colon and rectal cancer (parents, brothers, sisters, children) are at increased risk for the disease. It is advisable that they should undergo a screening colonoscopy at age 40 or 10 years prior to the earliest family diagnosis of cancer. Ask your doctor for details. If polyps are promptly detected and removed by a colonoscopy, cancer can be prevented.


In This Section

FM 1960 & I-45 Office
1125 Cypress Station Dr.
Suite G3
Houston, Texas 77090
Phone: (281) 583-1300

Vintage & Tomball Office
20207 Chasewood Park Dr.
Suite 203
Houston, Texas 77070
Phone: (281) 583-1300

Kingwood & Humble Office
18955 N. Memorial Dr.
Suite 530
Humble, Texas 77338
Phone: (281) 583-1300

The Woodlands Office
17189 I-45 South
Medical Office Building 2
Suite 275
The Woodlands, Texas 77385
Phone: (281) 583-1300

CyFair Office
11302 Fallbrook Dr.
Suite 302
Houston, TX 77065
Phone: (281) 583-1300

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