How do you choose your colon cancer treatment options?
Dave Maret was diagnosed with stage two colon cancer at the age of 66. He was taken aback by all the colon cancer treatment options his doctors told him were available. It’s easy to get lost in all the medical jargon. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer four months before he received his diagnosis.
He and his wife both had a low Oncotype DX score and didn’t have to endure chemotherapy after their treatment. Three years later, Dave and his wife are healthy and happy with the choices they made during treatment.
Dave Maret: Hi, I’m Dave, I had stage II colon cancer and one of the things it is certainly not troubling but it is very difficult when you are diagnosed and after you have surgery and so on, it is what about, what kind of treatments do you have afterwards, and the very difficult thing, as I’m sure you’ll find out it is, that doctors, good doctor will give you lots of possibilities that you can use or after treatment. The only problem is they won’t tell you which one you should have and they leave it up to you to make that decision. So, if you are not a doctor, you don’t know about these things that becomes a very perplexing question.
Now my wife had breast cancer four months before I got colon cancer and after she had her surgery, there was a test called Oncotype DX test which looked at the genetic makeup rather than tumor and determine statistically if chemotherapy would be helpful. In her case luckily, she got a very low score and didn’t have to have chemotherapy and it just we didn’t want to anyway but this really fortified our decision and at least gave us some peace of mind to think that we have made the right decision.
Luckily, there was also an Oncotype DX test just developed a few months before this, before my surgery for colon cancer, and once I had the surgery and found that the Oncotype DX test was available for the colon cancer, we had it done, found out that it is thankfully very much like my wife’s outcome. It was a very low score and helped me feel good about not taking chemotherapy as well.
So, these things are available, there is going to be a lot of questions afterwards about what we should do, should not do, what test you want to take, what radiation, chemo, whatever you want to use and just one little piece here, the Oncotype DX test really did give us some peace of mind that we have made the right decision at least or, hopefully have. And I am two years cancer free and so far everything like I said, I am just back to normal, so I think it was the right decision and certainly, I am glad that I did not go through or did not have to go through the chemo because I have seen so many other people and talked to other people that did and the chemo is worse almost than the surgery and the outcome.