Oesophageal Patients Association

Post operative care

I had surgery, total gastroectomy , hopefully removing all growth in October 2011 followed by a second course of 3 x 3 weeks chemo. I had a CT scan which gave me an all clear post operative histology of T3 M0 N0 .

I believe the procedure, from now on, is to have blood tests and consultancy visit every 3 months and I was told if no return within 2 years I should be ok. I was also told that if there is a return then palliative chemo s offered but no surgery, Is this the normal follow up procedure or do they differ ? I would appreciate the benefit of others' experiences.

Best wishes


4 Replies

Dear Brian

That is good news! Make the most of it!

If the worst comes to the worst and you do have a recurrence, then it is not normal to have a second go at the surgery. Having said that, I do know of somebody who has been successfully treated with chemo radiotherapy second time round and has received an 'all clear' again.

Nobody can guarantee that you will never have any more cancer, but there are lots of people who have had the surgery many years ago and have never had a recurrence. That does not make much difference on an individual basis - I think you have, somehow, to hope for the best and appreciate the beneficial effects of the treament so far despite all the downsides of after-effects.

Going back frequently for scans just to find out whether cancer has returned is not always everybody's cup of tea. For some people, it can lead to them only seeing as far as the next appointment, and others think that there must be more to life than that!

A few months after the surgery you may still be in a time of adjustment. The frequent trips to the hospital / clinic have stopped. The immediate post-surgery issues are behind you, and you start to look forward again.

It is a time of getting adjusted to a new lifestyle, getting your breath back after all the trauma, finding time to appreciate what your loved ones have also been through and finding the best way of enjoying the rest of your life.

Different hospitals do have variations around the fairly standard approach you have described. In time you will probably be the best judge of what is happening to your own body. Every twinge you get is not cancer coming back - but if you instinctively feel worried about something, do get back in touch with the specialist nurses for advice and a check up.


I completely agree with all that Alan has said. The fact that 0 nodes were involved is excellent news as well. There is currently no standard post-treatment care as Alan said across the UK. Some centre do yearly CT scans but not all. Not all centres do blood tests at each visit either. Your team will assess you based on your individual progress and act accordingly. If ever you are unwell between appointments or concerned then you should always speak to your specialist nurse - do not wait until your next scheduled appointment.

And enjoy being well!


Many thanks Alan and Stephanie for your kind, informative comments....life is definitely onwards and upwards!

Kind regards



Yes this is standard treatment.As with everything though there can be variations but normally if comes back it is very difficult to treat! Dont worry though as lots of us surviving !!


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