Doctor's Answers (1)
It goes back to staging. When we say staging, when we do the operation -- has the cancer spread further? Although we see it, it depends whether it has gone microscopic -- little cells that moved away beyond where we excise.
One of the things that we really know is that after we take the stomach away, we send it to a laboratory to have it looked at. They chop it into little pieces and look at it in detail, see if there are any cancer cells elsewhere. That will give an indication of how likely it is to come back.
Another thing is what type of cancer it is. The tests will tell us which type of cancer it is, how aggressive the cancer is. There are certain indicators in there that will tell us it is aggressive or not so aggressive. And that allows me to say to the patient, this is the percentage of the likelihood that the cancer may come back. That’s how it is, lots of factors come into play.