Some stage 2 colon cancer patients in Ohio and around the country have an aggressive strain of the disease that could require more than just surgery. Although chemotherapy is not recommended for stage 2 colon cancer patients, researchers think that it may be necessary for certain patients. Researchers have identified a genetic marker that could tell them which patients are at risk of having cancer return after the cancer tumors have been removed in surgery.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Jan. 21, a majority of stage 2 colon cancer tumors produce the CDX2 protein. Those stage 2 colon cancer tumors that don't produce the CDX2 protein are more aggressive and more likely to return after surgery. For these patients, the benefits of chemotherapy may outweigh the risks.
The chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society said that it would not be difficult to test patients for the protein and give chemotherapy to the patients that are CDX2-negative. Patients with stage 2 colon cancer usually have a good prognosis, as the cancer has not yet spread outside of the colon to other parts of the body.
Cancer patients can usually expect a better outcome when they are diagnosed at an early stage in their disease. If a cancer test is misread early on, a patient's cancer could be allowed to spread as a result of the delayed diagnosis. A patient who was diagnosed with late-stage cancer may want to have an attorney help them to investigate their medical records. If there is evidence that a cancer diagnosis was delayed, an attorney may help the injured patient to pursue a medical professional negligence claim.