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Old 03-28-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Hi all as the title of this thread reads i am a 26 year old male who has been diagnosed with rectal cancer. Through MRI's and CT's and such my cancer has been graded T3 with no evidence of lymph node envolvment. I have endured 5 weeks of chemotherapy with the 24 hr. infusion pump as well as radiation therapy for 5 weeks. I tolerated both extremely well except for the last week of radiation when i had severe pain during bowel movements and hemmorhoid flare ups. Anyways im in excellent health always have been, workout regularly and am extremely active. Colon cancer runs in my family as my uncle had it the same age i do. My mother past away from cancer a week after i told her i had been diagnosed with cancer myself and i miss her dearly. It has been a tough 4 months for my family (especially my father) but through faith in God and him giving me strength to cope im feeling very confident I have this thing cornered.

Now on to my question. Surgery is scheduled for April 1 and I am trying to figure out what to expect for pain and recovery time. I will be having a temporary ileostomy which i believe is quite a standard route for cancer that has sprung up in the bottom 2/3 of the rectum. What can i expect from this and how long does it take to get use to before the reversal? Thank you for your time and any input would be greatly appreciated.

Prayers and thoughts go out to all who have fought this diease.

Mark

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:05 AM   #2
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, especially as you are so young. It must be heartbreaking to lose your mother at this time too. I am so glad your faith is helping you cope with your situation. It is impossible to say how quickly you will recover from the surgery as everyone is different. However, with your positive attitude, I would hope it will not take you long to feel better and to adjust to the ileostomy. It is not unusual to really feel the effects of the radiotherapy towards the end of treatment but those should wear off in a few weeks.

I hope others will join me in encouraging you and that you will post again to let us know how you are doing.

Alison
__________________
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

I wish you the best, I am 37 and a mom of a 2.5yr old just diagnosed with 3c with 4 lymph nodes involved. You are ahead of me in treatment...I am headed for the Folfox pump within 2 weeks. All I can say is that you will probably do very well. You have a better diagnosis than me and they are fairly confident that although it went to my lymph nodes they can get it with the chemo/radiation. I am so sorry you are so young, and especially sad that you recently lost your mother to cancer - you are too young to have to go through all of this, but I guess cancer has no boundaries. I am very blown away that this is happening to me...I'll eventually get to the acceptance stage. I can't help re your illeostomy q's because although mine was rectal cancer, they were able to just resection with good margins. I am glad to know you have handled chemo well - I hope to be like you in that regard. Stay strong...as people tell me, and hopefully you'll find answers from the more experienced folk on here.

Sincerely,

Jen

 
Old 04-08-2008, 07:04 AM   #4
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Hello. Thank you to those who took the time to reply. I appreciate it. The surgery went extremely well according to my surgeon as the the tumor had shrunk a great deal as a result of the treatments which made it far easier to remove and reattach. He believes there was good margins upon removal but I will have to wait on the pathology report to back up his statement. I was in the hospital for 5 days and not once was the pain intolerable although there was always some present but that was to be expected. As for today a week after surgery I am feeling quite well again with pain at a minimum with help from one tylenol 3 pill every four hours. The hard part is getting use to the ileostomy. Im beginning to cope with it but am feeling uncomfortable with it in public. I am lucky I have such a loving and understanding wife who has cared for and calmed me over the last week.

So my next question to be asked is how long after the reversal does it take to have bowel movements with control? I believe most of my rectum is gone and was wondering if someone could answer me who went through a similar surgery. (lower anterior resection)

Thanks again,
Mark

 
Old 04-11-2008, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

I am glad to hear your surgery and recovery are going well.

I was dx with rectal cancer January 2004. I had the surgery and also had a bag from March 5th to June 6th, 2008. 4 months, not a long time but long enough.

It does take time after reversal for things to settle down. You will have a movement within a few days. The problem is you will find that it will never be as it was before. Over the past 4 years things have greatly improved, I am back to work and living quite a normal life. The exception being that I have to have frequent bowel movements through the day and can not hold anything for any length of time. My recturn was shortened quite a bit and that is why the difference in bm(s). I have spoken to my docotor and this is quite normal. You may have to avoid some foods if you are out. Everyone is different so you will have to wait and see after the reversal.

The reversal surgery is easy. No real pain to speak of and you are out of the hospital in 3 days.

Good luck.

 
Old 04-11-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Thanks so much for your help Annie. Im kind of expecting to have more frequent bowel movements but i just hope that they are managable. Did you have chemotherapy after your surgery or no?

 
Old 04-13-2008, 04:09 PM   #7
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

I did not have chemo for the rectal cancer but unfortunately a year later I was dx with uterine and falopien tube cancer and had chemo then.

I do not believe the chemo will chance the outcome of the reversal very much. It will take time but you are so young I am sure you will regain control much faster and also more control than older individuals.

Do not get discouraged and keep moving forward. Whenever things get me down I always think of how much worse things could have turned out. I have lost 2 friends to cancer during my recovery and I feel like the lucky one.

Take care and good luck

 
Old 04-16-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Just an update for those keeping track of this post. I had an appointment with the surgeon today discussing the pathology report with good results. I had neoadjuvant chemoradiation and it killed of the tumor completely. What was clinically staged a T3 tumor was reduced as follows.

RESECTION MARGINS: NEGATIVE (mucin comes closest to distal margin, ~1.2cm)

VASCULAR INVASION:
i)Lymphatic: Absent
ii)Venous: Absent

LYMPH NODES: 11/11 Nodes Negative for metastatic carcinoma

STAGE: TNM Classification T0, N0, MX, R0

TUMOR PERFORATION: Absent

PROGNOSTIC INDEX9SHEPHERD): Low-risk

POLYPS IN REMAINDER OF SPECIMEN: One Tubular Adenoma

Just thought I would share my results as I am extremely happy as the surgeon
said he has only had a handful of cases that have responded this well to pre-operative chemoradiation. Although this was the case he stated it was still necessary to operate as even with seemingly full remission results the cancer still returns 1/3 of the time.

 
Old 05-07-2008, 10:51 PM   #9
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Smile Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Hello,

I just had to respond to your post. I just cant believe how young you are. We are the same age. My mom was diagnosed with Colon/Rectal Cancer in March of 06. They had tried Radiation and Chemo to treat the tumor and try and shrink it before she would have surgery because when they did her Colonoscopy they didn't even have to test it to see if it was Malignant they just knew by the way it looked. She went through treatment for 4 months and prayed it would shrink to prevent the Ostomy. When they took her into surgery they realized that the tumor didnt shrink at all it had gotten bigger and when they tried to remove it, the thing broke apart in her and they had to move around alot to get it. Long story short she ended up with a PERMANENT Ostomy and they had to sew up her rectum. Her bladder was really bruised as well so she had a permanent catheter for 2 years because she had no feeling from the waist down. She had really intense chemo after surgery and she fought really hard. She is wonderful now and she is in remission. Her margines are clear and we pray that it will never come back. She has had the catheter removed and is finaly getting all her feeling back. If GOD FORBID it does return then that will be it...she cant have any more chemo or radiation..she is glowing green as it is. She had Breast cancer as well and had Radiation with that so she has had her limit. I will pray for you and yours. My mom is a 2 time survivor and now you are a SURVIVOR too!

 
Old 05-27-2008, 09:16 AM   #10
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

lowdog9,

I am just curious, but what were your symptoms that led you to making a Dr. Appt in the first place?

 
Old 05-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #11
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Hey gent1. I ended up with blood in my strool. I have a strong history of colon cancer running in my mom's family so as soon as I saw the blood I didn't waste anytime setting up a doctors appointment. The doctor told me due to my age cancer wasn't much of a risk but I aggresively approached him to set up a colonoscopy for me. And im glad I did as it turned out to be rectal cancer. Had I waited months and months to seek help my prognosis may not have been as positive as it is now. So if you are suffering from the same symptoms go get checked don't hesitate. The quicker they catch it the better chance they have at nipping it at the bud.

 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:48 AM   #12
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

I do in fact have an appt with a GI dr this week, and I will be requesting a colonoscopy.

When you say blood in the stool, can you be a bit more descriptive? Was it actually in your excrament, or were you just passing blood out by itself? I'm curious to your exact symptoms. I have hemmroids and that is also a symptom, having blood on your stool and tp. I guess the only way to know for sure is to get out the scope.

 
Old 05-28-2008, 12:13 PM   #13
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Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

lowdog,
What is your age?? Since you said the docs said it couldn't be cancer at your age. Had you ever had a scope done before??
Cynthia

 
Old 05-29-2008, 08:51 AM   #14
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lowdog9 HB User
Re: 26 year old male diagnosed with rectal cancer

Gent1,

If I can remember correctly it was more seperate from the stool. I remember seeing bright red in the toilet but not on the stool its self. In addition to that I was feeling I wasn't evacuating fully (rectal cancer not colon). I would go first thing when I got up then had to go again an hour later. Also my stools began to ribbon but I believe that can be a symptom of hemmorhoids as well so don't stress to much. And you are totally right it could just be hemmorhoids as they can both have similar symptoms. But believe me for peace of mind get a colonoscopy done. For me I was much more relieved knowing what I was dealing with rather then thinking and stressing over what it might be. I didn't get the answer I wanted but at least I knew what I was dealing with and a plan was in place to destroy it. Im sure you'll make the right decisions but if your GI doctor tells you it's nothing to worry about tell him different. It's your health so you are in charge of the decision making.

Cynthiaf,

I was diagnosed at 26 and I am now 27. Colon cancer has a dominate history on my mother's side and it was my own fault I didn't seek regular screening at an earlier age. But if anything good came of this it is that my 2 brothers have
been screened and one of them had a poylp removed so it possibly saved him
what im going through. Im doing well now though. i went through pre-op chemoradiation and had surgery April 1 (LAR with TME and temporary loop ileostomy) and am now awaiting a reverse and additional chemotherapy. The pathology report came back from my surgery with clean margins, no lymphnode involvment and no signs of and active cancer cells or residual cancer. Safe to say I have been blessed. My girlfriend tells me my mother (who passed away from cancer a week after my diagnosis) has been looking over me with God making sure I make it through.

Anyways sorry for ranting but thanks for the replys and hope these answers help both of you out a little. Feel free to ask more anytime.

Mark

 
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