I am new to this site. I am a 34 year old male, and at the recommendation of my doctor I had a colonoscopy done five days ago. I had some bleeding after wiping after going to the bathroom and some blood in the stool but no other symptoms. I work out 4 times a week and feel good. After the colonoscopy, the doctor said he had removed 3 polyps and one was potentially cancerous. Luckilly, the cancer was not attached to the colon, so he said he got it on time. However, he called two days ago and said that even though the cancer on the polyp was not attached, it was so close (2 mm) that he wants me to have a colon resection. Basically, he feels he got all the cancer out, but he wants to be sure that there are no "molecular cells" still there. I have an appointment with the general surgeon next Thursday to discuss the procedure, and I will hopefully have surgery shortly after. I am scared out of my mind! I still don't understand why I need surgery to detect if they got all the cancer out. I can't do anything but worry and wonder. Let's say they did not get everything and there are still "molecular cells." What then? Am I going to die? My wife, who is a pharmacist, keeps telling me everything will be fine. But I am just scared out of my mind. Has anyone experienced what I have described? I really need some advice.
The reason a resection is being suggested is that a 2mm margin is not considered a a good enough clear margin and a resection would ensure the establishment of a wider clear margin and detect if there is any additional cancer cells in the area. A colorectal board certified surgeon is probably the best MD to perform the resection, especially if the polyps were in the lower part of the colon. Prior to any surgery, you should have blood work done that includes a baseline CEA level. For some people, the CEA is a good indicator of the presence of colon cancer. In addition, before surgery, a CAT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis would determine if any metastases are present in other parts of the body. Cancer can spread via the blood or the lymphatic system in addition to direct growth, thus having the CAT scan would be a good idea.
If there are any signs of cancer beyond the polyp, then mop-up chemo is prescribed to wipe out any stray cancer cells and is very effective. I had Stage III colon cancer with 2 positive lymph nodes, underwent a right hemicolectomy and 6 mos. of chemo and have been NED (no evidence of disease) since 2004.
2003 Colon cancer of the cecum
1995 Endometrial cancer