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Cancer: Colon Message Board
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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No Colonoscopy?

I had a CT scan for prostate cancer in Sept. 2012. The radiologist found a suspicious area in the ileocecal area which could be stool, collapsed bowel or possible neoplasm (colon cancer). I have no symptoms whatsoever of colon cancer or prostate cancer. The suspicious area is probably not prostate related. A prostate cancer stage 3 cancerous lymph node, not near the cecum, is "stable". That's why I get a CT scan every 4 months. No symptoms, PSA 350. My PSA doubled every 4-5 years from 1993-2008, then made a big jump so I started seeing an oncologist. No prostate symptoms and never had treatment. Symptoms might change my mind.

My oncologist recommened I ask my PCP to prescribe a colonoscopy. My PCP also recommends a colonoscopy. With no symptoms whatsoever of prostate cancer or colon cancer, I do not want to risk possible damage from a colonoscopy. I have refused a prostate biopsy because of the risks in the rectum and a colonoscopy is much more invasive than a prostate biopsy.

My PCP says if I should decide NOT to have colon cancer treatment (SURGERY!!), if cancer is found, I do not need to have a colonoscopy.

The cancer center nurse who manages the Mercy Hospital cancer library asked me whether length of life or quality of life was more important to me. I told her "quality of life". (I'm age 82.) Then she said, "the decision is yours", always. She said if I do not plan to have colon cancer treatment (surgery), then I need not have a colonoscopy.

My problem is that I can find no information on the internet that traces the most typical paths colon cancer takes, and how long between stages for UNTREATED colon cancer.

My Aunt Bess had frank bleeding from the bowel in the 1970s and was admitted to the hospital. While there, she slipped and fell, breaking her hip. Because she was age 90, she had no colon cancer surgery and her hip was not set. She was bedridden til death but I have no further details. Old people many times lose their appetite and also do not drink enough water. Death can occur from malnutrition, dehydration or pneumonia as well as from heart problems or cancer. I do no know the official cause of her death, except that it was probably "natural'" from one or more of these causes. We all have to die of something, sometime. We all just hope that it's not in misery and that pain is adequately controlled.

Does anyone have any details of the progress of untreated colon cancer? of course, with treatment, there are many possible side effects from surgery and other threatments. That's why hospitals have support groups. And percentages are high for a middle aged person to die from colon cancer even if they have been treated. The decision might be different, for me, age 82 than for someone age 50-60. Colon cancer is slow growing, as is prostate cancer.

Al

 
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: No Colonoscopy?

Al,

Since you don't want to take the risks of further testing, have you tried any lifestyle changes like diet and exercise? Dr. Dean Ornish did a clinical study with older men who had high PSA numbers. These were men who, because of their age, didn't want to have any surgery. After being on a prescribed diet for several months their PSA numbers went down. It may have been due to reducing inflammation. And if it's good for the prostate it very likely will benefit other organs or body systems in general. Is this something you might be interested in? (Dr. Dean Ornish has written several books so I'm sorry I don't remember the title of the book where he mentions this clinical trial.)

 
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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Re: No Colonoscopy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
Al,

Since you don't want to take the risks of further testing, have you tried any lifestyle changes like diet and exercise? Dr. Dean Ornish did a clinical study with older men who had high PSA numbers. These were men who, because of their age, didn't want to have any surgery. After being on a prescribed diet for several months their PSA numbers went down. It may have been due to reducing inflammation. And if it's good for the prostate it very likely will benefit other organs or body systems in general. Is this something you might be interested in? (Dr. Dean Ornish has written several books so I'm sorry I don't remember the title of the book where he mentions this clinical trial.)
John,
Thanks for your reply and concern for my prostate cancer (PC). Actually, my prostate cancer is now growing so slowly, that neither my oncologist nor I consider it necessary to treat, yet. It is now doubling every 2-3 years or so and he agrees to my decision not to treat, yet. He WILL recommend anti hormone if my PSA or my lymph node should double in 3 months.

The only reason I even mentioned PC was to show my attitude towards a colonoscopy and colon cancer, because both PC and colon cancer are (usually) slow growing and I'm already 82 years old. My age means my internal tissues are more easily damaged by a colonoscopy and by colon cancer surgery and healing is slower, and I might die of something else, first. Also, I have atrial fibrillation and it is known that that has resulted in serious conditions for some patients, during a colonoscopy.

I mentioned my concerns to my cardiologist, but he said bowel obstruction from colon cancer is a serious, possibly emergency event. I've read, though, that one of the main causes of obstruction is adhesions AFTER colon surgery!!!

Al

I just wish I knew more about the normal course of untreated colon cancer and how fast the symptoms get progressively worse

 
Old 11-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: No Colonoscopy?

John,

I should have commented about ways to improve health.

I walked 16 miles a week from age 69-81 at about 3.3 mph. Because of my legs, I cut that back to 8 miles a week. I walk up the basement stairs at least 6 times a day.

I've been taking a mega-multiviamin supplement for about 60 years and a mega Vit C supplement for about 30 years. As a child -young adult I took "One a Day vitamin supplement. Since about 1997, I've been taking the max recommnded Vit E and Selenium for my prostate health. For the last 2 years, I've taken over 10,000 IU/day vit D for my immune system, as recommended by 2 Geriatric doctors, as well as Zinc and biotin. My blood vit 25 hydroxy vit D is now about 100, the maximum proven safe level. (Also copper, because high zinc doses can deplete copper in the body.) I was also taking a vitamin B supplement, folic acid and extra vot B6 for my immune system for a short time until I discovered I was at dangerous levels of B6 and folic acid, so I STOPPED those 3.

I am marginally diabetic (HbA1c 6.5-6.7) 14 day avg 115-124 glucose, which is considered very good control, by diet only, no medicine. My cholesterol is high, but my ratio, total cholesterol/hgh density cholesterol is in limits. No medication, no change in total cholesterol since I was age 40.

Al

 
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