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Cancer: Rectal & Anal Message Board
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Old 03-05-2005, 08:13 PM   #1
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saarust HB User
Been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Hi
My name is sam, and Im new to this board .I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in June ,2004. right after that I underwent chemo for three month which included explotin, xloda, and avastin i was told I might experience numbness in extremties for short few days which was true. One month after chemo I started redaition therapy for little over a month. Numbess has diasappered for a month, but now Im experiencing constant numbess in my fingers and toes and is not going away, my oncologist informed me, it was due to chemo, but I don't beleive so, could anyone advice me whether this is permanant or temporary or whether this caused by radiation.
I was told that tumor has shrunk but that I need surgery which Im very terrified of, and I feel I can beat this cancer by eating well and monotering cea level and taking chemo If I have to again. Could anyone out there give opinion.

Many thanks,
Sam

 
Old 03-06-2005, 02:27 AM   #2
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ktee_uk HB User
Re: Been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

hi Sam

I seem to recall the oncologists telling husband that the numbness can sometimes be longer lasting. Have you been asking you general doctor or the oncologist for info on this. The onco would be best point of call.

The chemo you undertook sounds like it was very aggressive treatment. ARe there any plans for surgery? Me being nosey again

Good luck
ktee

 
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:41 AM   #3
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CancerDad HB User
Re: Been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Hi Sam:
Welcome to the boards. Sorry about the circumstances. My numbness STILL persists off and on over 1 1/2 years after treatment. It's the Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) that causes it. Small price to pay though. Radiation will help to kill the tumor along with the chemo, but bottom line is you STILL need to have the left over tumor with margins removed. They also remove some lymph nodes surrounding the tumor to help stage you, so you know the possibility of it micro metastasizing-- spreading to other areas, but still too little to be detected by their tests. I know it's scary, but lean on us. We have all been thru so much, and can offer you A LOT of information and comfort.

How far up is the tumor in your rectum (or from the anal verge)? Remember, the radiation you are going through will not only help kill the tumor, but also give the colorectal surgeon more room to reconnect you, and hopefully have you avoid a permenant bag. You will likely have a temp ileostomy-- your small intestine will be brought through an opening in you abdomen to the right of your navel, and a changeable bag attached to collect waste. If you end up with a permenant colostomy... again, just an adjustment, but not the end of the world.

I am a 32 year old male stage 3C Rectal Cancer Survivor, and however I can help, would be happy to do it. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

Warm Regards,
CancerDad

 
Old 03-06-2005, 10:24 PM   #4
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saarust HB User
Re: Been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktee_uk
hi Sam

I seem to recall the oncologists telling husband that the numbness can sometimes be longer lasting. Have you been asking you general doctor or the oncologist for info on this. The onco would be best point of call.

The chemo you undertook sounds like it was very aggressive treatment. ARe there any plans for surgery? Me being nosey again

Good luck
ktee
Hi Ktee,
Thanks for your feedback, I asked my family doctor and the oncologist they both told me this numbness was caused by chemo, and that both recommend surgery for me
but Im very relectant to it since my mon had two surgery due to rectal cancer but did not survived the second one. I hope my immune system can fight the evil cancern.
Thanks
sam

 
Old 03-07-2005, 02:07 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: England
Posts: 705
ktee_uk HB User
Re: Been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Hi Sam

Hopefully the numbness will go. Husband's wore off very quickly after each chemo cycle and is normal now ( husband = normal ).

Now, like Cancerdad, I would like to put forward my two-penny's worth. Chemo and radiotherapy are great tools for the medical profession to use in their fight against cancer. But they are not the only tools in the kit bag. Surgery is one of the best tools to cut out a cancerous growth, particularly if the chemo has done its work on shrinking the size down to a more operable level. Of course, you must be worried about the similarities to your mum but each patient is different and I am sure that if you tell your surgeon about your fears or concerns, he/she will do their utmost to reassure you. You will be warned of the risks of undertaking the operation but you should also be asking about the risks of not undertaking the operation.

Regarding the use of chemo as the next line of deffence as opposed to surgery. This may or may not be possible. Each time you have chemo your body gets used to it and eventually the chemo is of no use, for example husband could only have 12 cycles of oxaliplatin but after 6 cycles you could see from his charts that the effectiveness of reducing the tumor size was losing it's strength.

Some of the chemo drugs are good for reducing tumor size, some are good for stop the multiplication of cancer cells, some stop the blood supply to tumors. But there are limitations with all the drugs as to how effective they will be for your own particular case.

The chemo you have already endured seems like an aggressive treatment plan which is in place to treat an aggressive cancer. In my opinion you have to fight the cancer with everything you can and this includes surgery.

btw, in the UK where or if a colostomy is required, only 30% become permanent. My husband is a stage 4 rectal cancer survivor but did not need a colostomy. He had 2 surgeries and chemo and radiotherapy and is alive and kicking.

hope this helps but sorry it is a long ramble
ktee

 
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