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    Old 07-13-2006, 10:32 PM   #1
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    recently diagnosed and seeking advice

    Hi, My Father in law has been recently diagnosed with bowel cancer, he is having an MRI scan today and a CT scan next week. I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me a little of what to expect next. This is the first time cancer has hit our family (lucky I know) so we are unsure of treatments.
    Do they always operate? Is Chemo and radiotherapy given for different reasons? What are their after effects?

    I know everyone is different and it will depend on the size of the tumor and if it is spread. But I would like to hear some of your tales if you don't mind sharing.

    I am trying to look on the bright side, he looks and feels well, hasn't lost any weight and keeps himself healthy. He is 72 though, but strong in character.

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    Old 07-13-2006, 10:55 PM   #2
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    Re: recently diagnosed and seeking advice

    There is a good likihood of surgery. Do you know where in the colon the tumour is?

    If it is small enough they may be able to take it out and reconnect the bowel immediatly. Or they may opt for a round of chemo first.

    I think most here got surgery either to start off or after a chemo regime to shrink the tumour.

    Keep us posted.

    Old 07-13-2006, 11:21 PM   #3
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    Re: recently diagnosed and seeking advice

    Everyone is different. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer at 84. They did his surgery first, then X-Ray/chemo therapies. When they went in for the operation they discovered that he had gall bladder cancer too! a different strain of cancer in a different area. This was bad, as GB cancer has a much worse prognosis.

    On the other hand, GB cancer usually has no symptoms until it is too late (repeated ultrasounds and MRI never showed anything in his GB even during the colon cancer screening period) and is almost always detected only in autopsy. In other words, GB is a bad one.

    So...if he had not gotten the colon cancer and the resulting operation, he would probably have died very soon from untreated GB cancer.

    His cancer went away, but came back in the GB area two years later. They gave him four months to live. It pretty much stayed put from that point, and did not grow but did not go away either. The colon cancer never did return, just the GB.

    He died at 88, not so much from the cancer but because he went into shock due to an infection after an operation to clear an adhesion (scarring) that had occurred in the area of the colon cancer operation. These adhesions are quite common and often the real problem after colon cancer since the cancer itself is eminently treatable.

    One of my father's best friends contracted colon cancer at age 90 around the same time as my father. (No other form.) They operated and he is still spry and cancer free at 95.

    There is lots of hope and 72 is young! Even with my father with a recurrence of a very bad cancer he still stayed alive about nine times longer than they said he would. I mean, you know everyone dies but not everyone lives. He had a great life. He was in excellent health up until about the last five months, and even then he was still up and around each day.

    Hang in there and take each day at a time. Enjoy all the time you have with him, because none of us lives forever. But, with all the great treatments they have nowadays I am sure he will beat this, especially due to his young age.

    Old 07-14-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
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    Re: recently diagnosed and seeking advice

    Thanks to both of you for your fast replies and kind words.

    We are looking on the positive side until the results come through, no point in worrying for nothing.

    Thanks for telling me your stories, its a great help to know that some people pull through it. We have never experienced anyone really close to us having cancer so are unsure of what is happening. We are just on the roller coaster with the docs and nurses, hopefully we will reach the end of the ride safely, at least we will have had some fun on the way.

    Thanks again, its great to be able to get support from people who have been there.

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