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Cancer: Colon Message Board

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Old 01-17-2007, 10:55 AM   #1
d's girl
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Introduction

Hi,

I was referred to this message board by a member of a lung cancer message board. I lost my Mom to lung cancer on Aug 31 of 06 and my Dad was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.

Dad had surgery (a semi-colectomy) on Dec 14, 06. The mass that they removed was cancerous but all of the other biopsies came back benign. They tested 12 lymph nodes and all were clear.

The surgeon that did Dad's surgery has suggested that the warfarin Dad takes may have made the mass bleed more that it normally would have and that is how it was caught early.

We have not seen an oncologist yet. The referal has been made but Dad's surgeon said that because Dad's case isn't emergent, it could take 6 to 8 weeks to get in. He doesn't really think that Dad will need additional treatment.

From past experience, we know that surgeons and oncologists don't always share the same opinion. Dad had a CT scan of his abdomen before surgery and that looks good. I guess I'm a little concerned about his lungs. He's had an xray that came back good. But experience also suggests that isn't the best way of detecting small masses. He's been short of breath, which can be attributed to the anemia he had. But we'll definitely push to get that checked out.

I think I read somewhere that cancer can spread through the blood stream. Does anyone know anything about this? Does it mean that it could bypass lymph nodes? Having clear lymph nodes might not neccessarily mean the cancer hasn't spread? Any thoughts or info on this point would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Shauna

 
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:04 AM   #2
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Re: Introduction

I am going to recommend that your dad get a 2nd opinion, and maybe a third. Sometime this can be very helpful. I got my 2nd opinion with a doctor at the Mayo Hospital and when I learned the other hospital did the same procedure for my cancer, I felt good that it was the right decision.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Lee

 
Old 01-18-2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction

Shana,

I realize that I may not have answered all your questions last night. First I want to say I am sorry about the passing of your mother. My sister in law's mother is dealing with lung cancer at this time. My thoughts and prayer go you and my SIL.

Regarding your dad, it sounds like they may have caught it early with him, that is good. While it is possible for the cancer cells to bypass the lymph nodes, and settle else where, this generally is rarer (but it is also why they treat stage 2 with chemo). Generally colon cancer will travel to the liver first, then maybe to the lungs. Have they staged your Dad yet?

It is not uncommon to wait 6-8 weeks before receiving chemo following surgery, that is to give your body time to recover from the surgery.

And as I said in my previous post, 2nd opinions are always a good idea, especially if you have concerns regarding the producures and/or doctors.

Hope this help, good luck with your dad.

Lee

 
Old 01-18-2007, 09:37 PM   #4
d's girl
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Re: Introduction

Dad hasn't seen an oncologist yet so we don't have an official staging. Just the surgeon's best guess. I'm in Canada so things may work a little differently here. The surgeon refers to the cancer clinic where an oncologist evaluates the file and decides where the patient is placed on the waiting list.

When I talked to Dad last night on the phone, we decided we'll give the cancer clinic a call next week just to double check they got his file and ask approximately how long it will take to get in.

Dad has recovered well from surgery and seems very positive. He told me he hasn't been scared about it so that's good. I'm just glad he's got a fighting spirit and taking good care of himself. I wasn't sure that would be the case because of Mom's passing being so recent.

Once we have a stage, I will research treatment protocols and get a second opinion if we decide it's necessary. At the beginning of Mom's lung cancer battle, we were told to stay off the internet because the stats were just too grim. It wasn't until Mom's passing that I found message boards and have found them to be a wonderful source of infomation and inspiration. Thanks for your response.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 07:42 AM   #5
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Re: Introduction

I am glad your dad is doing so well following surgery. It sounds as if the Warfarin did him a favour in causing the cancer to be found at a fairly early stage. This is a rough time for you, particularly so soon after your mother's passing. I am so sorry.

I agree that it is not good to look at statistics, which are often out of date anyway. Everyone is unique and there is no way anyone can predict how well a cancer patient will do in treatment. We have people on this board who were given only months to live by medical professionals trying to play God and who are still around today. It sounds as if your father is feeling very positive and this will help in his recovery. As you are in Canada, I do not know if it is easy to get a second opinion. I am in the Bahamas and we only have 4 oncologists in total! I am very happy with mine but I do research his treatment plan (my husband had rectal cancer and I have lymphoma) and in that way, I am able to see it is an accepted protocol. I am also fortunate in that I can ask him questions if I have any concerns and he is able to reassure me. This is why the internet is so useful as we can equip ourselves with information but ultimately, we need to trust and feel comfortable with our oncologists.

I wish your father all the best. It is best he only starts chemotherapy when his body has recovered. This is normally a slow growing cancer so there is no harm in waiting a few weeks.

Love and prayers,

 
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