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Father-in-law Colon Cancer Questions

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Old 12-19-2004, 04:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 79
DawnP HB User
Father-in-law Colon Cancer Questions

My Father in law was diagnosed with CC in the rectum 3 1/2 years ago. He did not want to have the colostomy bag so he opted for Chemo treatment and recently for 6 weeks of radiation. He has been having Cat Scans every 3 months and was told all along that the tumor had shrunk and was not spreading. Just prior to the radiation, his Cat Scan results were that the tumor was Necrotic(rotten?) and that they could try to shrink it with radiation and that if the radiation didn't work then they would go ahead and remove the tumor. Well,Just prior to his sceduled CT scan to see whether the radiation worked, he got sick with a fever and burning pain in his rear end. They did surgery tonight and he has Gangrene from the necrosis. It ate a hole right through the skin tissue on his read end on two sides. The did a colostomy to make him more comfortable and told the family to put him in hospice. They have given him no more than 6 months. We are so upset because we can't understand how he was never told this could happen. He was given information that he could have the tumor out if the radiation was unsuccessful. It isn't even the cancer that's killing him it's the gangrene infection. How could they not know that this tumor was eating through him instead of saying it was status quo? If anyone understands please help me to understand. This man is 65 and we love him so much.


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Old 12-19-2004, 09:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 140
Kaye2003 HB User
Re: Father-in-law Colon Cancer Questions

My husband also had rectal cancer and after rad and chemo treatments the tumor had shrank small enough to be removed without the colostomy.
I can't answer your questions, but please know that you and your father in law are in my prayers.

Old 12-20-2004, 08:19 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 778
jaydees HB User
Re: Father-in-law Colon Cancer Questions

Necrotic:The localized death of living cells (as from infection or the interruption of blood supply)

They were saying that the tumour cells were dead and/or dying at that time. If the tumour was down low as your letter suggests then they were waiting for it to be as small as possible before surgery so as to have the least chance of complications due to surgery. That low down one of the complications could have been complete or partial incontinence of either, or both, bowel and bladder control. He did not want a colostomy so they would have been looking to not leave him in diapers for the rest of his life either(a colostomy would be better than that)

Why this was not all explained I can't say, and to be honest what I said above is my best guess about their motives for the treatment plan they chose.

Lord knows that it is difficult to have a loved one succumb to cancer. It is even harder then to have a loved one succumb to the treatment instead. As Kaye said, you are in my thoughts as well.

Old 12-22-2004, 05:05 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 79
DawnP HB User
Re: Father-in-law Colon Cancer Questions

Thank you for taking the time to respond and for your kind words.

My understanding is that the necrotic tissue (dead tissue) is filled with bacteria and that caused the gangrene.

It is very difficult - especially for my husband. How we wish he would have had those colonoscopys in his 40's and 50's.

Thank you again,


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