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how do we decied what to do

walter36
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I need whatever info you can give me. My mothers doctor thinks she has colon cancer. After several day of stomache and bowel difficulties she had a CT last week that shows a thickening to the colon wall that is more likly cancer than diverticulitis. We know she needs a colonoscopy , but we don`t know how to pick an oncologist or hospital if she is diagnosed. We live in the southeast U.S. If the colonoscopy reveals cancer, how quickly will she need a resection and how should we decied were to go.

Any advice you could give us would be greatly appriciated

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Walter...

Great idea for the colonoscopy. The great thing about the Internet, is you get a lot of opinions. The bad thing about the Internet is you get a lot of opinions! It is a double-edged sword. As far as how soon surgery should be done, if necessary, several factors should be considered.
(1) Location of the tumor. Depending on how high up in the colon it is located, could dictate how soon the surgery should be.

(2) Size of the tumor. In my personal case, I had pre-surgery chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor prior to surgery. This lasted for 6 weeks. I then built up my system for the surgery. However, every person is different. Also every technique is different regarding how the physician will treat the cancer. Some go straight to surgery, some don't.

(3) Check out the reputation of the doctor. This is where the Internet can be helpful. Find out if the physician has published anything relating to cancer, or has done extensive research. I live in Indiana and was fortunate to get in contact with one of the top physicians here and abroad from the University of Chicago. Dr. Michalessi. I still maintain contact with him, and can research through him any possible contacts he may have in your area. Just let me know.

Most of all, remain positive and supportive for your mom throughout all of this. If she sees you crumble, it will make it easy for her to crumble. Also, take everything you read from the experience of others with a grain of salt. What works for one person, may not work for another.

Please e-mail me through this web site if I can help you in any other way. I was diagnosed in October 2001, and am fine today. Mine even spread to my liver and lymph nodes...I refuse to do "only the minimum" with anything I do, gotta go full-tilt, and cancer was no exception!

Keep your chin up, and I'll keep you in my prayers!

Stacy

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Walter -

Stacy is right on! Key is getting the colonoscopy so the docs can actually see what they're working with. Once they've done that they will have a better idea about how to proceed. Your gastro doc can take care of that for you.

One step at a time. Like Stacy said, hang tough. There are folks here to lend support when/if you need it.

Be well

- SpongeBob

Rob74
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I had a resection of my colon surgery 6 weeks ago. My primary doctor requested a colonoscopy and at that time 6 pallups (benign) were removed however the Dr couldn't go in very far because of a blockage. My Dr recommmended that I see a surgeon. The surgeon did an exploratory operation and found that a growth about the size of a tennis ball was encapsulated in my colon. All of the other organs appeared to be un-affected. He removed 16 inches of my colon with the tumor enclosed. The tumor showed up as being cancerous. I had some pain about 6 months ago in that region and should have gone to my doctor about it earlier. Now I am going to see an oncologist this afternoon as xrays and ct had revealed spots in my lungs. I have had orthoscopic biopsyes and they show cancer.
Please get the colonoscopy done as soon as possible.
I understand your apprehension.
My prayers are with you!

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