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question about reoccurance

keke
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

In December 2002 my mom had surgery to remove colon cancer. It is the beginning of stage three. They were able to remove it all and it had only invaded 2 of the 9 lympnodes. The surgeon said that without any chemo that she had a 70% on non reoccurance but that if she would take chemo it would increase the chances of non reoccurance by 10%. After speaking to her oncologist and going over the pros and cons of chemo in her case, my mom and the dr decided to not go through chemo but to monitor her health and as long as there was no problems then there would be no need for chemo. Well it has been a little over a year and she has had no problems but she has experienced pains in her side right where her insision is and in the surrounding area. Someone told her that it is normal and it could be anything from scar tissue to where it is healing up and tightening. Has anyone else experienced this? Also if anyone has a similar case I would really like to talk with you to kind of get an idea of what my mom can expect. Thank you...telly31@hotmail.com

gg2000
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2002

keke; I have been through the chemo (5fu - continuous infusion), and radiation therapy (triple beam) - concurrently for 5 weeks. After recouping for 6 weeks to regain strength, they did surgery. I was stage two, T3, N0, M0 (no lymph node involvement - but tumor protrusion through rectal wall) They removed most of my rectum, and the entire sigmoid portion of my colon and all the surrounding lymph nodes. I had a temporary ileostomy for 2 1/2 months while my new rectum that they made from my descending colon healed. I am all put back together now and doing great. The chemo (5fu) is not bad at all... I've seen people that other chemo's have really taken a toll on... I didn't loose my hair, and I didn't get mouth sores... the nausea was the only tough part. The best part is that there was no residual cancer left in the tumor after they removed it and sent it to pathology do the chemo & radiation doing their jobs! So, don't write off the chemo completely.. it may not be a bad idea.

As far as recurrence - you know that any lymph node involvement is a factor. The pains could very well be from scar tissue. Some of my scarred areas are more tender than others. There are alot of nerves in that area, and massage of the scar tissue may help.

Stay tough, it can be beat...

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

Ahoy, keke -

What your mom may be experiencing is what's called an adhesion - it happens when the incision doesn't heal correctly. I suggest you contact your doctor about it. Any time there is pain, that's the body telling you something is wrong. Like I mentioned to RunnerZ the other day, we survivors tend to run to the doc for a hangnail - but at least we learn it's a hang nail and not some malignant growth hanging off our little finger!

- SpongeBob

Sheepy's picture
Sheepy
Posts: 48
Joined: Nov 2003

I believe chemo gives a 10% better chance of survival when averaged over all stage 3 patients - but that doesn't mean each individual has a 10% better chance.

What I'm saying is - for many patients, chemo brings no benefit. But for some, it brings cure or a much greater chance of survival.

You don't know which group you'll fall in - which is why most stage 3s are recommended for chemo.

(Further to what I said above - remember that 'no benefit' could mean that you would survive anyway, even without chemo!!)

shambley11
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

My mother (57 years old) had surgery in October of 2003 to remove colon cancer. 4 out of 19 lymph nodes were invloved. She now wears a permanent colostomy. She just started chemo treatment last week with chemo in the form of a pill, she takes 12 pills per day and one infusion every 3 weeks. She is experiencing a lot of difficulty with nausea, etc...she is toaking Zofran for nausea but, she has already lost 5 lbs in 6 days and I wonder if this is normal....Her Dr said it could be "fluid loss"????? Also,I wonder if Chemo will really benefit her and if it is really worth all of the suffering you go through. Does anyone know where I would I find statistics and LONG TERM survival information on colon cancer patients who have had lymph node involvement and beat the cancer after 5 years? I am so scared. Does anyone know where I can get some postivie feedback? Thank you so much! I am in desperate need of some good facts here. theshambleys@earthlink.net

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