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Local Recurrence

vanser
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi -
My mother has been recently diagnosed with her second local recurrence of colon cancer. She was originally Stage III (4 of 20 nodes were positive). The doctors seem to assure us that the recurrence is local and they plan to do a resection again. Has anyone out there had a similar experience? We are starting to get very worried that this may indicate her disease is going to just keep on getting worse.

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Wishing you and your mother the best of luck. My onc. told me that recurrence in the same place was rare. Hummmmm............ Hang in there. You are in our prayers.

Kerry

vanser
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi - Thanks for your reply. Does "rare" mean that this is a very bad indication of things to come? I know that sounds very pessimistic. However, as I mentioned this is the second recurrence in only one year since January. The last time the surgeons said that it was local and confined to the colon only (although her very first diagnosis invovled lymph nodes). Is this what usual happens before it spreads somewhere else?

I have been reading through some other messages on your board and it has brought me a great deal of hope for my mothers condition- best of luck to you all!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi vanser,

My onc told me that if there is a recurrence it is most likely at the site of the original. That is why he and the surgeon keep a close watch on the surgical site especially during my follow-up colonoscopies and CT scans.

I had a scare last May with something showing up right at the site...turned out to be an ovarian cyst next to the site but it threw my onc into a tizzy b/c of what he had told me.....being common at the original site.

Interesting that we get two different answers from two different oncs. Makes a good point to always get a second opinion, eh??

peace, emily

grandma047's picture
grandma047
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi, I am new here. I had a colon resection in July 2003. Diagnosed stage II, no lymph nodes involved. No spread. Good margins. They said it shoudn't have come back, but it did. Mine is a recurrence at the suture site. I was diagnosed with a recurrence in Jan, 2004, which would be six months, so it was a shock. I am having 5FU continuous pump, Monday thru Sat morning, and also radiation, 28 treatments. Had my 16th treatment today. I should finish chemo and radiation around April 9th. Then I will have a 4-6 week break and surgery to resect my colon again, but with a permanent colostomy this time. Cancer is too low in the rectum. Actually is rectal cancer. Well, actually rectosigmoid cancer, if you want to get specific. I pray that your mother does well. I don't really believe that this is actually an indicator that things will just get worse. Go to a major cancer center, and they be more aggressive. I wish you and your mother all the luck in the world. If you have any questions I can answer, I will try. Keep us posted.
Judy H(grandma)

vanser
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi,
Thanks so much for your reply & I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. I am actually from Canada, so our medical system is very different. I am hearing a lot of people on this site discussing "major cancer centers." In Toronto, people usually go to one of the two major hospitals here. Are the treatments at major cancer centers much more advanced than standard? My dad and I have been discussing taking her to a US treatment centre.
Also - one quick question - my mom had an original tumour in her sigmoid colon, but the doctor called it colon cancer. I noticed that you mentioned you have rectosigmoid cancer. Is this the same thing?

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi vanser,

My colon cancer was in the sigmoid colon. It's just the name of the location.

Brief anatomy lesson Colon 101:

Traveling up from your hinder....

anus to rectum to sigmoid to descending colon to transverse colon to ascending colon to cecum to small intestine and on up into the stomach.....

So it is all colon cancer we just clarify our cancer locations.

Now, had my sister's doctor's (or any of mine before dx) had just once called my sisters cancer colon cancer rather than the overly fancy name of adenocarcinoma of the small intestine then it would have clicked with the rest of us that she died of colon cancer. But alas, they did not and we were falsely led to believe that she had this rare form of cancer. How wrong we were.....but that is water under the bridge and I hope that by my experience I can circumvent other's getting the disease.

hope this helps.

ps I would seriously look into taking your mother to the US for an opinion/treatment.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN is not too far from the Canadian border. (tho where in Canada are you?)

peace, emily

aspaysia's picture
aspaysia
Posts: 257
Joined: Nov 2003

My brother lives in Toronto. Several years ago his wife contracted lung cancer and was treated at Sunnybrooke Hospital and in spite of all their efforts she died after a year. The disease was very advanced when discovered but they still pulled out all the stops. The family was thouroughly impressed with the level of care that she received. My brother goes to Sunnybrooke for everything now. Except the colonoscopy that I finally convinced him to schedule. Having a first degree relative with colon cancer did not stop him from procrastinating. He whined, "Well, I live in Canada and we have to get in line!" My oncologist threatened to start writing letters to bump his ass up to the front of the queue. Big bro is clean as a whistle (according to the Rudd Clinic) which surprises everyone considering his lifestyle. Yes, even in Trawna he manages to have some fun.

Aspaysia, former Montrealer (the original party city even by American standards)

PS: Don't let these Yanks tell you they have better health care. It's just more expensive.

vanser
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello -
We actually are also from Toronto and my mom went to Sunnybrook for her last treatments. Her surgeon was fantastic. However, we are just worried that he was not aggressive enough..

Thanks for the reassurance, we are all keeping our fingers crossed that this time they will "get it".

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