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Colon cancer stage 4

jengen12
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi my name is Jennifer... My mom was diagnosed on June 10th 2010 with colorectal cancer that has spread to her liver and lungs. She has a quarter size tumor on one lung and pin points on another. Her liver has two small tumors the biggest is also quarter size. her cancer in her colon did not obstruct so she has a stent in right now. My mom's first CEA was only 18 now it has gone down since last cea which was over a month ago was 15. Her last CAT scan showed all her tumors going through necrosis but no shrinkage. My mom has been taking vitman D, it works!!! I can't get her to rest even for a nap after chemo. She has more energy then me now.She is on a sugarless diet, it seems to be working. Stage 4 cancer can be cured...My older sister is a bio/chemist who works with cancer cells and associates her self with columbia, cambridge etc.... Cancer can be cured if the right treatment is done. She told me cancer is never thing that kills the paitent, mostly its infections from surgery and other stuff is that true?? Is there other people with stage 4 colon cancer who are either cured or living long? The first doctor said my mom would not be here for christmas : ( but it seems that the doctor was uneducated so thats why its always better to get a second or even fifth opinion.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Jennifer,

Welcome to the board. Sorry your mom has a stage IV diagnosis, but it sounds like she's doing pretty well with it. I don't know the answers to all the questions, but I'm hanging on 3+ years after my stage IV diagnosis. Mine is in my lungs (pinpoints up to 1 cm all over both lungs) and in my liver too. I am still hoping for a cure, but for now, it's called "living with cancer". It is being kept at bay and really hasn't gotten worse lately. I have another scan in a couple more weeks, so I pray that it's still the same (smaller or gone would be nice, of course!)
I've heard so many stories of people who were told by their doctors that they wouldn't last much longer, only for those people to long outlive the prediction of how long they'd have left. Good for your mom!
Staying upbeat for her is very important.
Keep coming here for questions, answers, or just support. Encourage your mom to sign up here too.

Hugs,
Lisa

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

Re:
"She is on a sugarless diet"

Tell her to be very careful. Her body needs glucose to survive,
and attempting to starve cancer cells will only starve her normal
cells first. The cancer cells steal glucose away from good cells,
and will continue to do that, regardless if you're taking more
in or not. It is why late stage cancer victims have little energy,
and get skinny. It's simply not a good thing to do!

Re:
"She told me cancer is never thing that kills the patient, mostly
its infections from surgery and other stuff is that true??"

If she leaves out the word "never", she is closer to correct.

Cancer victims die of cancer when the cancer cells displace the
space needed for normal cells, and organs fail to function for lack
of space taken by cancer tumors. But she is correct, in that the
treatments often leave the patient too weak, and the immune system
malfunctioning, to be able to fight off the simplest of diseases.

Unfortunately, those that die of treatment complications, aren't
recorded to have died of the cancer they were fighting. They are
recorded as having died of "heart failure", "lung collapse",
"infectious disease", or any number of other factors due to
the complications of the intense treatments.

Your mom should locate another gastrointestinal specialist, and
another colorectal surgeon for second opinions. The physicians
should not be of the same group or organization. It is important
for her to do so as soon as possible, so other treatment plans
can be explored.

"Stage 4" isn't the end of the world, many here are stage four and living
their lives as normally as possible. I had been staged as a "3c or 4"
four years ago, and told that I had a prognosis of 3 to 5 years if I
did chemo, and -0- time if I did not do chemo. I am still here,
clean scans, etc..... and I did not do chemo.

Is cancer "curable"? Anyone that tells you it is, is not telling you
what the entire industry has documented. To date, there is
no known cure for cancer.

That does not mean that a cancer victim can not live as long as
otherwise.... People die every day of other than cancer....
It doesn't mean that they didn't have cancer.

Get mom some second and third opinions ASAP.

My best wishes for you both.

John

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

"Cancer can be cured if the right treatment is done. She told me cancer is never thing that kills the paitent, mostly its infections from surgery and other stuff is that true??"
I believe cancer can be cured. It does depend on the treatment and the individual. Along with a good team of doctors as been my experience. I am stage IV, living with colon cancer for over 6 3/4 years. I'm not sure if cancer itself kills or if it causes organs to fail. I really have not heard of people dying from infections from surgery but that's me.

"Is there other people with stage 4 colon cancer who are either cured or living long? The first doctor said my mom would not be here for christmas : ( but it seems that the doctor was uneducated so thats why its always better to get a second or even fifth opinion."
In a word...YES. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in Feb 04 and have been in treatment since then. It's varied as to what I've taken but I have been able to work throughout all of this (with time off for surgeries and recovery) and my quality of life has gone from not great to pretty f-ing great. That is basically where I am now. I have just one or two small nodes in my lungs that have been being treated by RFA (radio frequency ablation) where they insert a needle into the tumor and heat it up which in turn dissolves the tumor. I am also on Erbitux, a drug that has been able to shrink the tumors and I've had a lot of success with it.

Can cancer be cured? I think this is hard to say. It seems that one can have their cancer eliminated but I believe that you are at a constant risk of having it reappear, possibly in another form of cancer. I think this may also depend on the stage. It seems that people with stage I or II have a greater chance of total recovery. I have no scientific proof of this, it's just my observation. I know that I will always be looking over my shoulder when/if I get to the point where there are no tumors or signs of cancer.

I'm glad that your Mom's first doctor isn't in the picture for Christmas. I am a firm believer in the "where you're treated first makes all the difference". It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion either, I know getting that saved my life.

Best of luck to your Mom Jen
-phil

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2707
Joined: May 2009

Welcome and so sorry! Hang in there, this will be a long journey, but try and stay positive!

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

It's going to be helpful to you during your mom,s fight!
Hugs!

eileencas
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

My father was dx stage IV Jan 2010. He had a 5 inch tumor in his colon, 3 tumors in his liver (1 was 3 inches, the other 2 were each an inch) and a 1 inch tumor in his lung. His drs said they could not cure him. At that time they removed the colon tumor because of possible blockage and his CEA was 8. Since then he has been on 5fu and Avastin and his tumors have shrunk about 50%. His CEA is currently .8. His oncologists said that he was still not a surgical candidate. We got him a second opinion at Sloan Kettering and another opinion at Univ of Penn. Both drs are recommending a liver resection and VATS procedure to the lungs. He is scheduled for sx in 4 weeks. Last week we found a new oncologist who said that he can't make any promises, but that he has several patients with the same dx as my Dad that are now 5 years cancer free. What I learned from this board is that 9-12 months after chemo is a critical time to look into sx, let the surgeon tell you whether your Mom is a surgical candidate, go to the big city hospitals and get the right drs with a positive outlook. All drs are not the same. It also helped to read the books, There's no place like hope and On the far side of the curve. I have my father treating with the drs mentioned in the book On the far side of the curve. Good luck to you and your Mom.

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