Jan 25, 2013 - 10:09 am
I know there is a ton of knowledge on this netwrok! And I hope that others will try to distill some knowledge that just might help other crc patients with there battle against cancer! In my case I have learned a couple important things that I'd like to share with others -- and I hope that these couple things might actually help someone.
1. I was diagnosed with stage IV crc in June of 2012. I had a primary tumor on the colon removed (colon resection) and a metastisis on the lung removed in May/June last year. The CT Scans showed all other organs clear. HOWEVER, the CT Scan was not reliable. After receiving chemo and watching my CEA climb during and immediatly after completing chemo the onc at U of Michigan Cancer Center ordered several tests as he was convinced I was facing a reoccurence of cancer. He orderd an MRI of the liver and a PET scan.
While the CT showed a healthy liver, the MRI of the Liver showed two larger tumors and three smaller tumors in the liver! The tumors were likely growing in the liver all along! And I underwent 11 treatments of FolFox when I might have received a liver resection first had they done the MRI of the liver as part of the baseline checking! As it turns out I'm not eligible for surgery now because we found these tumors too late...
LESSON: Make sure they do an MRI of the liver as part of the initial baseline checking! Don't believe the CT scan alone. If I had it to do over again I'd insist on a CT, PET, and MRI of Liver, adomin, and pelvis as part of the initial checking -- BEFORE any surgeries!
2. I was seeing doctors for another condition / issue and I mentioned that I had fluid / blood in my stool on occasion. And the doctors said it is probably just hemroids. Finally after months passed the doctor ordered a colonoscopy. And the colonoscopy found the primary crc tumor. Who knows if they had found the tumor sooner maybe I could have had a different prognosis???
LESSSON: If you are encountering ANY symptoms the colonoscopy is a relatively easy way to make sure that crc is not an issue. Also, DON'T IGNORE symptoms (like me and a lot of other men). Finding out sooner than later can be a big difference in your prognosis!!!
I'm sure others have many experiences that might be translated into some practical advice / knowledge for crc patients! Let's post them...