Aug 23, 2014 - 12:51 pm
Hello. I had a colonoscopy on 8/18/14. I am 44. I had no symptoms, the main reasons for having the colonoscopy before the standard age of 50 was because I thought I might be losing my health insurance coverage and my uncle died from colon cancer at 75. I believe he lived with stage 4 colon cancer for about 5 years.
So, the gastroenterologist who performed the colonoscopy said he removed 3 or 4 polyps that were between 1 and 2 centimeters from me. But he left a 3 to 4 centimeter mass in my descending colon. After the colonoscopy, he told me I had colon cancer. The pathology report will confirm, but has not yet been received.
The gastroenterologist said that I would need to have surgery to have the mass removed and that whether chemotherapy was necessary would depend on the pathology report, and the CAT scan that I have scheduled. The CAT scan is to be of my chest, abdomen and pelvis with IV and PO contrast.
I did not have any symptoms that led me to get the colonoscopy. I did not have visible blood in my stool, I did not have any particular problems with elimination, I have not felt body pain or lethargy. I did not have anemia.
I had blood work done during a physical in 7/14 and the majority of my numbers were in range. And I had blood work in 2012 and that was within range too.
I am scared. I believe that the results of the pathology report and the CAT scan are most important now in assessing and staging where I am at. But does my situation sound at all hopeful? Does it sound like something that I could be cured from? The gastroenterologist said that the size of the mass (3-4 centimeters) is not indicative of assessing the severity of the cancer, but rather the depth of the mass is more important and whether it has invaded other areas. But I did read a medical journal article suggesting that there is a relationship with the tumor size and its depth.
At what Stage (I, II, III, IV) do people usually start to experience symptoms?
Do you think the mass that I have is a stage 4 diagnosis?
Also, I am from Old Bridge, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. I wanted to know if anyone could make a recommendation for a rectal colon surgeon and an oncologist in the area? Ideally, these doctors would be in Aetna's network. I am just trying to get my ducks lined up in a row.
If I find a board certified rectal colon surgeon in my area who I like, would it still make sense for me to go somewhere like Sloan Kettering? I would like to get at least one second opinion in regard to a treatment plan.
I figured someone here might have a recommendation for me. Thanks.