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unknowns~info required please

cheil's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: Dec 2004

can anybody advise if adhesions can only be an issue during the wound recovery time, or if you can still get them long after an op.

also, it would be interesting to know how long typically a single cancer cell would need to grow to a tumor which can cause a Dukes 3 colon result at diagnosis, (colon completely obstructed).

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Unfortunately, I think adhesions can happen at any time. I have been in the hospital 4 times in the last year for small bowel obstructions, caused by adhesions. I have alot of damage from radiation.

I had stage 3 rectal cancer, which was not obstructing. The docs. think it took 5-7 years to grow.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi cheil,
My understanding of adhesions is that they are bands of scar tissue that can occur at any time after surgery ,apparently our organs are wrapped up in a thin membrane like cling wrap and once surgery destroys the membrane scar tissue starts to form particularly where loops of colon touch each other. The speed of growth seems to depend entirely on the aggressiveness of the ca ,mine was extremely aggressive and invaded 6 lymph nodes in probably not much more than three years. I read an interesting article from a chinese medical university regarding how colon ca gets started . Their findings indicated that it was embryonic in nature and that it required between 3 and 5 individual ca cells before it would grow and that in most metastasis it was a breakaway cluster of cells rather than individual cells that caused the mets. They keep assuring me that I really only need colonoscopies every 3 years but I have a careful specialist and have had them on average every year. Including the original i have had three polyps removed in that time . Again they claim that it will not get to a dangerous stage in three years ,personally I don't intend to put that theory to the tests as they tend to bury their mistakes. Good luck for the future Ron.

Btrcup's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Cheil, my husband is in the hospital at this moment. He had small bowel obstruction caused by adhesions. His original colon cancer surgery was Feb. 04. His surgeon said the adhesions were probably growing for quite some time. He had complained of hip and stomach pain for a couple of months to his oncologist, but he would say it was side effects from chemo or some other explanation.

In July 04 he was NED. When the surgeon opened him up for the adhesion surgery, they found cancer cells throughout his abdomen (peritoneal carcinimotosis). PET/CT scans do not usually pick up these cells.

Hope this information helps. Happy Holidays.

Linda (Baltimore)

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I'm not sure if this will answer your question but my surgeons said that my tumor could have been there between 5-10 years. I was stage 3 (don't remember how that lines up with Dukes) not completely obstructed but getting there.

peace, emily

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Little to add to what is written above. good info on adhesions from Ron- yes they can occur at anytime but the high risk period is the six months after an op. Also as people say the rate of growth depends on the aggressiveness of teh tumour. the level of differentiation is one of the best indicators of this- poorly differentiatied tumours are more aggressive than well differentiated tumours. the type is also important with normal adenocarcinomas less aggressive than the mucinous type. however the general beleif is any bulky tumour is likely to have been around for years often 5-10. they often start as a polyp that isn't cancerous (is know as benign) that grows slowly and the cells become less differentiated and become cancerous. This is why they tend to remove polyps on colonoscop[y even if they aren't cancerous,
hope this helps,

Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2004

I have read your response on the aggressiveness of
different types of cancer. Mine was moderately differentiated adenocarcimoma with mucinous appearance on the pathology report. On the biopsies from the colonoscopy before the surgery it was well differentiated with mucinous features. two different hospitals. My question is
if it has a mucinous feature is it clearly a mucinous adenocarcinoma or they do not know?

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