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Question about Polyps

Hanac
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2007

Hi Guys,

Had my 6th colonoscopy today...My GI guy turns to his assistant and said , she is an Old Pro...she knows the drill (AR AR)...Anyway, I have a question. I had two new polyps (History: Diagnosed May 05 with Stage three colon cancer, 6 out of 13 nodes. Had surgery and six months of folfox with Avastin every other week and then another six months of Avastin alone every other week. Have been NED since the surgery with an "undetectable CEA") The Doc today said he thought that the polyps were benign, but what was of concern was that one of them was at the same site as the original tumor. (Well, near the surgery site) SO of course I am all freaked out. Anyway, they took the sucker out...but what does it all mean? If left alone would this have turned into a new incident of the colon cancer? A spread of the first? Are there still errant cells I need to take care of? Love to hear any thoughts.

The funny thing is that I talked them into doing this colonoscopy. My last was a year a go and they were going to wait three years even though I had a polyp at that time. Today the Doctor said he wants me to have another one next July. Just goes to show, sometimes you have to be your own advocate. Inspite of having to drink the glop, I'd rather have the scope every year if it means cleaning out the pipes and getting rid of these pesky polyps.

Love Ya,

Hana

MoonDragon's picture
MoonDragon
Posts: 194
Joined: Jun 2005

I'd be curious to know as well what it means. I was first diagnosed in 2000 and was NED for 7 years and then WHAMMO! This past October I was diagnosed after just a year after my last colonoscopy and this tumor was on a rampage. It was in the very site that the first tumor was removed and within a year it had not only grown but had eaten through the colon wall (perforated all the way through) and I had two ulcerated polyps right next to the perforation. I was lucky that we caught it in time as it wasn't in my lymph nodes but I too asked my doctor to do the colonoscopy. It was only a year since my last one and I was on an every 3 year schedule but I could just feel that something wasn't right. It's good that you listened to your body! Now after my first one, I was told they had gotten a "clean radius" and that I didn't need chemo or radiation. After my second battle, I'm wishing they had done it anyway as a precaution!!

Good luck to all of us! :)

Jorie

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Jorie, I'm curious to know. Was your original diagosis Stage 1?

Gail

MoonDragon's picture
MoonDragon
Posts: 194
Joined: Jun 2005

I didn't know enough to ask what stage it was and so didn't think to ask. I'm assuming it was stage I as I was considered "done" without chemo and rads.

Jorie

CopperKat
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2017

Jorie, in 2005 I had a routine colonoscopy and they removed a small polyp near the appendix which they said was 'benign' (I understood this to mean the same as 'pre-cancerous - not sure if there's a difference actually). When I went for another colonoscopy two years later they found the polyp had grown back in exactly the same place. They removed it and it again tested benign. HOWEVER the specialist said casually that I should have my appendix out some time in the next year as he wasn't quite sure if he'd 'got it all' as he couldn't see up into the appendix. There was no urgency, so I had the appendix out 9 months later - with the surgeon taking out a wider margin just to be on the safe side. Lucky he did - a week later he called me and said part of the polyp was in the appendix and it tested malignant! I was horrified and asked if I should see an oncologist - but like you they said no problem, it was Stage 1 or less, no chemo needed as the margin was wide and the polyp contained. So no treatment at all - and after routine scans for 5 years I was pronounced all clear. BUT I was diligent with my blood tests - and 7 years after the second polyp was removed I noticed a slight rise in my CEA levels. A CT scan showed tiny spots in my lungs, too small to diagnose. 6 months later, a biopsy confirmed STAGE 4 COLON CANCER! So from Stage 1 to Stage 4 just like that. I can't help thinking that if the specialist had been smart enough to be more suspicious of the polyp growing back in the same place, and ordered me to have the appendix out straight away, then I might not be in this position.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2131
Joined: Mar 2010

You should probably bring this up in a new thread.  By the way, cancer that originates in the appendix is treated differently from colon cancer (at least at first.)  I know - mine is appendiceal in origin (stage 4 appendix cancer.)

At this point, the treatment will probably be the same as for metastatic colon cancer, but you might want to get to an appendix cancer expert to be sure.

Alice

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

Jori hasn't posted on the forum since 2009, thus may not see your post. 

I second Abrub, and invite you to start a new thread. Your experience will be very helpful to many people. 

Here is the link for the forum homepage  https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128     I hope you repost there. 

Tru

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Your GI guy will have sent the polyps to a lab and you'll hear back in a few days. If the lab says the polyps were benign, I doubt it means anything. If it says they were pre-cancerous, it means your colon is capable of raising more cancers, and you'd better keep an eye out.
-Greg

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hana,

I am one that has polyps everytime I go in. I had 3 colonoscopies in 4 months and everytime there was one or more polyps (all bengin). My cancer came from a "flat spot".

Had my first colonoscopy, in Dec, after chemo and had one polyp. But, it wasn't at the site of the cancer.

I agree, i'm having one every year (for now). Will wait and see what Doc says in December.

Hey....you and I are just "polyp kind of girls"! From one NED to another....Wishing you well!

Claudia
Stage 3

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

I don't have anything significant to add; I'm going to add to the questions... sorry.

For those who had a polyp or tumor grow back on the site, what exactly does that mean? When you are diagnosed and have a resection, it is my understanding that around 12 inches of colon is removed. My previous thought is that you find the polyp/tumor and cut six inches either way and then brind the two ends back together. First, does it really mean that it grew back in the "same" spot if that is done? Second, what do you think that means? Is there a "slow" spot that waste doesn't move through quickly enough? Why does it come back in the "same" area?

Just wondering...

I met my new (follow-up) oncologist after my move and she has strongly advised me to religiously take calcium, vitamin D, and a baby asprin every day to prevent future polyps. she claims that there is strong evidence of prevention. I figure, "what can it hurt?"

Good to be preventative and get scoped every year to remove pesky polyps.

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

My gastroenterologist agrees about calcium: 2 500mg pills per day at different times (because it doesn't stay in the system that long) is what he recommended to me. However, the evidence is only that it tends to reduce the number of polyps you grow -- not that it has an effect on cancer recurrence.
-Greg

Hanac
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2007

Hi All,

Thanks for all of the replies. Calcium and aspirin it is! Thanks for the info. Re: the question about the site of the new polyp...You are right...they took out ten inches of colon. However, when they did the resection they tatooed the reconnection site. That is where the new polyp turned up...so it really isn't in the exact same site as the old tumor, but in the surgery area. Hmmmm I wonder if there is something about the scar tissue that allows bacteria to build up there?

Love to All,

Hana

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