ginafeve Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1

My father just recently went in for a colonoscopy and they couldn't complete it because of a blockage - what does that mean? They rescheduled him the next day for a barium enema but we haven't gotten the results yet. He is 65 and has had 2 brothers die of colon cancer in their 70's. I'm just trying to educate myself - my mother is a wreck. Any info you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!


  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
    Hello, Gina -

    Were they able to see the blockage? (They were in my case - I have a big old ugly picture of it.)Did they take a biopsy?

    I'm not sure what all the differentials are, but in my case, the doc told me that the biopsy was pretty much a formality - large tumors in the colon are generally cancers.

    I know this is a lot to take in and even worse that these things happen over a Holiday weekend. I can tell you that you have come to right place for support. And, I can also tell you that even if your father does have colon cancer, the prognosis is not necessarily grim, in spite of his two brothers. There are lots of us here, me included, who are doing well - even with Stage IV diagnoses.

    My advice is to try (ok I know it will be nearly impossible) not to worry too much. If your Dad does have cancer, surgery may be the next step (especially if there is a blockage). They'll probably also want to do CT scans. Take it one step at a time - know that colon surgery is no fun, but not terrible either - they might even be able to do it laparoscopically - no cake-walk, but it does make recovery shorter.

    You're here, so I know you are searching out all the stuff on the internet. Please remember three things: 1) most of that data is relatively old and does not take into account newer treatments, 2) most data you see about the newer treatments comes from very early trials where the patients were more often very sick by the time they were given the new drugs, and 3)we are all individuals and the individual disease progression and response to treatment varies a lot.

    So, one step at a time, keep us posted about your Dad and come back here with questions. Also, they aren't kidding when they say a positive attitude helps - and I think taking it one step at a time helps improve attitude. You and your parents don't have to figure this ALL out at once and only need to concentrate on the immediate next steps.

    Take care,
  • MarksKerry
    MarksKerry Member Posts: 34
    Glad you got an answer! This is usually a really active board, but I suspect the holidays are intervening, which is as it should be for most participants! From my understanding (I'm a new caregiver to my boyfriend)they don't usually do a barium enema after the colonoscopy to check things out. That seems a little odd to me, and makes me wonder what they were looking for. If there is some unknown mass, I would suggest that it just come out as soon as possible. If they know, via biopsy, they are dealing with cancer, they will sometimes use radiation and chemotherapy to shrink things before surgery. It's reasonable that your mom is a wreck -- in your parents eye's this is probably the beginning of the end, especially with your uncle's histories. HOWEVER -- it doesn't have to be! Medical advances, diet changes, possibly even lifestyle changes, will more than likely make this a bump in the road of life! You sound as if you are well on the way to being a well-informed advocate, and I'd hang with it. I thought I was just being a naggy 'b' after my boyfriends' surgery, but he wrote me a wonderful letter about how much he valued my advocacy when he couldn't advocate for himself. Just keep asking questions -- it's the only way to get it all sorted out, and take it all one day at a time. It's all any of us can do! Try to enjoy the small things that seem hopeful about the holidays - I'm having a really tough patch right now, and I'm struggling to find those little things, but if I have to resort to looking under rocks; I will find them!
  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358 Member
    ''it could be something as simple as compacted stool. I'm not sure what the barium enema allows them to see, but hopefully enough to see what the blockage is..he probably doesn't have a complete blockage, because there would be associated symptoms and pain. Is he passing stool? any blood?
    best wishes for a less complicated answer.. bud
  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928 Member
    There can be blockage for various reasons. Was he having symptoms before the colonoscopy? Call them tomorrow as the barium enema would have been read by then and they can get that answer. He may still need a CT scan to see what is going on. Keep after them until you get an answer. The waiting is the hardest part. Camp on their doorstep if necessary.

  • nudgie
    nudgie Member Posts: 1,478 Member
    Try not to think the worse until the results are in, but here some symptoms I had and I did not have a colonscopy.

    a) Weight loss
    b) Stomach bloating
    c) Would not eat
    d) Felt full all the time
    e) Could NOT have a bowel movement; even in hospital with everything under the sun to make you go.

    But, like some said, there are many things to cause a blockage or not being able to complete a procedure.

    Keep us all informed and God bless.