A word of caution for those who are parents

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survivor wife
survivor wife Member Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello everyone.

some of you may remember me and what I wish to share with you today.

My husband ws dx'd with stage 4 in 2005 and is continuting to fight this beast.

At the time he was dx'd, we did not know he had a family history of colon cancer. We later lerned that his aunts, uncles, cousins had fought the same battle. His was not a close family so it was never discussed with us. We only knew that his mother and sister had died of brain cancer.

Once we were on this roller coaster ride, we became concerned for our only son who was 29. We asked our primary the guideline for our son to have his first colonscopy. The doc recommended it be done ASAP. We waited a few months (and purchased cancer insurance for our son) then met with the gastro doc who had performed my husband's colonscopy. He assured us that under normal circumstances he would not consider a colonscopy for a 29 yr old healthy male. However, he would do this one since my husband was stage 4 at the age of 54. Remember, all cancer website guidelines states that a person should be tested at the age 10 years younger than when their parent was dx'd.

At the conclusion of our son's colonscopy the doctor came to talk to me. He was shaking his head in disbelief. He said that our son had three pre-cancerous polyps, one of which was bleeding and so large that he almost could not snag it.

The doctor made a sobering statement to me that day. He said that without that colonscopy our son would have had cancer within two years. (age 31)

According to all standard guidelines in place, our son should not have even considered having a colonscopy until at least age 44.

Thanks to a caring primary doctor and a gastro doc willing to go outside the guidelines, our son is cancer free. He still has colonscopies and has had additional pre cancerous polyps removed. The gastro doctor said that our son's future children whould need to start preventative screenings in their teens.

I wanted to share our experience in hopes that it can help someone avoid this monster.

If you have read my story before, please forgive my posting it again. There are just so many newbies, I felt impressed to repeat it.

Comments

  • 2bhealed
    2bhealed Member Posts: 2,064 Member
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    Family Screening
    Thank you for sharing that. Your son is fortunate to have you as parents.

    I was dx'ed at 39 and was told my tumor was in there from 5-10 years putting me in my early thirties also. My sister died of small intestine cancer at 33 and was misdiagnosed for a few years. By the time they found it at Mayo (she was 30) it was too late and she lived 3 more years and had a baby before she died.

    NEver once did any doctors tell us to get scoped--no prior family history that we knew of. Had just one doc told me I needed it I would have, since my hubby, who does have so much colon cancer in his family that the Canadian gov't contacted them to make sure they all got scoped, goes for his screening. I was always told my sister's cancer was rare, and since no one ever said to get scoped it didn't occur to me. Duh. I was 28 when she was dx'ed--too young to really know all the implications. And I was busy having my 3rd baby.

    My two oldest children got their first scope at 20 years old. They were both troopers. All clear.

    But we will be diligent with them as you were with your son. I am so glad your son does not have to suffer from this disease, nor will mine, because from now on they will be screened.

    peace, emily
  • coolvdub
    coolvdub Member Posts: 408 Member
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    2bhealed said:

    Family Screening
    Thank you for sharing that. Your son is fortunate to have you as parents.

    I was dx'ed at 39 and was told my tumor was in there from 5-10 years putting me in my early thirties also. My sister died of small intestine cancer at 33 and was misdiagnosed for a few years. By the time they found it at Mayo (she was 30) it was too late and she lived 3 more years and had a baby before she died.

    NEver once did any doctors tell us to get scoped--no prior family history that we knew of. Had just one doc told me I needed it I would have, since my hubby, who does have so much colon cancer in his family that the Canadian gov't contacted them to make sure they all got scoped, goes for his screening. I was always told my sister's cancer was rare, and since no one ever said to get scoped it didn't occur to me. Duh. I was 28 when she was dx'ed--too young to really know all the implications. And I was busy having my 3rd baby.

    My two oldest children got their first scope at 20 years old. They were both troopers. All clear.

    But we will be diligent with them as you were with your son. I am so glad your son does not have to suffer from this disease, nor will mine, because from now on they will be screened.

    peace, emily

    This hits home
    for me also. The Surgeon told me at my surgery consult that the large cancerous polyp had probably been growing for 15-20 years. So what that means is in my late 20's early 30's early screening may have prevented me from having to go through this whole cancer thing. I have been urging anybody who will listen to pay attention to their bowel movements and habits and get screened ASAP if they have any signs of problems that last more than a couple of weeks. I also have been in contact with my birth mother so she can let my half brothers and sisters know.

    Don
  • emrose
    emrose Member Posts: 136
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    Thank you for sharing
    My husband was only 34 when he was diagnosed (in december of 08) and it was a very large tumor so they think it could have been growing for 5-10 years! (but who really knows right?)

    We are pregnant and due to have a son in about a month. I will be advocating for him to get scoped by 20 years at least! Heck, when he turns 18 he might get a car and a colonoscopy for his birthday :) Sorry kiddo - but we are gonna be extra careful with you!!
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    I agree...
    I was dx'ed at 49, but, same story, they calculated it was probably there for years, since colorectal cancer can be fairly slow growing.

    My mother's father died from CRC, my mom has had endometrial cancer (another outlet for the gene), I have had rectal cancer, and my full-blood sister has had anal cancer...

    Needless to say, my daughter will be having a scope this year...she is 30...it's been a bit tough to get approval, she is on Medicare because she is disabled, and they flatly refused to begin with...sigh...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
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    Adopted
    My husband was adopted with no family history. He was dx stage IV at 56. I have been telling our sons - both in their 30's to get checked and scoped. So far they haven't done it. After reading this, I will double my efforts and sic their wives on them. Thanks for sharing. Fay