Does your colon tumour show in the CT scan?

Bellen Member Posts: 281

Hello everyone - I have CRC with mets to my liver.  I was initially diagnosed because my ultrasound and then the CT showed lesions in my liver - had liver biopsy, and was told it was adenocarcinoma.  I then had a colonoscopy which confirmed tumour in colon.  None of my CT scans report about the colon tumour.  Just wondering if it does not show in the scan and this is why they do not report on it. I wonder why it doesn't show up.  Does/or did your colon, rectal tumour show in the CT scan, and did the Radiologist report on it.  My Oncologist knew that it was an intestinal primary because of the type of tumour that was biopsied in my liver.  Best to all.  Bellen


  • Phoenix_66
    Phoenix_66 Member Posts: 118
    Mine found during colonoscopy

    Wish I could help, but they found mine during a colonoscopy.  I didn't have any CT scans until after it was removed and I began chemo.

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member
    CT's aren't totally reliable

    CT's aren't totally reliable for spotting tumors, as they show structure and shape, only to a degree, and small, flat or hidden things can get missed. They followed my CT's with PET scans to look for sugar uptake, a sign of cancer cell activity, then did needle biopsies on my liver to confirm. One time the biopsy came back negative and the onc still said it needs to come out. I guess sometimes "if it walks and quacks like a duck...", you don't wait untill it lays an egg....................................................Dave

  • debugy2k
    debugy2k Member Posts: 85 Member
    My mom has been on chemo for

    My mom has been on chemo for 2 years.  Stage 4 colon cancer met liver.  Done MANY CT scans and all the reports always says the actual sizes of the liver tumors but never mention much about the main colon tumor.  Colon tumor has always been vague wording like "progressing" or "no significant increase".  So not sure if they're purposely leaving it out or what's going on.  

  • PamRav
    PamRav Member Posts: 348 Member

    never showed on the CT scans.   It was at 22cm.

  • debugy2k
    debugy2k Member Posts: 85 Member
    PamRav said:


    never showed on the CT scans.   It was at 22cm.

    How did you find out the size

    How did you find out the size?

  • zx10guy
    zx10guy Member Posts: 273 Member
    Mine was initially found via

    Mine was initially found via colonoscopy.  A CT was ordered and done the next day to check for any mets.  The scan images and the radiological reports found the tumor in my descending colon along with being pretty dead accurate on the overall size being 3cm.  Now what probably helped was my colon being pretty empty due to having done the colon blow for the colonoscopy.  Depending on the tumor, it can be obscured by the fecal matter in your colon.  Or as indicated by others, the tumor could be flat instead of pendulated.  But usually the radiologist can see thickening of the colon wall which was also part of the radiological comments tied to the narrative about the tumor.

    I did have a recent CT scan where the radiologist noted he could not get a clear view of certain sections of my colon because of matter in my colon.  Sometimes, I wonder if some minor fasting should be required prep for abdominal CTs.

  • Bellen
    Bellen Member Posts: 281
    CT scan not show tumour

    Yes, I wonder if a bit of fasting prior to the CT might help for the tumour to be more visible in the scan.  The Gastro gave me a pic of the tumour after the colonoscopy. I think it was in, or on the intestinal wall.  I had a colonoscopy in 2014 - diagnosed CRC with multiple liver mets 2 yrs later. Got that bad, that fast! I guess even the 2014 colonoscopy didn't pick up the earlier stage of the cancer.  There are so many people getting CRC - I have had regular colonoscopies. It's very sad that so many of us were diagnosed when there were mets already.  Frustrating.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,729 Member
    edited October 2017 #9

    Mine was rectal cancer and the CT scan didn't really show it.  My radiologist was trying to find it on the scan but was very hesitant to find it and said "I think this is the area" so no, it doesn't always show up on a scan.  The only positive proof is a colonoscopy.  Mine was about the size of a nickle and down low in the rectum but if looking at the scan they probably wouldn't have seen it.  They could feel it with a digital exam but really couldn't determine it from a scan.


  • aoccc2015
    aoccc2015 Member Posts: 37
    We can see the liver mets and

    We can see the liver mets and the abdominal seeds by ct but things that showed up in the colon ended up being thickened walls. So it helps somewhat now watching the ab mets go away back and forth.

  • kristasplace
    kristasplace Member Posts: 957 Member
    They screwed the pooch during

    They screwed the pooch during my CT scan prior to diagnosis. They couldn't see it because the contrast couldn't get past the tumor. They just let that slide three times.

    My last recurrence was caught on a PET/CT scan, where it lit up like a Christmas tree. If the tumor's big enough, they can see it on a CT scan, but they can't definitively diagnosis it that way. PET scans are pretty reliable, especially if they continually light up and grow in size, like mine did. Yours might be too small for the radiologist to see it, otherwise, he should have it written in his findings. Does it say on the report that the colon looks 'normal'?




  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    I've had two MRIs requested

    I've had two MRIs requested by the surgeon and the MRI reports provided the size of the tumor and the lymph node information. I had a CT scan earlier on but I don't recall if it provided the exact size and shape of the tumor.