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A Very Lucky Winner

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

IN Nov 03 my sister-in -law had a colonoscopy and they penetrated her intestine. It led to a very serious situation. That same day I quite reluctantly agreed to have the same test. Learning of her situation, I refused. My DR kept pressuring me, however and I had the test on Jan 15, 04. There it was big as life, a cancer at the Spleenal Flexure. I began reading about these cancers on the Internet and became very concerned, particularly about stage IV. My operation was on Feb 2, 04 and praise God, it had not reached stage IV and there was no need for Chemo or radiation. I urge everyone to get a colonoscopy NOW and save yourself a lot of pain and grief.

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

Hi pjj,

Yep, you're singing to the choir on that note! If most of us had done just that we would not be fellowshipping here on a cancer website. But of course at age 39 they don't often recommend those colonoscopies....and in my case not even when my sister died of adenocarcinoma of the sm intestine at 33 yrs old! Go figure.

Glad yours was caught in time. you must be Stage 2 to not have had chemo/rad suggested. Good for you! I didn't do chemo and was Stage 3 but that was my choice. Still alive and kickin' after 2 1/2 yrs and cancer free!

Welcome to the semi-colon club.

peace, emily

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi pjj, I feel pretty similar to you...had my "routine baseline" colonoscopy at age 53 (delayed a few years, but I had NO symptoms, but a family history...dad with colon cancer at age 82). So...they found a tiny (1 cm) polyp that turned out positive; surgery in Dec 03, with one positive node, so I'm now having chemo. Like you, I feel that colonoscopy may have saved my life. Keep spreading the word among friends and family...we're already on board.
Best wishes to you, Judy

Sheepy's picture
Posts: 48
Joined: Nov 2003

This is my favourite subject!

We know colonoscopy isn't necessary for everyone, and because it's difficult and more expensive than sigmoidoscopy it can't be used universally for first-line screening, both for financial reasons and the lack of skilled practitioners (you've already seen what can go wrong).

However, my bugbear is that, in my experience, doctors fail to explain fully what they are doing - though this could be a UK (National Health Service) thing. I had a sigmoidoscopy several years ago, which was negative. At no point did anyone explain to me that it didn't examine the whole colon - and this was before the internet made such information widely accessible. I don't think my cancer would have started developing at the time (a barium enema showed no polyps) but without clear information such as we have here a patient could easily accept the doctor's word - but it's a game of statistics.

I'm now trying to persuade my brother and sister to have a colonoscopy - and it's hard going.

My personal page explains how my tumour was eventually found - thanks to colonoscopy!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Sheepy and PJJ, this is my favorite topic too. There is colon cancer history in my husband's family...dad died of the damn disease at age 57...so in his early 40's, dispite protest from "the medical community, my husband starting having sigs, not knowing, just like you Sheepy, that the sig doesn't catch/see everything. This went on for several years and always negative.

At age 51, they finally recommended a colonoscopy and it was at that point that we were told that sigs only go half way (duh...we thought we were having everything checked) but not to worry as sigs are usually good indicators if something is up. WRONG!!!!!! Bert had to colonoscopy and there it was, big, bright, and monsterous...two tumors in the cecum (right) colon which the sigs never reach and to make matters worse, right at the iliosecal value...exactly where his dad's had been. It had completely eroded the value, broken through the bowl wall, and took out four lymph nodes...making him stage three. Surgeon estimated growth time well over 5 years!!!!!! The rest is history and I'm here on this board today because of the unbelievable idiocracy of the medical community to still classify colon cancer as a disease for "older people."

Monika, who still get's so mad when she thinks about it she could spit fire.

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