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Re-ocurrance of colon cancer

Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hi all, As you may know I am in the progress of 2nd round of chemo, reguarding my colon cancer.
I have had many Ct scans, an Ultra sound before last surgery, hell I probably glow in the dark, but I have never had a colonostomy test. Ya know up the uha,,, I guess I need one since I had bowel resection ,tumor removed, then the Hystrectomy, after that. Actually I was sent straight to chemo,which I am doing FOLFOX now.
I think I should get the check , ya think, even though I have had these surgeries. Do I need a colonoscopy test, to reassure me? I am thinking I do, but my medical is getting in the way. I need one HUH?....Any help would be helpful.even though I have had like 5 CT scans... what do you think? My First surgeon wants to confirm, but I am scared. Do it right! Thank you for the honesty. love Amy

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

I think there may be different opinions on this one, Amy. My husband had a follow up colonscopy a year after intial diagnosis and it was all clear. Scans can pick up recurrence in the area too and our oncologist is saying you do not need to have too many colonoscopies as other tests can be done to ensure there is no recurrence. Of course, if there are polyps found during a colonoscopy, they would repeat the test more frequently.
It will be interesting to see how others respond to this one.



Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Colonoscopy is a key part of anyones follow up post bowel cancer. A CT scan is poor at picking up smaller tumours within the bowel and better at looking at other structures eg the liver and peritoneum. Once you have had one tumour you have a significant risk of another one and high risk of polyps. A colonoscopy not only checks for this but allows you to remove any polyps and analyse them under teh microscope so it is also a treatment as well as an investigation.
No they aren't pleasant but they give lots of nice drugs so you don't really remember it. get one done.

wildcat's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Apr 2002

I would never encourage you to not ask your doctor first but I would think that with the bowel resection they would have looked for more cancer cells. Finish up your Chemo and talk with your doctor about when you need to be checked again. I am sure when you are done with your treatments they will have you get the "Ya know up the uha..."

Posts: 756
Joined: Jul 2004

hi amy,
well my experience was i had one when i was rushed to er. found my bowl was 100% blocked, and removed tumor, when they did bag reversal there was a polyp(neg) and i also had one after finishing chemo. 3 in total since may 04. i will need to get one each year for 5 years. i need to have 5 negative ones than i can go longer. hope this helps.
all the best

Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Amy,

That's how I found out I had a blocked colon.....as you know the pain is excruciating, but my PCP sent me to a GI doctor and she wasn't able to get the probe a third of the way up, so they knew it was serious. Went to a surgeon the next day, and scheduled surgery that week. Went back for a sigmoidoscopy after chemo treatments and they found a small benign polyp and took it out right away. I stayed awake for the sigmoidoscopy.....it wasn't painful......but I felt like I was on the Magic School Bus. Everything looked great, with the exception of the little polyp. I have had a couple CT scans, but never a PET scan.

I would think that anything they could do as a preventative measure would be a lot less costly than a reocurrence.

I also have to have one every year for the next 5 years.......and like everyone said.....it finds potentially cancerous polyps that can be taken out before they have a chance grow.

The worse part of the whole thing...is the prep. And you soon forget about that. They do sedate you, like Steve said, so it isn't bad.

Take care.....

Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2005

I had my first colonoscopy in April 04, which was when the found the cancer.

I have since been undergoing chemo and getting CT and PET scans and asked my GI doctor about 3 weeks ago about a colonoscopy and he did say I would have to have one every year, but do not need one until I am done with chemo.

That being said, I have been having severe stomach cramping after eating, which was how this whole thing started to begin with and have an appointment tomorrow to see the GI doctor, so maybe he'll be doing one sooner rather than later, or perhaps just an endoscopy...???

Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Everyone else is much more knowledgable than me about whether to have a colonoscopy. But I wanted to join in and say that if you do decide it's best to go ahead with one, it's not a big deal. And it certainly is nowhere NEAR as big a deal as having a recurrance!!! Getting those polyps out before they are cancerous is worth almost anything, in my opinion.

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi there, I would think that the colonoscopy - right now - would interefere with the FOLFOX treatment (which I am on as well). I know that I'll need one a year from my last one - when my tumor was found. I think its okay that you don't have one now. Plus, it might interefere.(repeating myself...chemo-brain) they mgiht have to stop a session for the test. But I may not know anything! By the way, how are you doing with FOLFOX; I am having a hard time, but they did add EMEND to help with the nausea. Ask your doc and maybe ask the nurses who give you the chemo; they are pretty aware as well. Don' t stress....it is probably that you have heard that most of us have had colonoscopies. I'm sure you are fine right now - just as you are. Take care. Maura

Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2004

My husband was diagnosed April 2004, surgery May 6 and 6 weeks later FULFOX protocol he had a rough time after the first treatment developing a nasty infection in the colon that postponed treatment for almost 8 weeks, he is now finished with his 12th session and never had nausea but now has neuropathy of the hands and feet that drive him absolutely crazy I am always searching for some remedies for this. He has a colonoscopy scheduled for 3 months after treatments ended as well as a CEA and PET SCAN. After that if all is well we will see the Onc. every 3 months for the first year than every 6 months for the next two. That's as far as we talked about. Hope this helps. Lou

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