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Please help

Posts: 75
Joined: Jun 2005

My boyfriend was diagnosed with colon cancer last November. He had 6 inches of his colon removed and had a temporary illiostomy. We were led to believe that the cancer had been caught in the early stages but because he's so young (25), the docs said that they'd give him 12 sessions of chemo (5FU and cpt 11) every two weeks. After his 8th session he had what I thought was a routine scan, but it transpires that the cancer had spread to his liver- he had three small spots there. He has been told that his liver is functioning 100%. He has started weekly treatment with an antibody called Erbitux, with cpt 11 every 2nd week. He's been v positive, but the whole thing is pretty overwhelming and I'd just love to know if anyone had any advice or experience to add. He's due to have a scan in Sept but until then, treatment is just continuing.

Thanks a million. Jo.

rthornton's picture
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

Hi Jo.

I am 10 years older than your boyfriend, but my doctors says that at 35 years old it is still highly unusual to develop colon cancer so I can relate to any feeling he has about being a younger patient (not that it would be easy at any age). I am having a different treatment than he is, but if he wants to contact me with any questions I will be glad to answer them the best that I can. Just send me an email thru the ACS email system and I'll give you my regular email address.

I'm sorry to hear that he was diagnosed, but he should know that he is not alone and this is an excellent place for information and encouragement and support.

Best wishes,

Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2002

We talked briefly in the chat room. I was 38 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer - still young from the docs point of view. I have had 2 spots show in my liver and had surgery to remove them. It is a pretty overwheloming diagnosis for anyone. I am open to talking to him too if he wants. Send me an email through this board. I think you will find a lot of people willing to help anyway they can.

BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

I was dx in Dec 04 with colon cancer and liver mets. I had 3 lesions on my liver 1cm each, two on one lobe and one on the other lobe. A liver resection was out of the question. That was in December, it's now July and a lot has happened since then. I underwent 8 rounds of folfox w/ oxaliplatin and just recently had a colon resection. After 3 rounds of chemo the three lesions on my liver were gone and my colon tumor shrunk to 2.3cm. Five doses later, still no signs of liver lesions and tumor shrunk to 1.8 cm. When I underwent resection surgery the surgeon told me that my liver look "pristine". He said that there was absolutely no residual (scars, tumors, lesions) on my liver.Just goes to show that you never know? Strange things do happen...

I started radiation yesterday and I return for my 10th dose of chemo, although this time around my chemo cocktail will be a little different, no oxaliplatin...I can see the light through the trees:o)


shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi! My name is Susan. I was diagnosed at the age of 31 and had the surgery your boyfriend had but w/o the iliostomy.....I went through 6 months of the 5-FU and Leukovorin and then on my very next CT scan they discovered there was a lesion on my liver which I subsequently had removed by liver resection. After that I had chemo again, CPT 11 (before Erubitux existed). Anyway, like me, it is likely that those spots were there all along - they were just too small for the docs to see....so, it is not that it suddenly spread to his liver.
At any rate, there are many of us here on this site who have survivied mets to the liver as well as the lungs.
Do not despair! Check into the possibility of him having those spots surgically removed....or hopefully they will be gone when he has his next CT. Explore all of your options, and get a second opinion at a major cancer center such as Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, etc.
Best of luck to you both!

Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2005

Hey Jo,

I was diagnosed at 31 with stage IV rectal sigmoid cancer with a met to the liver. I had a colon and liver resection at the very beginning (no colostomy or iliostomy) and did 8 months of 5 FU and leucovorin (these were the only drugs available at the time - all others were in trials then) and 28 days of radiation. This was in 8/98 almost 7 years ago. I've been in remission almost from the beginning and had very little related health problem since. Just wanted to let you know that it is VERY possible to survive this thing.

On another note my onc was sure my liver mets would return and prepared me for a couple different treatment options. One was radiofrequency ablation (RFA) which he planned to use on small tumors - maybe this would work for your beau? Basically they insert a probe and heat up/microwave the tumors to death. If they were larger he planned to try chemo directly to the liver (I'd already had the surgery but I'd think that was an option too for your beau). Anyhow he is not without options

Good luck to you both.


kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Jo......just a welcome from us in oz. As you can see from previous posts....age seems to be no barrier to cancer. We are so sad for those here who have been dx'd at such an early stage in their lives..........this crap really sucks. Nonetheless..you can also see hee that there is always lots of hope. Stand by him Jo.....it will be a rough road but thru good times and bad understand that there will often be changes in attitude/mood etc. I can't comment on his specific chemo regimen .....just wanted to let you know that everyone here will help you deal with this.
kanga and Jen

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