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My uncle

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

My uncle has been hospitalized due to severe blood loss. Tests show that he has a tumour in his large intestine which is localized. Usually this would be good news, except that my uncle is also diabetic and had a quadruple bipass three years ago. The surgeons are suggesting radiation only, and no surgery. I'm dipping into the fountain of knowledge to determine whether this seems to be a good call for my uncle or whether we should be getting a second opinion. Thanks. Monica

JADot's picture
JADot
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Monica,

I am so sorry to hear about your uncle's emergency. I would strongly urge you to get a second or third opinion on this one. It seems to me, a lay person I may be, that the quickest way to get rid of a hunk of poison is surgery. I've heard of radiation before surgery, but not radiation instead of surgery.

Follow your good instincts on the 2nd opinion thing.

Best of luck to you and your uncle!

Ying

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm a physician but not a surgeon. However it seems to me that his best chance would be surgery. Obviously, with his diabetes and vascular disease he is at higher risk of complications. On the other hand, I presume he made it through his bypass surgery and that would be a higher risk operation than this. I would recommend getting another opinion. We don't have all the particulars of his situation but it merits one or more other looks.

Dick

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Monica -

I'm in violent agreement with Ying and Dick, surgery would - intuitively - seem to be the best option. Did the doc say radiation "in lieu of" surgery or is the plan to nuke the bugger, shrink it to a more manageable (read as "we'll have to do less invasive surgery") size and THEN do surgery? That's a very common practice - especially when the tumor is large and/or located near the rectum.

Talk to the doc, or have your uncle's family talk to the doc again and get it straight from the horse's mouth as to what the proposed treatment regime will be. I'd say that, if the plan is to just nuke it and hope for the best, you're right on track with getting a second opinion.

Keeping your family in my prayers.

- SpongeBob

PS - Is your uncle here in the states or is he outside the US? That might make a difference, too. I seem to recall that you're Boriqua. If your uncle is in Puerto Rico, maybe a consult in Miami would be a reasonable option?

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi SB: We are actually in Toronto, Canada, although Boriqua would be much more exotic. The surgeon told my aunt that surgery would be too intensive, which suggests to me they are worried about his other conditions. He is also 73, which I believe plays a huge part in how doctors determine treatment. I do agree with all of you that surgery is the best option and I will strongly urge my aunt and uncle to get another opinion. Thanks. Monica

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Sorry about that - I knew it was one of them thar furrin' kountrees.

Anyway, I wonder if they could shrink the tumor sufficiently that they could do laproscopic surgery - with significantly less trauma - later. I'm not sure if that would be an option while still ensuring clean margains, but certainly something to ask about.

Cheers

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