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just finished chemo...should I have colonoscopy?

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2007

I had metastatic colon cancer (mets to the liver and lung)and just finished my last round of chemo and I'm currently NED based on my last CT. My last colonoscopy was 2 years ago, should I go in for another one now?

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Yes you should. I'm also a stage 4 and had a colonoscopy after year 1 and year 2. I was told this last time I could wait 2 years.


vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

What have your doctors recommended? Have you had any polyps when you had the initial treatment? It sort of depends upon those things but I would ask your doctors about it and would lean towards having one. My next colonoscopy will be 3 years from the last one but I never had polyps (had a flat rectal tumor) and have had surgery since then where they could look around pretty well.


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi - I think it really depends in part on your previous scope results -but it is probably about time to do another one.

I am only ONE person, but here's what I've done and why: I was diagnosed in May 2005 - colonoscopy could not get all the way through. I had surgery a couple of weeks later and found out that I was Stage IV with liver met. In early November 2005, while still on chemo, I had another scope to get all the way through the colon - all clear. At that time my GI doc said I could wait 2 years for another scope, with FOBT in the off year. My oncologist freaked - no way - I was to have another scope a year later. So, GI doc agreed to do it and in Nov 2006 I had another clear scope. At that point my GI doc said I could go 3 years with FOBT in the interim. I expected my oncologist to disagree, but she is fine with it - says that now we know the "natural history of my disease" does not involve frequent polyp formation, so she too is fine with 3 years at this point.

I guess that the bottom line is that it depends upon your situation, but depending upon what your previous scope showed, it might well be time to have another.

Take care,

KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

YES!!!! I say you should get a colonoscopy. Talk to your doctor. Mine recommended I get one a year from diagnosis. I just had mine last Wednesday (all clear!). My GI doctor said that I need to have another one in a year, then if that one is all clear we can look at pushing it to every 2-3 years. I like to stay on top of things. Also Congrats to being done with your chemo and being NED, Yeah!!!!


kirsten1's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2007

I say YES!!!, I just finished chemo. and my surgeon recommends one every year....Think of what peace of mind you will have after. The prep. stinks as we all know, but the info. you gain is well worth it!

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I am 2 years NED from stage iv. My onc has not mentioned a colonoscopy, but we do a CT scan every 6 mo. Guess I'd better ask about it when I go in Dec. for blood tests. I almost hate to bring it up, but I have been thinking about asking her.
Jo Ann

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I,too, vote YES!!! My husband had one after completing chemo as they could not scope the entire area the first time. He had another one a year later. Both clear. He can now wait three years for the next one.

My son on the other hand, had first scope after his Dad ws dx'd (son was 29) He had three pre-cancer polyps. They were all removed. The gastro doc recommended another scope in one year. At the second scope there were FIVE MORE polys (pre-cancer) to be removed. One was growing in the exact spot as the largest one removed on first scope.

I asked doc why there were more polys the second year when he removed all the first year.

Doc said that small ones are sometimes not visible and there is also the possibility of one not being totally clean and they can hide (behind the poop) YUCK

After all you have been through, what is one more little scope to be sure all the little beasts are long gone. After clean scans, you can begin to relax some - but not too much.

since my husband was dx'd and the scare with my son, this is my soap box. Get tested.

I even cringe when young people say that Mom or grandmother had colon cancer at 50 so I will have a scan at 40. NO get a scan now! If our GP had not insisted our son get one so soon, he would be battling the beast right now.

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2007

Seems pretty unanimous, so yes it is!!! I will ask my pcp to schedule me for one. Thanks everyone for the input!!

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