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Does anyone have stage 4 colon cancer and is under 40?

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2009

So my wife has cancer. It started in the colon spread to the liver. (Small spot in the lung and lymph nodes) only found because of a tummy ach.

I have read a lot about everything including about being a caregiver just want to know what I am in for.

This being said we do have a strong marriage and a good family support.


She has already started chemo (5-fu)

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis. I was diagnosed when I just turned 41 (2 yrs ago). I'd write more, cause I have lots of info for you, but I'm running out the door. I still wanted to say welcome to the board- this is a great place for support and lots of information.

One question- is your wife on just the 5FU or together with other things? I hope on more than just the 5FU. If that's the case that it's the only one she's on, she is not getting the best care. I hate to say it, but giving 5FU alone, especially in someone w/ liver metastasis is very, very outdated. Not to scare you, but make you aware.

I would like to encourage you, though, as there is lots that can be done today & second (even third) opinions are always wise to seek out.
Check out chemocare.com for all the different types of chemos available for this type of cancer.

Another note- internet survival statistics are completely outdated- survival odds are much, much better now. There are several people on this board who are doing very well, some who are even now NED (no evidence of disease).

God bless and I'll hopefully "chat" with you later.


lizbiz's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Aug 2008


I was diagnosed at 32 (last year). I'm now 33 and battling stage 4 colon cancer that is chemo-refractive. I'm entering a clinical trial for a MEK inhibitor.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.


tammy41's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2007

i an not under 40 but i found out in march of 07 that i had colon cancer with mets to the liver. i was 41. i was so scared i have 3 children my youngest was 7 and there was no way i was going to leave them with out a mom. my husband is the most wonderful man in the world but they need me to. so i deciced to fight the fight of my life and i have been since that day. i had the colon surgery the liver resection. and have been on chemo ever since except for 6 months. i have found so much hope by coming to this site. at first i looked things up on the web and oh my god that was scary. tell her not to look for info there come here the people on this site have been there and know how she is feeling[also there are caregivers here for you.] i must say some of the side effects from chemo really wore me out. but with good dr and surgens. im still here and still living my life. a day at a time. take care tammy p.s and its a good life

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

I was diagnosed a little over 4 months ago. Stage 4 with multiple mets to liver. I was 38 and just turned 39. So far my treatments seem to be going well. The doctor thinks I`v`e made significant improvement. I would imagine that I am on a regimen similar to your wife`s. I don`t know what else they have her on but I am doing the 5fu too. So far my biggest problem has been fatigue. They have drugs now to control naseau and sickness but they make you drowsy. The treatments are no cake walk and everybody is different but they are not as harsh as they used to be with the exception of a few drugs. This is a very treatable cancer and my Doc says that with the new drugs out stage 4 needs to be thought of as more of a chronic illness than a death sentence. It`s very hard to cope with at first but you learn to keep it more in the back of your mind than in the fore front. The first few months are the hardest but then when you get to a point where you have had more time to process it and the disease becomes more stabilized, it is easier to get back into a normal routine. I say let your wife call the shots(that`s pretty much how it goes anyway)Help her if she wants and needs it but if she needs her independance then give it to her. She probably just needs sympathy and caring more than physical help anyway. Anything you can do to ease her stress. This disease is stressful enough. There are times when you are going to need to ease your own stress too. There`s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then. It would help you and her. I think it`s harder to watch a loved one go through it than it is to do it yourself. There is hope and many people on here have amazing stories to tell about how they have overcome this beast. Online statistics are outdated and depressing. Don`t look at them. Draw hope from the people here who are overcomers.
Youth is on her side and it sounds like she has a great support system. That and a positive attitude makes all the difference in the world.


dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Alex, I'm older and only Stage III but wanted to mention www.colonclub.com It was started by some much younger women and they actually have calendars since 2005 featuring young men and women and their stories.

I'm sorry to hear about your wife. DO listen to Lisa! I'm getting 3 chemo drugs.

God Bless,

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Diagnosed as Stage IV with liver involvement on my 39th birthday (6 days after birth of our child - event leading to discovery). That was 9 months ago. Since then I had 5 chemo treatments then liver/colon surgery with HAI implantation and 4 more months of chemo. I have 3 more months of chemo to go and then will go into watch/wait mode. Currently NED.

Click on a username to see people's stories.

Wishing you and your family all the best.


butterfly23's picture
Posts: 257
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi, I am stage 4 colon with mets to lymph nodes and just recently areas in both lungs. I was diagnosed at 38 yrs old, I had no symptoms. I did surgery to remove the tumor in my colon and I did 5fu for almost a year. Other than extreme fatigue, I had no problem! I had the 5fu for 48 hrs. I am now on Xeloda (pills) which is similar to 5fu with 2 other drugs, I will start this treatment next week. I wish you and your wife well, this website is not only good for her but also YOU! There are some wonderful people here for you! Please keep us updated on your wife. Remember to stay Positive! Stay Strong!
Hugs and Blessings!

sfmarie's picture
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009


My sister was diagnosed stage IV in March 09. She turns 40 in December. She too had no symptoms except for the stomach ache that also lead to the discovery of the disease. She is very healthy, a marathon runner and mother of 3 small children. DO seek out other opinions. My sister had three, and chose one that gave her the "you are young, let's treat this aggressively, there a many options and HOPE". Make sure you are at a NCI center, I think that is important as they know and have experience with this disease.

Tips I have learned in caring for my sister: She will be wiped out from the treatment. Get as much help as you can with housework, meals and childcare. The not being able to do the housework, chores and childcare when my sister was soo tired, drove her crazy. Knowing someone was taking care of those things helped comfort her and let her rest. Having someone stay with your wife during her treatment is also important. It can be lonely and scary and it is good to have someone just sit there while she sleeps or dozes off or talk, entertain etc. when she is awake.

The most important thing for me that I have learned is to not give up hope. There are so many survivors on this board and I only recently joined and it has given me much comfort.

I am sorry about your wife's diagnoses. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband was diagnosed stage IV cc last month (mets in liver and possibly in pancreas) and is 34 years old. The surgeon that did his colon resection said the tumor had probably been growing for about five years! We haven't started chemo yet (will start in a couple of weeks) and are hoping that he is a candidate for surgery. I don't post here often but have found lots of comfort in reading through everyone's experiences here- it was a godsend!

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

stage 4 @ 34, NED for three weeks a few months ago. big time recurrence. Starting from scratch. Now 36. All I can say is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. She can certainly survive her cancer. Recent stats point to around a 35-40% survival for newly diagnosed stage 4 patients, she is young so her chances are probably better than that. It's gonna be a ***** though.

luv3jay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

I was dx last September at the age of 39. My body responded extremely well to the treatments, but unfortunately there seems to be a possible recurrance in my lungs. I'll be treated for that next week. Right now, I'm in Orlando enjoying a much need vacation with my family but am ready to fight hard when I get back to my hometown in Maryland. So the fact is, life still moves on. This is such a wonderful site that I even sign on during my vacation! I'm praying for you and your family.


Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Alex, i am a son of a cancer patient and even though she wasnt 40, i can tell you now that there is alot of hope out there. New drugs and technology can definitely alleviate some of the pain your wife is suffering from and im quiet confident that a solution to these problems are sooner rather than later...just wanted to wish u all the best and please spend as much time with your wife which i know u are already doing.

jenalynet's picture
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi Alex,
Welcome to a great site for information. I am not under 40 but have been Stage 4 since Oct. 2005 and still fighting the fight. I am now on Folfri and 5 FU also avastin..I will hit 4 years in Oct..then I will fight for another year one step at a time..I wish you both well..Audrey.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

I was diagnosed in September 2007 at the age of 31 with Stage IV Bowel Cancer - it had spread to my liver, lung and throughout my pelvic region. They initially told us the cancer was inoperable and possibly terminal, but two years later, I feel better than I have for two and a half years.

I've had two reoccurances, just finished my third lot of chemo (5FU and Oxaplatin) to tackle a small growth in my lung, but my markers are 'normal' once again and it all looks promising. I'd love this to be over, but at the very least, each time the tumours are getting smaller and more isolated, so I really believe eventually I will beat this. The chemo worked so effectively, that I've since had surgery to remove the tumours on my bowel, liver, diaphragm, ovary and lymph nodes, I'm hoping for lung surgery if it becomes necessary again, although my Oncology is reluctant as the growth is close to an artery.

I'm really encouraged by reading the post stating recent stats point to around a 35-40% survival for newly diagnosed stage 4 patients. And I was also told the younger you are, the better your chances of responding to treatment.

I got married two months ago and I really still hope to have a family in the future. I was told it wasn't possible, but my body has defied everything else they prophercised. I believe my family's support is what has really pulled me through.

So, basically there is hope and definitely don't take everything you're told or read literally. Every case is different and there are many, many positive stories out there. It's a long and difficult haul but if it works, that's all that matters.

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feniks's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Mar 2009

my wife have when she's dx with stage IV,mets to the both lungs.That was in march 2008.After 19 months of chemo,colon surgery,temporary colostomy, she have 2 mets in lungs and we wait for next surgery,this time lungs.PET/ct in june show 16 mets,both lungs.Latest PET show 22 mets but,thank God,only 2 active.I think for younger people chemo and other stuff are little bit "easier". Why only 5fu?God bless you both.

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