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CT Scan / MRI results question

Ted Jones
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2011

Hello and Merry Christmas to everyone. I recently had a colonsocpy where a 1cm sessile polyp was found to be cancerous. The surgeon removed it as far to the wall as he could but was uncertain if he had gotten it all or not. The pathology report showed cancer that extended to the bottom of the polyp. His recomendation was surgery to remove that part of the sigmoid colon. I requested a scan to help me make a decision on surgery. My feeling was that if it had spread to multiple organs I would think twice about the surgery. The CT scan showed some small areas in liver and on one node that were not clear. Also, left kidney adrenal gland showed some enlargement, They recomended an MRI. The MRI showed that the liver had some very small harmless cysts and the adrenal gland slight enlargment but benign. The results did not indicate any cancer. Neither test showed any other signs of masses or tumors in my abdomen or on any organ. My cea test results(24 hours after a ct scan-oncology people said it was to soon and could cause elevated results?) was less than 0.5.

My question is this are these tests something that I can feel good about or have any confidence in? The GI doc that will to the resection did not say one way or another whether this was meaningful or not. Perhaps his personality. I am trying to hold to these as hopeful signs but am unsure of their significance. Wouldnt an MRI or Ct scan show a stage 3 tumor if it was on the outside of the colon wall or my hoping for to much? both tests showed no lymph gland enlargment. Would that show or would it only show after the cancer was there for awhile?

Thanks to everyone for being here. This is the worst thing I ever had to deal with in my life and having people who have experienced the same things helps so much. Thanks in advance for any reply

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"This is the worst thing I ever had to deal with in my life "

You obviously don't know my neighbor.

The surgeon will know more when he operates. Anything prior
to surgery is sheer speculation.

I wouldn't get too worked up over the unknown, it's just a waste
of your energy when you're going to need it more later.

As long as they're going to operate on your intestines, you should
take the time to make sure they mark out a spot for an ostomy.

Yeah, I can see you jumping out of your chair from here with
that last statement..... relax.. There's no need to panic!

The reason you should have the spot marked that's best for you,
is to best prepare for that "holy carp" moment that some of
find ourselves in when we neglected to prepare ourselves.

Very often the surgeon will find it necessary to remove a section
of intestine. If/when they do, they often provide the patient with
an ostomy to use, until the intestine heals. Yes, in some cases
some of us ended up with a permanent ostomy.... it happens.
So being prepared, and having the best spot marked out, is
the best favor you can do yourself.

Enjoy the holidays, and don't worry about the future. Things have
a habit of working out for the best!

You have my best wishes aimed in your direction!

Think healthy!!


Ted Jones
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2011

In alot of ways it is the worst thing for me anyway. It makes you realize how fragile life is and what is and is not important in life.

The surgeon doing the laproscopic surgery had me have a fiber sigmoid scope the other day and was quite certain that there was plenty of room to reattach the colon after the piece was removed and saw nothing else in that area that appeared suspicious . I realie that until he gets in there he doesnt know what he will see.

The ostomy doesnt scare me. Years ago I used to fit people for colostomy apparatus. The spreading of the cancer to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs etc scares me.

Thanks for the reply and happy holidays

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

sorry you had to join this exclusive club, but hopefully this site can provide you with some information and support! I have only my personal experience to draw on, but for me, the CT scan really wasn't accurate at all for showing tumors in the colon. I did get a preitoneal MRI (which involves being given something in IV that stops the intestines from moving for a short time so the picture is clearer), and it was useful, but really only when compared with a PET. The PET scan is the only one that has picked up my cancer, even when it was relatively advanced (but only in the colon, not in other organs). If it was me, I would see if you can get a PET prior to surgery, as this can give the surgeon more information and may lead to better results and prognosis. Good luck, and keep us posted on how things go-Ann
PS And yes, a cancer dx can certainly feel like the worst thing ever! For many of us, it will be the one of biggest challenges we will ever face in life.

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011
Ted Jones
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2011

I had my laproscopic surgery and everything went ok as far as I can tell. Pathology results showed no lymph node involvement and they were not able to find any remaining cancer at the site of the polyp removal or in the colon wall in the resected piece. Apparently the surgeon who did the colonoscopy got all of the cancer or perhaps any residue was burnt when removing it with the cauterization. so at this point I am staged at T1N0.I am quite happy with this . CEA and sigmoid scope in 3 months. Probably repeat CEAs, scopes, scans etc for a few years. I am hoping there are no micrometastasis anywhere but time will tell. No, I have to try to get back to a normal life mentally and physically. Not sure if I can ever let this go mentally but i am learning to live one day at a time.

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