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Rectal with mets to bone only?

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband was just diagnosed last week. We are in shock - he is 46, in good health and we have 3 kids - almost 15, 12 and a 10 month old.

He's been through tons of tests, they are seeing a small spot on a bone and now he needs a bone biopsy. Nothing in the liver/lungs and the onc. says it's rare to just be in the bone. It seems that is so, since I can't find anything online about it. He also has some higher up lymph nodes that are "lit up".

Has anyone had rectal cancer that shows up in the bone and not organs?

I'd also really like to hear from long term survivors about treatments and where they were treated. Can we get good treatment at a local hospital?

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I have had rectal cancer since 2004 (age 31 at onset) and was clear for 7 years. On recurrence now the cancer is on th side of my pelvis and eroding into the bone of the pelvis. It isn't the same as your husband whre the cancer seesm to have spread via the blood vessels to the bone which is a rare presentation. There have been one or two others here (not sure if still active) who have had similar often to the spine. They seem to have had radiotherapy with some good results at times but depends on where it is in the bone.

Can't say much about hospitals as I am in the UK but sure others know- there is a lot of debate about the value of going to larger specialist cancer centres and I would think that in your situation whre the presentation is unusual at least an opinion from a large centre would be of value just to be confident that all options are explored and the right treatments are being used.

I assume he will be having chemo and radiotherapy followed y resection of teh primary cancer but the treatability of the boney met will also be taken into consideration. It isn't a great situation for any young man to find himself in but it is treatable- do however, prepare yourself and your family for a long and challenging journey. There is a lot of support here though and lot of knowledge and experience.

My thoughts are with you,

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry that you all are dealing with this. I'm not one to answer your question, but Kathryn-in-MN just found out that she has bone mets with no organ involvement so I'm sure that she will pop in here to help you. Good luck and let us know how he is doing.


Posts: 74
Joined: Jun 2012

My mom was diagnosed in June. She was suffering severe lower back pain, loss of bowel function and leg numbness. The doctor did and MRI and discovered a tumor on her sacrum. Biopsy confirmed it was cancer, further scans showed a small tumor in her sigmoid colon. There are suspicious spots on her liver but cancer could not be confirmed in her liver. So she has colon cancer in her sigmoid and sacrum. She went thru radiation first for the sacral tumor and had a great response to it. Her pain which kept her bedridden in may and June is almost gone. She just finished her 2nd round of chemotherapy on wed. The head oncologist said he's never seen a colon cancer patient diagnosed through a bone met the way she was. I'm sitting with her now and she looks healthier than she did all summer. It's a very rare presentation and when she was first diagnosed I found a pretty extensive study from Canada on solo bone mets. I will see if I can find it again for you.

geotina's picture
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

Yes, I have heard of this. There is a current member who has posted recently of this. It is Kathryn in MN. She now has mets to the bone, but has never had mets in the liver and lungs. She did have lymph node involvement in the past. She is currently undergoing radiation. You can search her name to read her posts or just go back a couple of weeks and look for her name. It was quite recent. Kathryn is the only one I know of whose colon cancer bypassed the liver and lungs and metastized to the bone.

Perhaps you can send her a pm and she can fill you in beter. She has a caring bridge site which goes into detail but I don't feel comfortable giving out her site publically but I'm pretty sure she will give it to you for you to read yourself. Opps, sorry, I just realized you are new and a pm is a personal message through the CSN e-mail.

My opinion only but yes, you can get good treatment at a local hospital. If it is a small, community hospital I might look to a larger faciliy. Meet with the docs involved, get their take on things and go from there.

Take care - Tina

Posts: 26
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Jen,

My father has a solitary met in the sacral bone, which arose after 11 years of being NED... He has never had any lymph node/liver/lung involvement...

Is your husbands met also in the pelvis?


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you all for your replies. He has a bone biopsy scheduled for tomorrow. When we first met with the oncologist last week she mentioned a spot on the shoulder that showed up on the pet scan and wanted to have a bone scan done. The other day the surgeon talked to us after putting the port in and said the shoulder was nothing, but there is a spot in the pelvic area. It is all confusing. I have found lots of information on this site and really appreciate the time everyone takes to share their stories.

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

The other thing I wanted to mention is the fact that my husband had radiation 11 yrs ago due to a different cancer. Some doctors suspect that the radiation is what caused this cancer. I wonder if other with bone mets also had radiation in the past and if that is the cause of this rare bone involvement?

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Jen,

We are waiting on bone scan results, but my fear is that this is what we will have to deal with. What has been the course of treatment for your husband?

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi sct12 - my husband's results actually came back clear, so he's only been doing chemo for the rectal tumor and lymph nodes. They also did the lymph node biopsy that did show cancer. He had his first pet scan Friday and we are meeting with the surgeon tomorrow to see what he recommends.

I hope your results are clear too! Do you have cancer or is it your spouse or other family member? Newly diagnosed or reoccurence?

Good luck.

SharonVegas's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Jen,
Sorry your husband and you have to go through this. You are in the right place. The people on this board are very kind and helpful. I had met on my sacrum and radiation seemed to do the trick. Haven't had sacral pain in over a year. If you do choose radiation, ask them to explain your options as there are more "precise" techniques than just radiating the whole area because that's the particular machine available at a hospital or clinic.
My best to you & yours,

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