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Crohns to Small Bowel Cancer to Cancer In The Peritoneum - Help If Any

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Hello, am new.  My wonderful son in law had Crohns since a child and 2 years ago had a bowel resection and they tested and they found it he had small bowel cancer.  He was treated with Chemo and was fine until now.  He just had another surgery because of a blockage  and we thought they had to do another bowel resection because of the Crohns but they took out a foot of intestine and it was cancer again.  This time a large tumor was the actual blockage.  Surgeon said he had Stage 4 Cancer and it was in his Peritonium also and he could not take or scrape it out as he said "he needs that to live"  Surgeon said he had spot all over the Peritonium but not in the Colon. Been reading alot and the entire family is trying to find out what kinds of treatment he should go for.  He just had surgery on Tues January 29 so he does have to heal first.  When His Mom asked the surgeon "Doctor will I loose my son"?  The surgeon said nothing, anyway we are all going out of our minds to find something and hearing about people surviving with State 4 Cancer and still living is very hopeful.  However, because he has Crohns already and small bowel cancer already, wondering if anyone knows the route to go.  At least we can bring up suggestions to the Oncologists once we all go there with him.  My Son in Law is not yet 30. 

Thank you and bless you all. 


abrub's picture
Posts: 2130
Joined: Mar 2010

If your son-in-law has not been to one of the major cancer centers like Memorial Sloan Kettering or MD Anderson, he should  get there.  He needs to consult with a colo-rectal specialist.  My colorectal cancer (appendix cancer) had spread all over the peritoneum.  I had several parts of my colon and small bowel removed, as well as all of the cancer scraped away and removed from my peritoneum.  I then had chemo directly into my peritoneum (IP chemo - IntraPeritoneal chemo).  Some medical centers use a heated chemo during surgery (HIPEC.)

I don't know if this is an option for your son-in-law, but his best bet is to be seen at one of the medical centers that has expertise in this, and can tell him if it is an option.

I'm coming on 6 years post-diagnosis; 5 years post treatments, and so far, I've been fine.


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you very much for your response and hearing from you and what you are going through is very encouraging.

Continued best wishes and prayers to you.  Donna

Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2012

I wonder if the bowel cancer travelled to the peritoneum or if your son-in-law has both bowel and peritoneal cancers. There is such a thing as peritoneal stripping which removes the peritoneum from the abdominal cancer and this is usually accompanied by a heated chemo bath which is put into the abdomen. (This is called the Sugarbaker Method). The peritoneum is a soft cellophane type material which wraps itself around the abdominal organs such as the liver, the kidneys and the spleen and helps the organs to avoid friction by lining them. It also comes up the front of the abdomen to a fatty tissue which hangs down from the stomach. I have Stage IV peritoneal cancer which is like measles throughout my abdominal cavity and I wasn't considered a suitable candidate for this type of treatment as the cancer was also on the surface of my liver and other organs and on scar tissue too. In 2006, I had a large cystadenom removed and, at the same time, a section of my small bowel was removed because there was 'suspicious tissue' whatever that was. Anyway, the cancer I have now is primary peritional and not related to the bowel resection. I have also had 4 bowel blockages so I know how difficult they can be. Initially, in March 2010, I was staged at 3c, but since then, it's become obvious that I have always been Stage 4 because the marks on my lung have grown since the original CT. There are people here who have had Stage IV for quite a long time. Prognosis depends on the type of cell because some cells are faster growing than others. The downside of having low grade cancer is that it very often doesn't respond well to chemotherapy but then the advantage of having a higher grade (the types of cancer cells which are far less lazy) is that the cells are very much more responsive to chemotherapy. There are lots of drugs out there so don't lose hope. It sounds like empty encouragement but I don't mean it to be that way. I was given a very poor prognosis and yet I'm still here and since I had my initial consultation with my oncologist, I have found others who have lived for quite a long time. My advice would be not to look at internet sites because lots of the research is out of date.  I wish you, your son-in-law and all your family all my good wishes.

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you for your reply.   It is not empty encouragement - as you are still around and kicking with Stage IV. 

My son in law first had small bowel cancer in 2010 - erupted from having Crohns Disease.  It was not on the peritonial cavity at that time as they did a bowel re-section then.  They just found that it had spread.  Sounds like the cancer in the peritoneum grows slowly but maybe all the small bowel cancer wasn't removed the first time when he had surgery in 2010.  He was on chemo for over 6 months back then.  We are trying to find other cancer centers that can treat him or give recommendations for treatment. 

Will look up the Sugarbaker Method...

Thank you very much for your reply and God bless and continued healing and good health to you.

Donna (Mom of Shelley - Mother in law to Ronnie)

Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2012

There are people here who know a lot about Sugarbaker so I'm sure you'll get some more replies. With regard to cancer cells of the peritoneum, they're not all slow growing. It depends on the type of cell and where the cell is at on its pathway. Mine is slow growing but I have had aggressive episodes which is not the same as aggressive cell type cancer. However, as I said, faster dividing cells do respond better to chemo than the slower type and many people here who have this type have had very good responses. My original cells are still there but not doing much at the moment. Well, i am very tired so this is an indication that treatment is looming. I'm going to try to stay positive and people here have kept me that way and have stopped me from going insane to be honest!  I found your post heartfelt and I'm sure the love you have for your son-in-law will help him to deal with this difficult illness. x x

Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2017

Hi donnav,

Im new to this site, How your son in law? 

We just found out that my husband had peritoneal cancer,he had crohns dieses for over 37 years, and last Year he had rectal cancer stage 4, he clear for 3 - 4 months. Go back to hospital early this month for blockage. Went for another surgery, DR found the cancer is bavk and spread to his abdominal wall. He cant have any treatments till his wound heal.


NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2729
Joined: Mar 2013

dear Yuni,  I wanted to let you know that donnav hasn't been on the site since 2013 - she was only on for less than a month - but I wanted to say I am sorry to hear about your husband.  You are both in my prayers.  

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