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Mom just recieved Cancer Dx -- HELP!

lovelygriffin
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2015

My mom, 58, got diagnosised with stomach cancer at the end of January of this year (2015).  She has had multiply bouts with H. Pylori along with severe GERD until finally her primary MD sent her to a GI for testing.  She got an upper and lower GI, which the GI MD stated that he found polyps on her colon (4), but felt confident that she was fine and could find nothing wrong with the upper GI that would suggest reason for concern and put her new meds for her GERD.  However about a week and half later he called my mom and told her that she was positive for gastric cancer and was setting her up with an oncologist. 

As you can imagine we were all floored.  My mom didn't even know that he had taken a stomach biopsy, he had only stated that he had taken the polyps.  She seen the oncologist, got scheduled for a PET scan which found that she didn't have any malignancy but when we meet with the oncoligst, I got to go so I could ask him some questions and the one that was concerning me was what made him take a biopsy of her stomach if everything looked good.  The oncolgist stated that the GI doctor was very surprised about the cancer being found and that he had seen an inflamed, reddish patch in her stomach and that at the last minute he took the biopsy.  He never dreamed it would come back cancerous.  The oncologist told us that it was the early stages which was great news.

This is the troubling part... She went last week for an upper endoscopy with an ultrasound to "offically" stage the cancer.  A different GI did it this time.  He stated the he understood why the first GI was surprised and that he could find nothing with the ultrasound.  He did take another biopsy but it wasn't of the inflamed, reddish area in her stomach (that was still present almost a month later) but of her small intestine.  He also told her that she should wait 3 months and go back for another exam/test. 

Is this normal?  Is it possible that they found it really early?  And why wait?  We are still waiting for the biopsy of the small intestine to see what it says, but it seems like a very long, drawn out process.

Thank you so much!

aidacristinaf
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2015

Dear lovelygriffin,

 

I saw that you posted your message in February. I hope that your mother is doing well. Our family has had a similar situation in that our mother also suffered from ulcers over the past year and the H Pylori bacteria, and was diagnosed with early stage stomach cancer in May 2015. Since then we have been through many ups and downs. She was informed that they took a biopsy, and a second endoscopic ultrasound confirmed what was found initially. She has had numerous tests (CT scan, blood work, and others related to other health problems) and the recommended treatment has been surgery, but my mother has other health problems that are making surgery a risky option. Right now my mom is getting another opinion from a big cancer center in her town to see if someone is willing to do the surgery. Chemo/radiation is not really a curative option for her because of her other health problems. 

It is possible to find cancer in its early stages, especially if they have been closely monitoring your mom for a while now. I don't know why they are waiting. Perhaps they think it might go away. As soon as they diagnosed my mom (hyperdysplasia), they moved into the surgery option. It has been difficult for me at times, and some other family members to understand why they want to move so quickly for something that is at its early stages, but that is message we have gotten. My mom 78 years old and with many health problems, so maybe they don't want to waste time. 

 

And BTW, if our experience is any indication, it has been a long, stressful process because we have gotten different messages about what to do and what they can do since May. Certainly one of the hardest things we have experienced as a family. 

I wish you  and family luck and hope you have found some answers since your posting. 

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