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missmary
@missmary

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 04, 2018

Connection between colon and breast cancer

Posted by @missmary, Mon, Mar 12 7:10am

I have read some articles stating a relationship between colon and breast cancer. I wanted to know more about this because I had breast cancer 5 years ago and was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon with mets. I was told the colon cancer may have been there for close to ten years.

REPLY

Hi Mary, Like you @canada and @martid have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society:
– Second Cancers After Breast Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/living-as-a-breast-cancer-survivor/second-cancers-after-breast-cancer.html

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn't cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

@colleenyoung

Hi Mary, Like you @canada and @martid have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society:
– Second Cancers After Breast Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/living-as-a-breast-cancer-survivor/second-cancers-after-breast-cancer.html

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn't cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

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I complained for many years of what can be described as gallbladder symptoms. Right upper quadrant pain radiating to the back. Mostly flared up after eating. Kinevec and ct scans done and all were negative. This pain and the frequency started increasing during the radiation treatments for the breast cancer. More of the same testing, but not one doctor ever set me up for a colonoscopy. Finally, in April 2017, the pain had become constant and unbearable. ER visit did. Ct scan which showed a new lesion on the liver. A biopsy revealed it was colon cancer that metastasized to the liver. I was 50 at the time of the breast cancer. I just had my 5 year check up for the breast cancer and thought I had beat it. Boy, was I ever surprised by the diagnosis of colon cancer. It appears that the colon cancer had been there when I was diagnosed with the breast cancer. There have been so many things that should have been done and wasn’t, even after I requested for certain testing to be done.

Liked by cindylb

@colleenyoung

Hi Mary, Like you @canada and @martid have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society:
– Second Cancers After Breast Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/living-as-a-breast-cancer-survivor/second-cancers-after-breast-cancer.html

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn't cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

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So very sorry to hear about your second cancer Miss Mary. You have helped me today because my oncologist has been insisting that I get a colonoscopy and I've been putting it off and dreading it. I had Stage 1 breast cancer (2 years cancer free) and I thought….why would I need to worry about my colon but my doctor has been pretty adamant. I will be doing that now as my doctor requested. My doctor's rationale was that if you have one type of cancer you can certainly have another and colon cancer is what worries her. I'm sorry your requests for help went unheard. It's hard when you're sick and stressed to continually advocate for yourself but it's such an important part of this process. Best to you and thanks for pushing me to do the right thing for my health.

I am five years removed from BC, stage 2, chemo, radiation. three years post-treatment i developed an iron deficiency as well as thyroiditis and both antibodies for Graves and Hashimotos. My onco has me doing iron infusions (injectafer) but now wants me to see a GI as she's "concerned" about internal bleeding since my Ferritin and RBC continue to fall a few months after each treatment. I, like Cindylb, am dreading these scopes, but dread a second cancer more. I am now wondering if I should go ahead and see the GI now and not wait six months. I love my onco and trust her completely, but why would she put that in my head and tell me to wait until my next labs when she knows the numbers are going to be below the acceptable range?? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Has anyone else had to deal with something similar? Much support to everyone and keep fighting the fight.

Liked by cindylb

@cshillz

I am five years removed from BC, stage 2, chemo, radiation. three years post-treatment i developed an iron deficiency as well as thyroiditis and both antibodies for Graves and Hashimotos. My onco has me doing iron infusions (injectafer) but now wants me to see a GI as she's "concerned" about internal bleeding since my Ferritin and RBC continue to fall a few months after each treatment. I, like Cindylb, am dreading these scopes, but dread a second cancer more. I am now wondering if I should go ahead and see the GI now and not wait six months. I love my onco and trust her completely, but why would she put that in my head and tell me to wait until my next labs when she knows the numbers are going to be below the acceptable range?? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Has anyone else had to deal with something similar? Much support to everyone and keep fighting the fight.

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I'd go see the GI people…….I'm setting up my appointments now for all of that. Still dreading the whole thing BUT….maybe dreading not knowing for worse down the line. My husband has a cancer of unknown primary and we've been on a roller coaster with that for 9 months, so I've gotten behind taking care of myself….but I have my primary care appointment, working on my oncology follow up and yup, I'm going to ask my primary to get my colonoscopy set up. If caught early, digestive issues are more easily treated. Pesky and unfortunate. (Your oncologist may be on a 'watch and wait' a bit because things can come and go) but if you're going to worry……..get a recommendation for a good GI person and go so you'll feel better about it all maybe?
HUGS…….

Liked by cshillz

@colleenyoung

Hi Mary, Like you @canada and @martid have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society:
– Second Cancers After Breast Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/living-as-a-breast-cancer-survivor/second-cancers-after-breast-cancer.html

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn't cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

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So, I am about to read the article posted above. I am feeling stupid about secretly worrying about a second cancer. I JUST finished my last Herceptin for stage 3 Her2 positive breast cancer. I am 57, haven't yet had a colonoscopy ever, have low RBC not coming back up, and have had a very small amount of blood when pooping for about two months. Stomach and back hurt but I tell myself that it can't be anything because I had a Pet scan 1.5 years ago and it didn't show anything.(beside a large tumor in my breast) I see so many doctors, they would know, if something else was wrong, but I haven't told anyone about my colon question. I waiver so much between worry and telling myself not to be a hypochondriac. I'll do the colonoscopy soon because my insurance will probably pay for it and it will probably be such a relief for me- and I can tell myself to QUIT letting such thoughts sneak into my brain. Just hate to miss another day of work for the colonoscopy.
I never thought I'd write any post – too personal- but today, finally, it feels surprisingly good to put my fears out there.

Wow, sorry both you and your husband are navigating these waters. Thank you for your insight and the nudge I needed to go ahead and get the GI referral and scopes done hopefully this year. This is my first post in an on-line forum and thank you for responding!! This is all so terrifying and I'm glad I found this thread. HUGS…

Liked by cindylb

@cshillz

Wow, sorry both you and your husband are navigating these waters. Thank you for your insight and the nudge I needed to go ahead and get the GI referral and scopes done hopefully this year. This is my first post in an on-line forum and thank you for responding!! This is all so terrifying and I'm glad I found this thread. HUGS…

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Unfortunately, I think once you've been told you have cancer and go through all of this………..it's very hard not to worry about the original cancer coming back or another cancer popping up. It just stays with you. If my husband is any example….he was given up for dead 9 months ago from his cancer (Stage 4……unknown primary….in other words, no idea of what the cancer is) and yesterday the oncologist said perhaps years to live, something to be watched and managed and once again some kind of treatment options on the table. I try to think of my cancer as a chronic disease that I have to watch all the time but if I stay on it, perhaps something treatable for long into the future. No fun for sure but manageable. There are people on this site who were diagnosed and treated 10 years ago when there were even less options. It's good to have a forum to put our fears out there and share and this site and all the brave, strong people on here have been a lifesaver for me.

Liked by elizm

@yardgarden

So, I am about to read the article posted above. I am feeling stupid about secretly worrying about a second cancer. I JUST finished my last Herceptin for stage 3 Her2 positive breast cancer. I am 57, haven't yet had a colonoscopy ever, have low RBC not coming back up, and have had a very small amount of blood when pooping for about two months. Stomach and back hurt but I tell myself that it can't be anything because I had a Pet scan 1.5 years ago and it didn't show anything.(beside a large tumor in my breast) I see so many doctors, they would know, if something else was wrong, but I haven't told anyone about my colon question. I waiver so much between worry and telling myself not to be a hypochondriac. I'll do the colonoscopy soon because my insurance will probably pay for it and it will probably be such a relief for me- and I can tell myself to QUIT letting such thoughts sneak into my brain. Just hate to miss another day of work for the colonoscopy.
I never thought I'd write any post – too personal- but today, finally, it feels surprisingly good to put my fears out there.

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@yardgarden, what a great step to put your fears out there. It is time for a colonoscopy based on your age alone. Blood in the stool can signify different things, not necessarily cancer. But finding out what it is, is the first step to getting it fixed. You're spending a lot of energy telling yourself to quit letting fears sneak into your brain. Instead, why not spend the energy into making the appointment and taking action and regaining control of the fear. I know that is easier said than done. We're here to be your virtual cheerleaders to stand by you as you do what you know you must for YOU.

Liked by elizm

Thank you for your words. They are appreciated and will make a difference.

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