I have been concerned about hemorrhoids and my family has a history of colon cancer. How concerned should I be?
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I’m sure the Dr. Took a biopsy of the mass! So you will need to wait until the results come back. He should have told you how big the mass is. When they found my mass which was over 4cm on the rectum near the spinkster muscle and it was determined that it was cancer, I was sent to have MRI’s to see if there was any other masses else where in my body! Luckily none were found and it had not grown past the rectum wall. Recommendation was chem/radiation to shrink the tumor then surgery to remove. I’m half way through my treatments and doing ok! Hope this helps!
I think anytime we hear that we have a mass, it is concerning. I had a colonoscopy and there was a stricture causing mass in my sigmoid, big enough that he couldn’t complete any of the scope. My GI did get some tissue, but it was small and the determination was high grade dysplasia but suspected cancer. I has an immediate CT scan which showed more of the mass and also showed that lymph nodes appeared affected and that it suggested metastatic tumor. The CT wasn’t done using the slide preferred by my surgeon, but because my mass was partially obstructing, I needed surgery quickly. It was scheduled for three weeks after scope. When they removed the tumor it was cancerous and about 15 cm and had grown near other organs (ovary, cecum and appendix) but didn’t spread to any other organs so I was stage 2A. No metastasis and 0/54 lymph nodes involved I am four years out from surgery and still NEd
Based on your family history and the existence of a mass, I would not delay in seeking treatment, but know that it isn’t hopeless and left sided CRC are the “best” type to get
Stay hopeful, reduce your stress )hard to do) and get your body prepared for whatever treatment is ahead. Load up on protein and hydrate your body.
I would get recommendations for selecting an oncologist, radiation specialist and surgeon from your regular doctor and others that you trust. Have conversations with each doctor and possibily multiple doctors to select a path for you.
Begin to learn about cancer. Many sites offer information. Most will require registration for access, but many are free. I have attached some sites.
Develop a list of questions for your doctor visits about options, potential outcomes, risks, etc. Take notes.
Become your own advocate. Sometimes the path will not be clear, ask lots of questions and ask for help understanding. You are taking a good step by finding those who have gone through this experience. Keep reaching out.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. They are all very helpful. Obviously I want a visit with the doctor first to ask questions and be prepared. I have an appointment with my surgeon for June 7. Hope to have the surgery soon. We are scheduled to go to Europe end of July.
As chemo and short course radiation have improved over the years prior to surgery, some studies have shown that 20 to 40%of patients achieve pathologic complete response ( pcr) . Pcr requires a colonoscopy and MRI testing after radiation and chemo. Pcr is no evidence of disease. Additional testing using ctdna blood tests can provide greater confidence of using watch and wait approach. Pathlogically complete response allows the option of watch and wait approach which does not involve surgery. This is a topic for treatment option questions as you move forward with your selection of doctors.
I was able to achieve pathologic complete response (pcr) and I am very happy with the watch and wait approach, 2 years and counting.
Attached is some information from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
I found some doctors are uncomfortable with watch and wait option and some that encourage this approach.
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@grete, I look forward to your update after you meet with your surgeon next week.
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