Polyps that involve the appendiceal orifice

Posted by dlc69 @dlc69, Jun 4 7:41am

I had a positive Cologuard and just had my first colonoscopy yesterday at the age of 52. The doctor told me that there is a medium sized polyp at the base of my appendix that couldn't be removed safely due to risk of perforation and the fact that they cannot be sure that the polyp doesn't extend into the appendix. I am reading that this is fairly rate. So I now I am waiting to hear the result of the biopsy. The doctor said that the polyp needs to be removed even if its just benign or precancerous (which I thought was the same thing) either by a highly skilled gastro surgeon or via an appendectomy. He said he'd be surprised if its cancerous but that would be a different conversation. I'm so confused and upset by all this.

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Hello @dlc69 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sure all of this news and lack of concrete next steps is worrisome to say the least.

As I read your post, I get the sense that you are very in tune with what the doctor has shared with you but the uncertainty is what is troubling you at the moment. It is so understandable during this waiting period.

Have you considered making a list of "what ifs" if the news comes back that the tumor is benign/non-cancerous vs. cancerous just to feel like you will be prepared to carry on the next conversation with regard to your care? It may be an exercise that will let you write your thoughts/concerns down either way and also be prepared with questions following your test results.

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@dlc69, I wanted to check in with you and to find out what you've since learned from the biopsy of the polyp. I can understand your confusion regarding benign vs pre-cancerous polyps. They are not the same thing. Polyps in our colon are very common. Certain shapes (flat with short stems) may indicate a higher risk of developing into cancer (pre-cancerous). This article explains clearly and in-depth:
– Types of Polyps and Cancer Risk https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/about-colorectal-cancer/prevention/colon-polyps/

Because colorectal cancer grows very slowly, tests like Cologuard and colonoscopy are highly effective of stopping potential cancer in its tracks.

I've had both benign and pre-cancerous polyps. They were removed easily and without after effects during a colonoscopy. It sounds like the location of your polyps may be a little more tricky but not complicated if done by an experienced GI surgeon.

Please share the result of your biospy and next steps.

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