So scared: Just found 5cm tumor in rectosigmoid colon: Tips?

Posted by dbjax @dbjax, Feb 20 5:14am

Hi. I’m a 45 year old female with no family hx. I don’t smoke, drink socially and my diet is “ok”. However, yesterday after several months of light bleeding which I thought was a hemorrhoid along with bowel changes, I had a colonoscopy. They found a 5cm tumor in the recto sigmoid colon. They biopsied it and want to schedule surgery to remove it. I’m scared. I’m on night 2 of no sleep because my mind is racing as I consider all the scenarios. Tips? Thoughts? Anything? Is it at all possible a tumor that size would not be cancerous?
I am so scared

Hi I remember that feeling so well. You never forget it. The not knowing and waiting is devastating. My situation was cancerous polyps found during a colonoscopy. Then a scheduled surgery. All those unanswered questions. I’m sure many on this site can relate to what you are going through and are wanting the best outcome for you. Trust the process, put on your warrior gear. I remember, I would tell myself that I could/would handle whatever happened. I don’t have any answers for you, but you will remain in my thoughts.

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It’s hard until you know what is going on and you have a plan. I, too, had almost the identical situation just a few years ago at 49. Single mom of 9 year old twins. I would be happy to encourage you, pray with you, share what I learned with you.

You can and will handle this. Don’t speculate, read the internet, or think this forum can help you diagnose. Take a family member or friend with you to take notes during your next appointment(s). Breathe, take a walk, read a book, get lost in a good TV series. The unknown is the hardest, with information, you’ll gain control and confidence back. It may be benign. If not, there are so, so many options now that you have every reason to be optimistic. I will be praying for you and your strength!

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Hello @dbjax and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I'm glad that you voiced your concerns over your possible surgery and fear of a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, we at Connect are not medical professionals so we cannot diagnose or determine whether you have cancer or not. What we can do, though, is to encourage you and support you through this process. I have personally had three surgeries for a rare form of cancer, NET/carcinoid. My first surgery was in 2003 and the last surgery was in 2016. I understand the anxiety of waiting. It is a terrible process, but I just would repeat what others have suggested: do what you can to take your mind off of your upcoming surgery. Do some things you enjoy. Call friends, go out to lunch, go see a movie, tune in to your favorite TV series marathon, read, but just keep busy and active. It really will help.

Will you post again and let me know when your surgery is scheduled?

Liked by dbjax

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Hello @dbjax,

First and foremost, I want to say, you are not alone. Treatment and recovery may be a long road, but there are many members who’ve done it, and there's lots of support here–welcome!

Based on what I’ve learned from Connect members, tumor size means very little in terms of disease progression. I’d encourage you to take a look at this discussion, "Stage 2 colon cancer tumor removed – no chemotherapy?” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/thickening-of-upper-colon-shown-on-ct-but-had-a-good-colonoscopy/ where @chris221 talks about the tumor that was found in the lower sigmoid colon, and subsequent surgery.

Here’s another great discussion started by @virgo1952, which I hope will help address some of you concerns with regard to surgery:
Sigmoid colon resection: What to expect for recovery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sigmoid-colon-resection-10282019/

@dbjax, there's no doubt that this must be scary; do you know what type of surgery (resection, sigmoid colectomy) has been recommended?

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Hi
I totally understand why you are scared.
A sudden diagnosis can be overwhelming.
The same thing happened to me a little over 5 years ago.
It is probably best to remove the tumor as left in it can grow and become inoperable.
At least you will know what it is and determine how to move forward
Make sure you have a skilled surgeon that you trust
Aloha
Sally

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