Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

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Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby Catherine » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:29 pm

Hello, Colon Club. You don't know me but in preparation for my colonoscopy in January, I read these forums, so I'm kind of familiar with the goings-on here.

The preparation for the colonoscopy was simply awful, as you all know, but you're right when you say that the results are worse.

The polyp they removed was the size of a very large grape and I just found out about five minutes ago that it's pre-cancerous. :shock: I don't really know what to say or think about that. I asked the doctor and he said that it's extremely rare that someone my age would have a pre-cancerous polyp (hooray for me) and I would have to have a colonoscopy in a year and every two to three years for the rest of my life. He also told me my whole family needs to be checked.

I still really don't know what to think about the term "pre-cancerous." Has anyone else been given this diagnosis? What does it mean? Anyone have a good resource for me? I'm still kind of in shock, and I really don't know what to think. I'm glad I caught it early.
Pre-cancerous polyp removed on 1/28/10, age 27. Go me.

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby NWgirl » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm

Just curious what prompted a 27 year old to get a colonoscopy to begin with? Do you have other problems with your colon that might make you more likely to be a candidate for colon cancer? I'd ask if you need to be tested for Lynch Syndrome.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, both my brother and sister had colonoscopy's immediately. They each had a polyp removed but it was not cancer. My father died of colon cancer, but initial tests on me showed my cancer was not hereditary. Go figure - I was just the unlucky one in the family. It may be the same for you.

In any event, thank heavens it was caught early. If your only follow up is more colonoscopy's, thank your lucky stars. Definitely tell any siblings about this and your parents as they should all be tested (i.e. a colonoscopy) just to be safe.
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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby jmarie » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:29 pm

I am so glad you got checked early!!! Pre-cancerous might not seem early for you, but it is a blessing to find out now and not in 5 years. I am also curious to know what made you get a colonoscopy.
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mets liver lung, kras mutant
Baby 2yrs old! I am 32yrs
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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby butterfly » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:50 pm

Hi Catherine - Congratulations on braving your first colonoscopy. Sorry to hear a polyp was found. As previously asked, what prompted you to go for a colonoscopy? I am assuming by you saying it was pre-cancerous that it was an adenomatous polyp (pre-cancerous pathology) versus hyperplastic polyp (benign pathology). There are also sessile polyps (flat) versus pedunculated (balloon like). 98% of my polyps have been adenomatous. After your next scope if there are more polyps I would ask about genetic testing, which involves a simple blood test. It is better to know your risks so you can get proper surveillance and treatment to prevent cancer.

I know it is probably surprising for you to have had a polyp, and I know you say "hooray for me", but truly, "hooray for you" that you found this before you had cancer. I felt that way myself when I had my first colonoscopy and the doctor found a huge polyp in my cecum. My doctor asked if my sister had had any polyps and I told him, "No, I am the winner." And he said that yes I was the winner for finding the polyp when I did.

Just stay on top of it and follow your doctor's recommendations. Prevention is the best medicine!
45 Years Old
MYH Associated Polyposis (MAP)
Prophylactic Subtotal Colectomy 4/21/09
Uterine Cancer May 2011 (? Lynch Syndrome overlap)
Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy 5/16/11
Still growing colon polyps. Hoping to prevent colon cancer.

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby dianetavegia » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:54 pm

Catherine, I'm so glad it was found while pre-cancerous.

Have you looked at the past Colondar Calendars? There's several models who were in their teens when dx'd with cancer.
Stage IIIB cc surgery 1/7/09. 5/17 nodes. 12 tx FOLFOX
Stage IVa 2/15/12. CEA 6.4 PET = 1.5cm liver met. HR 4/11/12 No chemo

Nine years 3 months since my original dx and Six years post liver resection.
NED April 2018!
“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.”
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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby Ashlee H. » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:16 pm

I have Stage IV colon cancer. The tumor in my liver was found first. Then with a colonoscopy we found the colon tumor, the primary cancer. At the same time, the doc discovered an area of flat polyps. Nothing was done at the time regarding the flat polyps because of the difficulties in removing these polyps without having me bleed. Anyway, I had the other two tumors out. Then I went back to have the polyps removed. The doc had to shoot something in them to puff them up, so they could be cut away. He was only able to get 75% of the polyps at this time, and once I'm off chemo, I'll go back to have the other 25% removed. Tests did show this area was also pre-cancerous, but my ONC isn't that concerned about it. I didn't go into detail with my ONC, since I'm more concerned with fighting the known cancer. But, it sounds like since it is only pre-cancerous...while still scary, shouldn't be a big worry. Just have those yearly colonoscopies and chances are you will never have to go down the Colon cancer path. Spreading the word about CC is so important. People just don't think it can happen to someone so young, and we all know that just isn't true.
Stage IV w/liver met dx 7-1-09
KRAS Mutant
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2/14 - standard chemo has stopped working
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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby JAZZToo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:10 pm

Precancerous usually means that some of the cells in the polyp are dysplastic - that is they are not entirely normal but have undergone some changes in appearance but still function normally. This is not cancer but if the dyplasia continues, and the cells become more and more abnormal, then there is a high probability, that if left alone the polyp would develop a cancer within it. Thus by removing the polyp you have eliminated a possible future cancer. Is there any family history of colon cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian, or GI cancers in your family? If so, you should inquire about seeing a genetic counselor and testing for Lynch Syndrome which is a hereditary cluster of potential cancers that would require a close screening schedule for prevention since Lynch tumors can develop much quicker than a random colon cancer, thus necessitating colonoscopies every year or two.

Lynch Syndrome PMS2 mutation
Colon Cancer 2003
Endometrial Cancer 1995

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby John603 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:51 pm


I'm very glad to hear that your polyp was precancerous, but I'm also confused? Did they remove a tumor the size of a grapefruit during a colonoscopy? Usually a pre-cancerous polyp is fairly small. Did your doctor expalin how a an 8cm-12cm tumor hadn't gone into the colon wall? My tumor was 2.5 CM and it was almost blocking the colon, and it had almost gone through two walls of the colon.

Dx Stage IIIC (14 of 36 LNs +) Jan 07, age 42
Colectomy Jan 07
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Recurrence in Lymph Nodes Feb 08
Folfiri + Avastin Apr 08
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Recurrence in lungs & pelvic LNs May 09
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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby Polarprincess » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:03 am

mine was the size of a very large grape as well but considered too large to remove safely during a colonoscopy so i was referred for endoscopic removal by a speciailist, but i think because mine was thought to be sessile but ended up being on a stalk after the fact. Mine was just shy of being 3 cm in size. interesting how ours all vary.
42 y/o Diagnosed Stage IIIa (T1 N1 of 26 M0) July 2008
LAR July 24 2008
Supposedly benign polyp with
invasive tubulovillous adenocarcinoma
12 cycles Fulfox
28 days chemoradiation
Finished April 20th 2009
Currently NED

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby Catherine » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:35 am

Wow, you all responded quickly! I'm impressed and touched, really.

I had had bleeding in my stool for years but was told it was hemorrhoids, and that there was not much I could do about them short of Tucks and sitz baths. After I gave birth to my daughter, the bleeding got worse but I was told it was hemorrhoids then as well. The real concern started when I would go for a week without having a bowel movement about a year ago. I would feel ill until I could get everything out. I took fiber capsules and drank coffee but nothing seemed to get things moving. Things progressed and got a little scarier when I started to notice that there was a lot of mucus trailing after my stool. My husband had a job that had good insurance (temporarily) so we rushed in to make the appointment before his coverage ended.

I did tell my brother tonight that he needs to get checked out. My dad had a foot of his colon removed a few years ago due to polyps and when I initially told my GI this, they were unconcerned because my dad is 63, and it's not uncommon for a 63 year-old man to have polyps.

When the doctor called me today, it was out of the blue, as I had an appointment scheduled for the 18th. I was shocked (in a sense, because I never completely counted 'cancer' out of the realm of possibility) to hear him say "precancerous" and I really didn't know what to ask him. I don't know if the polyp was adenomatous, sessile or pedunculated but I definitely have some terms to brush up on! If I had to guess, I'd say it was pedunculated, based on the grape-shaped polyp I saw in the little glass jar.

Are there any other questions I should ask him when I speak with him again? As I'm sure you can tell, I'm new to this whole thing, and don't really know how to wrap my mind around it.

I will try and seek genetic screening for Lynch Syndrome. I'm concerned that with my awful insurance, it won't be covered. Maybe when I get a job with health insurance I can look into that further.

PolarPrincess- that is odd how different the experience can be with a polyp that was relatively the same size. When he showed it to me, I was drugged up, and I recall saying "that looks big.. is it?" and he told me it was. That's about all I remember from that experience, thankfully :)
Pre-cancerous polyp removed on 1/28/10, age 27. Go me.


Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby tokensmile » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:02 am

Hi Catherine,

I'm in a somewhat similar situation to you. I had a colonoscopy back in July, aged 28, and two adenomatous polyps were found. I was told to come back after 6 months for a follow up colonoscopy, which found a third, very small polyp (they said this one was probably there when the initial colonoscopy was carried out, but was too small to detect).

As a result of these polyps, I'm having genetic testing for MAP and HNPCC. I won't get the results for another month or so. Has genetic testing been mentioned by your consultant?

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby fldoghouse » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:08 am

Hi Catherine,
My daughter had a colonoscopy last April (age 19) due to abdominal pains she'd been having on and off for years. They found a precancerous polyp and she will have to be "scoped" every few years. I WISH her GI had told her to have her parents checked out - at that point no one in our family has had any type of cancer. 8 months later I was having some rectal bleeding which turned out to be stage 3c CRC.
Daughter ended up having major abdominal surgery in June due to scar tissue that was cutting off 2/3 of her intestines. She had an intussuception as an infant and the scar tissue from that had been causing problems over the last few years. So we are very happy that she did have the "scope" as she and her younger sister will undergo genetic testing and hopefully, they will NEVER have to go through what I'm going through.
So I am glad they found your polyp now and you know to stay on top of your health and get checked out regularly. Good luck to you :D

12/10/09 3cm, 6/17 nodes
1/4/10 Xeloda
1/20/10 RT
Will start Folfox late March
12/09 Stage IIIC, 6/17 nodes, Age 49
01/10 6mos Xeloda, 5 OXI infusions, 6 wks RT
Clean scans and scopes. 3/15

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby mhastings1229 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:44 am

I wouldn't say that it's EXTREMELY rare that someone your age has pre-cancerous polyps. A friend of mine who passed away from cc in August (at age 29) insisted that her family and friends get colonoscopies. 2 out of her 4 friends that have had scopes since then had pre-cancerous polyps, with NO family history. All were under 31. No family relation to the person that passed. Doesn't seem all that "extremely rare" to me.

Thank goodness you got checked. Talk with your dr about your situation, and make sure you trust him/her. And, your family must get scoped as well. It could save their lives.
Dx 5.23.08 (31 y.o.), Stage 3 colon cancer, colon resection, 13 rounds of Folfox, Remission 1.2009
Dx 3.20.2012 (35 y.o.), Stage 4, Active lymph nodes in upper left abdomen, suspicious spots on lungs
Started Folfiri and Avastin 3.27.2012

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby SkiFletch » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:33 pm

Yeah, after getting diagnosed with stage IV CC at 29 years old, I don't believe this whole theory that CC and polyps are only found in older folks. Having said that, I too am very glad you had the polyp found before it could become cancerous. At that size, it wouldn't have been too much longer before it did become cancerous and you don't want to end up in my shoes, or those of most of the rest of us here :). I'll echo everyone else's sentiments about relatives getting scopes, and possible testing for Lynch, as it's better to know than to stick your head in the sand. And much as you may not have enjoyed your scope prep, trust us, a scope a year is nothing compared to surgery, chemo, and/or radiation ;). Good luck and keep up with the surveillance
11/13/09 5cm Stage IV 9/25 lymph nodes w/2cm peritoneal met at 29 YoA
12/15/09 LA right hemi-colectomy
6/16/10 Folfox FINISHED
8/10/10 Prophylactic HIPEC
10/9/10 got Married :D
Still NED and living life to the fullest

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Re: Pre-Cancerous Polyp, I'm 27

Postby Kathydowd » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:21 pm

Hi Catherine,
I am new here as well. I am not sure if you saw my post about tubulovillous adenoma with high grade dysplasia or not but that is the diagnosis I just got from a 3cm polypectomy. (precancerous). I am 40 however so not as young as you. No family history and always been healthy, never smoked, exercise religiously, try to eat healthy. I have to go back in 4 weeks to make sure that my polyp was totally removed although I did get clear margins the doc wants to be aggressive. I am also having a CT scan next week for persistent abd pain, hopefully nothing shocking will be revealed. I hope you follow up and gather information to ask your doctor because you are very young and need to be followed closely. Good Luck!!

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