56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

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gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:43 am

Hello, I noticed blood on a stool about 5 months ago, but was not sure. Then I noticed it more often the last several weeks and saw a doctor. I had the colonoscopy thinking I had hemorrhoids. Turns out they found a 5 cm tumor. They told me it looked like cancer, I have not gotten the biopsy results yet, but did the blood work on Friday. The CT scans will done this Friday. reading the forum I feel better. I was clueless what this all meant. I guess the most important thing to find out now is what stage it is in, and that will be finding out if it spread to the lymph nodes. I am thinking I should find out with the CT scans. Is that correct? Is so does anybody know how long it normally takes to get the results? Or do they need to do the surgery to find out what stage your in. I think the blood work helps with the stage also. I asked the woman talking the blood what they are looking for. She told me they are looking for cancer cells in my blood. Will that be an indication on what stage I am in? It has been nerve racking because it happen over the Christmas holidays so after they found the mass, the doctor office closed the next day.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

AussieAssCancer
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 10:16 am

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby AussieAssCancer » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:30 am

G’day,

Sorry you had to join our club butt you’re in the right place.

I’m your blood they’re probably looking at mainly your CEA which is a cancer marker. It’s a good measure for some people, and a useless measure for others. Only time will tell for you. It doesn’t help with stage by itself though.

The scans are to see if it’s spread to your lymph nodes and anywhere else (liver, lungs etc). Once they have the scans, and the biopsy results, they’ll give you a staging.

Treatment from there depends on where in the colon/bowel the tumour is. If it’s in the colon proper they tend to cut it out and then give you chemo after. If it’s rectal cancer (like mine), they generally give you chemoradiation before surgery, and then Mop-up chemo afterwards, depending on the stage.

Things will happen pretty quickly over the next few weeks, and it’s a shitty ride (pun intended). I found it much easier once I knew what the plan was.

Ask heaps of questions of your doctors, and if necessary, write it down.

The folks here will be able to give you practical advice re what to expect treatment wise that the docs simply can’t.

Keep us posted along the way.

AAC
Dx Oct '15 w/ Stage 3c RC
Nov '15 - Jan '16: 3x FOLFOX and 5wks Chemoradiation w/ Xeloda
March '16: ULAR w/ temp ileostomy
Complete pathological response incl 0/12 nodes
April '16: Clear CT (NED)
May - Aug '16: 9x FOLFOX (dropped Oxaliplatin for final Rd due to neuropathy)
Dec '16: Clear CT (NED)
Feb '17: Ileostomy reversed
Aug '17: Clear CT (NED)
Feb ‘18: Clear CT (NED)

Blog: kickingrectalcancerintheassblog
https://kickingrectalcancerintheassblog.wordpress.com/

Beckster
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby Beckster » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:03 am

gmcbrazen wrote:Hello, I noticed blood on a stool about 5 months ago, but was not sure. Then I noticed it more often the last several weeks and saw a doctor. I had the colonoscopy thinking I had hemorrhoids. Turns out they found a 5 cm tumor. They told me it looked like cancer, I have not gotten the biopsy results yet, but did the blood work on Friday. The CT scans will done this Friday. reading the forum I feel better. I was clueless what this all meant. I guess the most important thing to find out now is what stage it is in, and that will be finding out if it spread to the lymph nodes. I am thinking I should find out with the CT scans. Is that correct? Is so does anybody know how long it normally takes to get the results? Or do they need to do the surgery to find out what stage your in. I think the blood work helps with the stage also. I asked the woman talking the blood what they are looking for. She told me they are looking for cancer cells in my blood. Will that be an indication on what stage I am in? It has been nerve racking because it happen over the Christmas holidays so after they found the mass, the doctor office closed the next day.


Welcome to the forum! I will try to answer some of your questions... I had all of this done while waiting my biopsy reports

1. Bloodwork is used to get your CEA(tumor marker.) Normal, depending where you get your blood work is under 4.7. This is Lab Corp range and uses the Roche Assay. CEA is sometimes, but not always, connected with colon cancer. They will also look at you Alkaline Phosphate, AST, ALT, GGT, Hemoglobin. These tests look for anemia(blood loss) and abnormalities of the liver. All my blood work was pristine and I still had cancer. My CEA was 1.9.
2. CT scan is looking to see if cancer has spread to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and/or abdomen. CT scans should be available by the end of the day or next day.
3. According to the results of blood work and CT scan, they can clinically determine a stage. However, you will not get the official stage until after surgery and review by pathology. I was clinically diagnosed Stage 1 before surgery and Stage 2A after pathology review.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions..
Beckster
57/Female
DX:(CC) 10/19/16
11/4/16- Lap right hemi(cecum)
CEA- Pre Op (1.9), Pre Chemo (2.5)
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 3.5 cm x 2.5 x 0.7 cm
Tumor grade: G3 (surgical) G2 (pre-op)
TNM: T3N0M0/IIA
lymph nodes: 0/24
Lymphovascular invasion
Surgical margins: clear
Lynch- Negative
12/27/2016 - Capeox, anaphylactic reaction to oxaliplatin on first infusion-discontinued
1/2/17 to 6/9/17- Xeloda monotherapy
6/26/17, 12/12/17 CT Scan NED :D
CEA- 6/17- 3.6, 9/17- 2.8 12/17-2.8
Clear Colonoscopy 10/17 :D

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:59 am

Thanks so much for the replies. Waiting and not knowing it so hard. It was difficult to hear and process the information. When I went to get my blood drawn I was told about applying for disability, that the chemo will knock me out and I will not be able to work. That scared me. The doctor wanted to do surgery right away with a skeleton crew this week. But I don't know. I think she thought I could get in quicker with a scan but could not get one until Friday. That will push all of this until next year. I hope every thing does move quickly I want to be done with this.
The tumor was found in the Sigmoid colon 15 cm from my rectum. She seem to think that was a good location for surgery. My sister thinks I should get another doctor because she believes my doctor is rushing things. She does not think most doctor just blurt out you have cancer before the testing results come in. She doesn't think they go right to surgery that they look at options, chemo to reduce the tumor first. But from what I am reading on this forum my doctor is in-line with this. It seams like most people were told by the doctor it was cancer before any test results come in.

My big question what is recovery from colony cancer like. Does being out of work really take months? I think I have some short term disability at work if needed. My savings will help for a few months before I need to go into retirement savings. But I can loose my job or I will loose my insurance. I need to work.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

zx10guy
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:54 pm

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby zx10guy » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:23 am

To add to Beckster's reply:

CEA is a protein which is expressed normally. The liver is responsible for metabolizing it out of your blood stream. CEA is produced by certain solid tumor cancers. A refinement of why this is checked is what my oncologist told me recently. Typically when someone presents with high CEA, the doctors will look for possible metastatic spread. Just because you have high CEA doesn't mean you do have metastatic spread, but it does increase the odds. I had a high preoperative CEA at 13.9. It went back down after surgery and chemo but I only had one test result where it was in the normal range. My numbers have always been on the higher side of the normal range. And even recently, my CEA has been crazy as it was hovering around the 5 range under the Roche test and is now bouncing around in the mid teens for a year now with no cancer found.

The CT scan was ordered to see if there is metastatic spread and to also characterize the tumor found during your colonoscopy. The only time scans are used for staging is for rectal cancer. And this is only a preliminary staging (clinical). It's never done for colon. The actual staging occurs after surgery when the removed section is sent off to pathology. The CT will give a decent picture of what you're dealing with including any possible lymph nodes. But in my case, the pre operative CT didn't pick up on the one lymph node that was affected. Pathology was the only thing that picked it up. I also had a PET scan done because the CT showed two lesions in my liver. These lesions didn't light up on the PET scan and later a biopsy during surgery confirmed the lesions were benign. Also the PET didn't pick up on the lymph node either.

As Beckster said, the results of the CT scan should be available by the end of the day or next day. If you go in the morning, there is a high chance the CT scan report will be ready in the afternoon. This is what I've been doing with scheduling any of my scans. It's up to you to call the radiology office to check to see if the scan report is ready. You'll have to go in person to pick up the report as they want to verify identity and won't read the results to you over the phone. Your doctor also has the option of putting a STAT order on the scan but I haven't seen this done all that often. The only time I've had a STAT order on a scan was the PET scan I had. My surgeon wanted to get all the information he can get before my surgery date. And because my surgery was 2 days after Christmas, he wanted to make sure he got the report quickly. Although it didn't matter in the end as the radiologist didn't complete the report before the office closed on Christmas Eve.

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:57 am

zx10guy, thanks for your reply. I guess now all I can do is wait.
Will keep posting as I found out.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

Lee
Posts: 5506
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby Lee » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:32 pm

gmcbrazen wrote: . . . My sister thinks I should get another doctor because she believes my doctor is rushing things. She does not think most doctor just blurt out you have cancer before the testing results come in. She doesn't think they go right to surgery that they look at options, chemo to reduce the tumor first. But from what I am reading on this forum my doctor is in-line with this. It seams like most people were told by the doctor it was cancer before any test results come in.

My big question what is recovery from colony cancer like. Does being out of work really take months? I think I have some short term disability at work if needed. My savings will help for a few months before I need to go into retirement savings. But I can loose my job or I will loose my insurance. I need to work.


I was told I had cancer when I woke up from my colonoscopy. These Dr.(s) know cancer when they see it. I am of the opinion, 2nd opinions are ALWAYS a good idea. You really want a surgeon who has experience with this type of surgery. I would recommend a board certified Colon Rectal surgeon. Regarding chemo, for some it is harder than others. What type of job do you do? Many people have worked while on chemo. Others cut back to part time.

Welcome sorry for the reason you are here. Butt you will find a lot of help and experience here.

Lee

edited to add this. Good friend of my mine, DH was recently been diagnosed with cancer. They just did a biopsy to determine what type of cancer. But Dr. said it is cancer.
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

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susie0915
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Facebook Username: Susan DeGrazia Hostetter
Location: Michigan

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby susie0915 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:18 pm

I was told I had cancer upon waking from my colonoscopy also. Getting a second opinion is never a bad thing. I know I wanted to just get started on treatment, but was able to get appointments fairly quickly for second opinions. My treatment was going to be the same at each hospital, so I spoke with a surgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist from each cancer center. I chose the team from my second opinion choice as I just felt more comfortable with the doctors and it was a larger cancer center. I'm sure the original surgeon and doctors I met with would've done fine, but I had to make a decision and I have not regretted it. The only difference in treatment was the chemo after surgery as one would use pills with infusions, and the other the pump. I know you want to get started but truly think about a second opinion. FYI many on this forum have worked through all their treatments, just maybe time off after surgery.
58 yrs old Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 Bowel blockage. surgery,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc feels scar tissue
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear pel/abd CT
11/17 CEA<.5
1/18 CT/Lung no change in 4mm nodule or scarring/inflammation

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:09 pm

Thanks, The doctor just called me at home. She got the results from the biopsy yes it is cancer. But the blood work is good she say 1.6. She says that means there is a 70 percent chance that is localized. But 30% of tumors do not show up in the blood. So the cat scan on friday will let us know if it spread. She said I am a good canidate for robtic surgery. I think this will go fast after Friday. She works with a Colon Rectal surgeon, she is calling to see his schdule. I will get his name to see if he/she is board certiifed. I am praying we caught it in the early stages.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:22 pm

Thank to all that replied!!!! Susie0915 thanks for the work info. I was hoping it would be time off for surgery only. I am glad to hear I is possible to work through treatment at least part time, if not full time. I am a designer and I sure they will reduce my work load and let me work on one or two project instead of my current work load. They will probable let me work from home as well. I just did not know what the chemo would be like. I was told that it will knock you down and you will not be able to work, I will be in diapers. That I don't mind if I work at home. I just really need to keep the insurrance.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

NHMike
Posts: 1107
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby NHMike » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:35 pm

It seems like you have a lot of concerns about missed time from work and I had the same concerns so I'll describe what I've been through:

I had rectal cancer which is different from what you have. The normal course for mine is 28 days of chemo and radiation, six week break, surgery, six week break, 6 months of adjuvant chemo.

I worked full-time through the 28 days of chemo and radiation but I worked from home most of the time.

I went on short-term disability starting the day of surgery going for 12 workdays or 2 weeks and two days and then I was back in the office. If you have a desk job, then it can be manageable assuming you're not in pain (I didn't need any painkillers after leaving the hospital). I really didn't need any after surgery either. If you have a physical job where you need to stress your abs, then I think that I'd stay on STD for a longer period of time. The surgeon told me that I could get back to doing normal things after eight weeks but I have an ileostomy so I still have to be careful.

I started Adjuvant Chemo last week and the first week was rough because one of the chemo drugs is pretty rough in cold climates. I did go into the office while on this regimen but I can work from home if it's too challenging or if I'm worried about catching something at the office. I'm assuming that you will do Adjuvant Chemo, particularly if you're stage 3 - and this stuff knocks down your red and white blood counts so you have less stamina and you have lower resistance to illness. So the recommendation is to not to get sick.

As far as treatment goes, I would get second opinions from a top hospital. I was doing things through a local hospital but folks here and from my family recommended getting second opinions from the Boston Hospitals (we're an hour away). Boston has a lot of great hospitals but the top of the heap are Mass General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's. The oncologist and radiation oncologist had the same plan for chemo/radiation so I went with the local guys for treatment. But I picked the surgeon from Brigham and Women's. There are no cancer/GI specialists in my state - I would get a general surgeon if I stayed local. The usual recommendation is to get your surgery done by a board-certified colorectal surgeon at a high-volume center. The folks there do these procedures all the time and are experts in their field. A general surgeon may only do one of these a year and may not be familiar with all of the best practices for preventing spread or minimizing loss of function.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
12/20: Started CapeOx

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:39 am

Thank you NHMike, you provided a lot of information. I have not gone through staging yet. Tomorrow I hope to hear something after the CT scan. I am with a GI specialist at Greater Memorial Hospital in Houston. The GI specialist has a board Certified corectoal surgeon that she works with at Memorial hospital. I will get the name and check them out soon. My follow up appointment is Jan 3. I am waiting until tomorrow to get the scan results, Doc said she will call me to let me know.

So far my Doctor has not mentioned Chemo before hand. I have a list of questions to ask during my follow up and now adjuvant chemo will be on the list. It is good to know that I can work though chemo. I work in a satellite office by myself, which will reduce the chances of me getting sick. Plus I know I an work at home if needed. Thanks for letting me know not to get sick, I did not even think of that. Good luck in your battle and thanks for sharing it really helps to hear of other stories from people who are managing and surviving this.

We don't have short term disability at work only long term, which will not take effect until 90 days. I am sure I will not be out 90 days, so my combination of sick days and vacation days should cover 3 weeks. So that may just cover the surgery recovery. Thanks for giving me hope.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)

NHMike
Posts: 1107
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby NHMike » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:24 am

gmcbrazen wrote:Thank you NHMike, you provided a lot of information. I have not gone through staging yet. Tomorrow I hope to hear something after the CT scan. I am with a GI specialist at Greater Memorial Hospital in Houston. The GI specialist has a board Certified corectoal surgeon that she works with at Memorial hospital. I will get the name and check them out soon. My follow up appointment is Jan 3. I am waiting until tomorrow to get the scan results, Doc said she will call me to let me know.

So far my Doctor has not mentioned Chemo before hand. I have a list of questions to ask during my follow up and now adjuvant chemo will be on the list. It is good to know that I can work though chemo. I work in a satellite office by myself, which will reduce the chances of me getting sick. Plus I know I an work at home if needed. Thanks for letting me know not to get sick, I did not even think of that. Good luck in your battle and thanks for sharing it really helps to hear of other stories from people who are managing and surviving this.

We don't have short term disability at work only long term, which will not take effect until 90 days. I am sure I will not be out 90 days, so my combination of sick days and vacation days should cover 3 weeks. So that may just cover the surgery recovery. Thanks for giving me hope.


Neo-Adjuvant is usually for Rectal Cancer from what I've observed and I've noticed that a lot of those with Colon Cancer skip that.

Note that some people do go on short-term disability for chemo and wind up sleeping a lot so there are a lot of factors at play and I've seen a wide variance in what people can do on chemo. I started a long thread asking can you work full-time on chemo on another forum. BTW, here's a video of me playing tennis while on chemo and radiation (I'm in the near court). My oncologists were pretty impressed as it doesn't look like the chemo and radiation had any effect (they actually did slow me down somewhat) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ipaq4HTk0&t=1209s

You have the best cancer hospital in the US and, maybe the world, in your city so it may be that your prospective surgeon works at both MD Anderson and Greater Memorial.

There are a lot of other aspects of cancer treatment but it can be overwhelming reading up on things. You should know a lot more about treatment plans once you have your staging and your doctors will give you an outline of what they propose. We will be happy to support you through the period of time leading up to your surgery and getting through it if you want. Surgery is really a process starting one to two weeks before the actual surgery as they do a lot before the surgery to reduce the chances of infection and complications and to provide any needed training before the surgery. There can be a lot of logistics issues with surgery too - if this is your first surgery (it was mine), then a lot of things may be new to you and you need to have all of your ducks lined up in a row.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
12/20: Started CapeOx

Deb m
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby Deb m » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:31 am

Get a second opinion from a major cancer center, it always proves to be beneficial in some way! Also make sure the surgeon is a colorectal board certified surgeon. Remember that this type of cancer is one of the slowest growing cancers there is, so you have time to do all this. I understand the feeling that you want this out now, we've all been there, but you only get one shot at this, so make sure it's accurate and the surgeon is the best you can get. Hang in there and know that I will be wishing and praying for the best for you.

Deb m

gmcbrazen
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:18 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: 56 went for a colonoscopy they found 5 cm tumor

Postby gmcbrazen » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:50 pm

Thanks, NHmike and Deb M, From what I hear it may take a long time to get into MD Anderson. I did call them before I had the Pathology report and they said I needed to wait until I got that. I will call again, I know they have the best Chemo treatment. I will try to get a follow up appointment with MD Anderson as well as my current doctor. Yes my gut instinct is to hurry up and have the surgery and work out the chemo plan later. The Pathology Report shows invasive adenocarcinoma, moderately differentiated. I am so thankful that I had no T-markers, but I am scared of moving on this too slowly and not getting it out in time. I am not wondering if I can have it removed and go to MD Anderson for the Chemo. I need to hear what my doctor methods for Chemo is and research it.

Yes I had my gallbladder out so this is my second surgery. I have some idea of what to expect.
12/21/2017 Colonoscopy 5cm tumor found
01/03/2018 Scans and blood results clean possible early stage but need to wait until surgery before final staging (hoping for stage 1)


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