lakeswim wrote:...My big question right now is TOMORROW. They scheduled me for a scope (think it's a sigmoidoscopy) early tomorrow under general anesthesia during which they will tattoo my tumor....If anyone can tell me the purpose of the tattoo and if the tattoo (and the scope) is normal protocol at this stage, I would appreciate it. (Does the tattoo tell me anything about what lies ahead?)
I really don't know why they would do a tattoo for a large tumor like yours. I suppose that this information could be useful to help the surgeon find the exact location of the tumor when it comes time for the surgery, but I'm not sure that that's the reason. The surgery will probably be a resection
done by making the upper and lower cuts from the outside of the rectum, rather than a trans-anal excision
done by cutting from inside. In this case, they need to have a good idea where the tumor is located when they are viewing the rectum from the outside. Maybe this kind of tattoo is done in such a way that the tattoo can be seen also from the outside of the rectum. If so, then when they start the surgery they would first look for the part of the rectum where the tattoo can be seen, and then they will know where they need to make the upper and lower cuts so that the tumor is sure to be in the center of the removed section.
This would be important, because when it comes time for surgery they must not cut into the malignant tumor itself. They will be making cuts a good distance away so as not to pierce or cut into the tumor during the tumor removal process. Maybe the tattoo is a way for them to be sure that they are making the cuts far away from the edges of the tumor.
All of this is pure speculation on my part, however, since I am not familiar with using tattoos in this context. I hope you get some clarification on this after you talk to the doctor.
Please post your scan results when you find out about them, as they are an important part of the staging process. Good luck tomorrow!
Note: Here is a link to your original thread two weeks ago:https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59672