Mother (70) diagnosed, surgery scheduled

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mira2019
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:54 pm
Facebook Username: Kevin McCormack

Mother (70) diagnosed, surgery scheduled

Postby mira2019 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:07 pm

Hi all,

My mother had anemia symptoms for most of 2018 although it was only diagnosed in December. It wasn't too severe and she was/is pretty healthy and active. They did a colonoscopy and found a few polyps that were removed, including one that was bleeding. They also found a flat lesion that the doctor thought looked suspicious. She had a CT scan and just got the pathology back today with a surgery scheduled in 2 weeks. We're in Canada and she's in a relatively small town, so health care isn't always as quick as you'd like it to be.

From the sounds of it, the CT scan was clear. The doctor told my mom that she couldn't really stage her until after the surgery, but I would take that to mean they didn't see signs of metastases. Her grandmother and one of her aunts both had colon cancer in their 80s and passed away from it. My mother doesn't have a copy of pathology or any information on the size of the lesion.

I just wanted to check in here and see if there was any advice for the surgery or any reassuring words. I myself am 2 years NED after a testicular cancer and know how easy it is to fear the worse, despite nothing indicating things are that bad.

To all of you fighting this disease, you're in my prayers.

boxhill
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: Mother (70) diagnosed, surgery scheduled

Postby boxhill » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:04 pm

Where in her colon is the suspicious polyp, and what is the planned surgery? Are they planning some sort of colectomy? I'm assuming that a "clear" CT in this situation means no wall thickening, no enlarged lymph nodes, and no visible mets? Did they do a full set of scans: thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic?I guess that sometimes they plan some type of colectomy based on the state of a polyp, without obvious signs of cancer on CT. (Maybe that's how people end up diagnosed as stage 1! :) )

Try to get access to her pathology reports, and make sure they do basic genetic testing on her tumor, if there is one: MSS/MSI, KRAS and BRAF wild-type or mutated. Every medical entity I've dealt with here in the US has a patient portal, where I can read test results, surgery reports, etc. If not, she should call and ask her doctor for a hard copy of her reports.

BTW, is the doctor she's been talking to a gastroenterologist or a colorectal surgeon?
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemicolectomy
11 of 25 nodes,5 of 5 mesentery nodes
0.5 cm sub-capsular liver met removed
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/4/18 FOLFOX
Neulasta 6/28/18
7/9/18 CT no masses or enlarged nodes, 2mm indeterminate lung nodule
11/20/18 CT same, Lung nodule likely calcified granuloma. Enlarged spleen.
12/20/18 Liver MRI 5mm liver met and 2 lymph nodes in porta hepatis, CT review shows progression of nodes on FOLFOX
12/31/18 Keytruda

User avatar
O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: Mother (70) diagnosed, surgery scheduled

Postby O Stoma Mia » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:13 pm

mira2019 wrote:...
I just wanted to check in here and see if there was any advice for the surgery or any reassuring words...

Before surgery, the doctors should be sure to do a comprehensive panel of blood tests, including important tumor markers such as CEA and CA19-9, to serve as a baseline for the various cancer monitoring tests that they will want to do over the next year or so. Normally these baseline tests would be ordered by the doctor who will be doing the treatment monitoring over the next year and beyond. What you could do is to talk to the doctor now to make sure that they will be doing a comprehensive baseline of biomarkers before surgery starts. This has to be done before surgery and before any treatment regimen begins, otherwise it will be too late.

Reference:
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=61855&p=489276#p489276

Also, there are some good resources available for Canadians starting out on the cancer journey:
http://archive.colorectalcancercanada.com/#
https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56396&p=445886#p445886
Last edited by O Stoma Mia on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stewsbetty
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:08 am

Re: Mother (70) diagnosed, surgery scheduled

Postby Stewsbetty » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:58 am

mira2019 wrote:Hi all,

My mother had anemia symptoms for most of 2018 although it was only diagnosed in December. It wasn't too severe and she was/is pretty healthy and active. They did a colonoscopy and found a few polyps that were removed, including one that was bleeding. They also found a flat lesion that the doctor thought looked suspicious. She had a CT scan and just got the pathology back today with a surgery scheduled in 2 weeks. We're in Canada and she's in a relatively small town, so health care isn't always as quick as you'd like it to be.

From the sounds of it, the CT scan was clear. The doctor told my mom that she couldn't really stage her until after the surgery, but I would take that to mean they didn't see signs of metastases. Her grandmother and one of her aunts both had colon cancer in their 80s and passed away from it. My mother doesn't have a copy of pathology or any information on the size of the lesion.

I just wanted to check in here and see if there was any advice for the surgery or any reassuring words. I myself am 2 years NED after a testicular cancer and know how easy it is to fear the worse, despite nothing indicating things are that bad.

To all of you fighting this disease, you're in my prayers.


Welcome fellow Canadian! I am also in a small town,in BC, so I understand the struggles that go along with that. I wasn’t staged until after surgery and my tumour was very visible on the CT. I did have to ask for the MSI test but Kras and Braf were standard with BC cancer. Even if you are MSI though immunotherapy is not covered. I have had a decent experience through BC Cancer and hope that wherever your mom is she will be treated with compassion. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I believe is very important to have someone who can research and stay on top of information in order to advocate for or help the patient advocate for what is best. I do hope you have access to records through a portal of some type but I know that isn’t common so far in Canada.
Beth
42yo At diagnosis. Female in BC, Canada
Dx: CC ascending
Right Hemi colectomy 06/16 clear margins
Adenocarcinoma 6cm High Grade
pT3 pN2a Stage 3
10 out of 16 lymph involved
MSI-h, Kras mut, Braf wild
Finished chemo Feb. 2017
PET scan showing active area April 2017
July 2017 CT showing LN mass and spread to other LN
Stage 4
Aug 2017 failed Fofiri
Sept 2017 keytruda scans every 3 months showing shrinkage and stability to present
November 2018 CT shows only 1 small tumour left


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