80 year old mother

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Deb m
Posts: 491
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

80 year old mother

Postby Deb m » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:36 pm

Here I am again, only this time with my 80 year old mother. She had her right colon removed last week and a 1.7cm tumor was removed. The pathology report shows one out of 27 nodes positive for cancer and the "T" rating is T1. Her cells were moderately differentiated. Nothing else significant in the pathology report . Were trying to decide whether to do any chemo or not. Other than the cancer, she is in fairly good health. She has slight COPD from being a previous smoker and does have pretty severe arthritis. Her pre surgical CEA was 3, so not really sure if its a good marker for her. Her pet scan pre surgery didn't show and spread beyond the initial tumor. She had her surgery done at U of M hospital in Ann Arbor Michigan and we feel she is getting very good care and they are very competent. Her surgeon was a colo-rectal surgeon who only preforms cancer surgeries in the colon and rectum.

Trying to decide what to do. Any thoughts would be appreciated. My personal opinion is just perhaps, if anything, start Xeloda. If it's to much for her to handle, then just stop. I'm also thinking though of maybe not doing anything because this cancer is usually slow growing and she very well may die of old age before the cancer gets her. Thanks for you help and I will be looking forward to your replies.

Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:48 pm

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby Rikimaroo » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:01 pm

My grandmother is in her 80s. She had breast cancer in her 70s. She did everything and was good until recently somethings popped up in her lungs. To be honest at 80+ years old it is not worth the impact that chemotherapy does to the quality of life. She decided not to do anymore chemo. However she is drinking and taking natural stuff that might help.

This is just my 2 cents, but if it was me and I was 80 I would not do anything. I would just do natural stuff since I lived a good long life. I wish I got cancer when I was in my 80s. I am only 40 :(

Good luck on you decision.
MSS - NRAS Mutation
Chemo Rad, CCR - W&W 5/2017
Recurrence 11/2017
CT Scan 11/2017 Liver Met 5.5cm Stable, Stage IV
Port Scheduled for 12/2017, folfox - avastin 12/2017
Blood Clot in Neck 1/2018, stop avastin, continue FolFox
LAR/Liver Resect 4/2018
Chemo Finish 8/2018
Reversal 10/18
CEA - 12/16 26.1, 1/17 32.2, 3/17 6.6, 11/17 500.5, 12/17 638.5, 1/3/18 424.8, 1/16/18 163.5, 1/31/18 62.2, 2/18 21.1, 3/18 14, 4/18 .8, 10/18 1.2, 12/18 3.2, 2/8 11.4, 3/6 22

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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby stu » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:40 pm

It is a difficult decision for sure .

This is a discussion I have had with my mum recently . She would avoid chemo where possible now but would still seek radiotherapy and surgical options . Chemo was rough on her and her platelets are down around 55 since her liver resection. After her lung met was removed a few years ago she did not do chemo . She went for maximum quality of life . She has not regretted her decision.

It can always be stopped though so if she is up for trying then it’s certainly an option .

Take care ,

supporter to my mum who lives a great life despite a difficult diagnosis
stage4 2009 significant spread to liver
2010 colon /liver resection
chemo following recurrence
73% of liver removed
enjoying life treatment free
2016 lung resection
Oct 2017 nice clear scan . Two lung nodules disappeared
Oct 2018. Another clear scan .

Deb m
Posts: 491
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby Deb m » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:16 pm

Thanks for your replies.

michelle c
Posts: 1872
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:58 am

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby michelle c » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 pm

With stage III colon cancer there is a good chance that all the cancer was removed with surgery. Chemo is just "mop up" to kill off any stray cancer cells that "might" have got through via the lymph system. I had chemo because I was in my 40's and just wanted to have better insurance against the cancer. However, my thoughts for an 80 year old is not to do chemo. My onc also used the scenario of an 80 year old v a 40 year old and said that if I was 80, he would not advise me to have chemo. I wish you and your mother all the very best.
25 May 09 Dx with CC (sigmoid colon) 2 days after my 44th b'day
CEA prior to surgery 4.7
3 Jun 09 LAR - Stage III 3/10 lymph nodes
6 Jul - 10 Dec 09 12 cycles FOLFIRI
Genetic testing - inconclusive for Lynch
Jul 12 port removed & hernia repair

Deb m
Posts: 491
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby Deb m » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:19 am

Thanks Michelle,

That's what I'm thinking, not to do the chemo. It was just one lymph node that showed cancer cells in it and it was removed.


Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:40 pm

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby natelaugh » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:52 pm


My dad is in 80s. He is doing mop up 5FU chemo tomorrow because he is over 70yrs. It was a hard decision but base on his health we decided to do it. Here are the reasons. If he has no cancer then, chemo is just an insurance. If he has cancer in his blood then, this give him a chance to remove cancer. The oncologist said if we wait for a tumor to form, then my dad lost a chance for a cure. Also, base on statistic, most people finish 5FU for 6 months. And if can't handle chemo, then can reduce the chemo dosage or stop it. However, don't know unless try it.

You can look into if she qualify 3 months of chemo instead of 6 months of chemo. This is base on her cancer stage.


Caregiver to 80M
11/2018 rightPain
1/19/19 scopy,path
1/23 CTscan
2/19 surgery
2/26-2/28 NGTube
2/28-3/14 TPN bc ileus
3/2 2nd surgeryCloseOpenWound
3/4-3/28 woundVac
size: 6cm Adenocarcinoma
grade Poorly
Stage IIIC T3N2aMx
Surgical margins:clear
MSI:MMR (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2) Intact nuclear expression
Lynch status:N
Laparascopic, partial colectomy
CEA:3/28/19 2.8
Chemo:4/16/19-9/17/19 5FU,12cycles,every 14days,leucoverin,zofran,Dexamethasone

Deb m
Posts: 491
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: 80 year old mother

Postby Deb m » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:24 pm

Thanks everybody .

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