Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

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Deep
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Deep » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Hello all,

This is my first post on here. I went to the doctors a couple weeks back after I noticed some blood mixed in with my poop. In retrospect, my bowel movements changed years ago. First I started to have to go every morning like clockwork. Then here the past 6 months, I have had to go 2-3 times a day. That did not take me to the doctors as I did not see it as a medical issue at the time. My bowel movements are narrow as well. I just noticed this after internet searching colon cancer obsessively and seeing it was a symptom and then looking for myself and paying more attention. Not sure how long that has been going on. I am only 39 years old. I am scared to death that I have cancer. Thought I would come here to get some advice. Anyways, the department of Veterans Affairs scheduled me 6 weeks out for my sigmoidoscopy. This is torture. What are the chances that this is just polyps? Thanks for your time.
11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox

hiker
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:15 am

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby hiker » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:27 pm

First off, thank you for your service. The fact that you have to wait 6 weeks for something as simple as a sigmoidoscopy is an insult to our veterans and an embarrassment to our country. We really should be taking better care of you. I'll stop there before I say something that gets me blocked from the site.

Second, if I were you I would be pushing for a colonoscopy. You may have cancer...and you may not. No amount of online searching, worrying, studying your poo, or opinions from any of us will properly diagnose you. Only the proper tests will give you the answer. If you don't have cancer, celebrate. If you do and it's stage 3 or 4, start putting together a great team that will go after the cancer as aggressively as possible. That's where people here can help you.

You're young so chances are it's not cancer. If it is, it's not a death sentence. It'll be a tough period of your life. But I have a feeling that you'll get through it.

hiker
Colonoscopy 2/17, 5cm tumor descending
Diagnosed stage iv, liver mets 3/17
Colon resection 3/17
Told surgery not an option, get my affairs in order
Meet w/MSK team 5/01/17
Folfox(3rds) 5/17-6/17
Liver resection/implant HAI pump 7/17
HAI pump chemo(5rds) 8/17-2/18
Folfiri+Vectibix(11rds) 8/17-2/18
Spot on chest CT 10/17
Lung biopsy (that was fun) 11/17
Nocardia bacterial infection w/spread to brain (this is serious) 11/17
IV antibiotics 12/17-2/18
Oral antibiotics 3/18-12/18
Clear of cancer since surgery

Lee
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Lee » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:28 pm

First relax.

Like many others who come, scared!!! Avoid Dr. Google, you can diagnose your self with anything with Dr. Google. Many people come here convienced that they have cancer only to learn after the colonoscopy that they are fine. Also know that many different issues could be causing your symptoms. Cancer is just "ONE" possibility.

Does colon cancer run in your family?

I gather you are with the VA. I concur, thank you for your service. First, since you've passed some blood, get a colonoscopy, do not settle for sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy will give you a true diagnoses if anything is going on. 2nd, tell them you will accept a cancellation even at the last minute. Make sure you have the prep solution on hand. Sometimes that gets you in faster.

Butt demand that colonoscopy.

During the mean time, try not to worry. For what it is worth, many years ago, my mother ended up in the ER, serious bleeding and stomach pain. A colonoscopy was done. No cancer, not even one polyp, just a bad case of diverticulosis. Again, cancer is just one possibility out of many.

Keep us posted, butt try not to worry,

Lee
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!

Deep
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Deep » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Lee wrote:First relax.

Like many others who come, scared!!! Avoid Dr. Google, you can diagnose your self with anything with Dr. Google. Many people come here convienced that they have cancer only to learn after the colonoscopy that they are fine. Also know that many different issues could be causing your symptoms. Cancer is just "ONE" possibility.

Does colon cancer run in your family?

I gather you are with the VA. I concur, thank you for your service. First, since you've passed some blood, get a colonoscopy, do not settle for sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy will give you a true diagnoses if anything is going on. 2nd, tell them you will accept a cancellation even at the last minute. Make sure you have the prep solution on hand. Sometimes that gets you in faster.

Butt demand that colonoscopy.

During the mean time, try not to worry. For what it is worth, many years ago, my mother ended up in the ER, serious bleeding and stomach pain. A colonoscopy was done. No cancer, not even one polyp, just a bad case of diverticulosis. Again, cancer is just one possibility out of many.

Keep us posted, butt try not to worry,

Lee



No family history of colon cancer. I will demand a colonoscopy but am not sure how far complaining will go as to getting me in there earlier. Thanks for the reply.
11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox

Lee
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Lee » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:42 pm

I understand. My dad was in the Air Force, so I understand how frustrating the military medical system can be. Just push the fact, "any rectal bleeding should be checked out with a colonoscopy, and NOT by an assumption, REGARDLESS of age." Assumption is NOT a medical diagnoses.

If you are truly concerned, find a place that will scope you out of pocket. They generally cut the cost if paying with cash. $2000.00 or less.

Good luck, and please keep us posted,

Lee
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!

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3327
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:30 am

I'm sorry you're going through this!*hugs* I agree with everyone else that you should push for a colonoscopy which checks you entire colon not just a sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy only checks your sigmoid and rectum but not the rest of your colon. Good luck and hope you get answers soon!*hugs*
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18

Capercrohnieileo
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:42 pm
Facebook Username: Jayne Olson
Location: NS, Canada

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Capercrohnieileo » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:49 am

Lee wrote:First relax.

Like many others who come, scared!!! Avoid Dr. Google, you can diagnose your self with anything with Dr. Google. Many people come here convienced that they have cancer only to learn after the colonoscopy that they are fine. Also know that many different issues could be causing your symptoms. Cancer is just "ONE" possibility.

Does colon cancer run in your family?

I gather you are with the VA. I concur, thank you for your service. First, since you've passed some blood, get a colonoscopy, do not settle for sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy will give you a true diagnoses if anything is going on. 2nd, tell them you will accept a cancellation even at the last minute. Make sure you have the prep solution on hand. Sometimes that gets you in faster.

Butt demand that colonoscopy.

During the mean time, try not to worry. For what it is worth, many years ago, my mother ended up in the ER, serious bleeding and stomach pain. A colonoscopy was done. No cancer, not even one polyp, just a bad case of diverticulosis. Again, cancer is just one possibility out of many.

Keep us posted, butt try not to worry,

Lee


I also ended up in the ER with massive bleeding, diarrhea (30× a day) and pain and it also wasn't cancer "just" a severe case of Crohn's disease.
Severe Crohn's colitis jan 2015
Developed fistulas feb 2015
Open total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy (bye bye colon and rectum hello barbie butt) because of fistulas, Crohn's and crc risk May 5, 2017
Gastroduodenal Crohn's Nov 1, 2017
Severe Gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying) Nov 9, 2017 GES showed 70 % remaining in stomach at 4 hrs. Normal is <10%
Jejunostomy (J tube) surgery Oct 17, 2018.
Didn't go so well. Small bowel obstruction found Oct 26, 2018, day 46 of this hospitalization.

Deep
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Deep » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:29 am

I contacted my sister to confirm our family history did not have colon cancer and she notified me that she has diverticulitis. She then goes on to tell me that our grandmother had it as well. This gives me a glimmer of hope that perhaps I am dealing with an incurable disease versus cancer. Time is going by too slow and I just wish the VA wouldn't do stuff like this. One thing is for sure... I will never look at cancer the same way after this scare is over. Everyone battling this disease has my deepest sympathy as the prospect of getting told that horrible news one day must be devastating. I am looking forward to my procedure, but am terrified at what they might find at the same time. Just ready to get it over with...
11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox

Deep
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Deep » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:46 pm

I had my procedure this morning. They found a mass 60mm x 50mm in my rectosigmoid colon. Biopsies were taken and I am to have a colonoscopy tomorrow morning. So, two days on the liquid diet. How soon do you find out what stage the cancer is? The Doctor gave a referral to a surgeon so I should hear from them soon.
Last edited by Deep on Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox

Lee
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Lee » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:18 pm

I am so sorry to read your last post. I was hoping for a different outcome. GI doc tend to know cancer when they see it. I was told at the end of my scope. Generally it takes about a week for results to come back, butt you can ask the GI, s/he should give you an honest opinion.

Regarding staging, generally they do a CAT scan to look for possible spread. Sometimes if they see swollen lymph nodes nears they assume you are a stage III. Officially you will not be truly staged until following your surgery and have the pathology report.

Know that I was an advanced stage IIIC, I'm coming up on 15 yrs. Many of us are beating this cancer. It's not the death sentence it once used to be.

If it is determined you have rectal cancer, I would HIGHLY recommend having a colon rectal surgeon vs a general surgeon do your surgery. They have the extra training that is important when dealing with rectal cancer.

Again, avoid Dr. Goggle. Hang around here. Feel free to vent your fears and frustrations here. Believe me, we do get it. You will find a wealth of information and support here.

Sorry for the reason you have to join our group, butt know you are not alone here.

Lee
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!

Jannine
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:46 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Jannine » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:45 pm

Deep, your progression of symptoms sounds a lot like mine. I was super regular for years, then things started going downhill and I put off having it checked out for a long time. And then I wasn't pushy enough when I did go in. Despite all that, my prognosis was good and I feel like I'm in a good place, or will be soon.

My GI doc also told me right after the colonoscopy. I did the twilight anaesthesia thing rather than full anaesthesia for the colonoscopy, so I figured it out on my own based on what they were saying during the scope. He wanted to make sure I understood, though, which I appreciated. He did say it looked to him like cancer, and said they would call my nurse and let her know how things looked (I had already been admitted to the hospital, so I was on the fast track).

Good luck, and hang in there. We're rooting for you! Keep us posted. I was 48 at diagnosis, and everyone I talked to was very upbeat about my situation because I was young and in good health generally. And you've got another 10 years on me. :) And colon cancer is slow-growing, so if that's it, weeks aren't going to make a very big difference.
DX: sigmoid colon cancer 5/2018. 48 F
laparoscopic sigmoid resection (24 cm removed); no stoma.
7.5cm adenocarcinoma -- mod. diff.
1 noncontiguous tumor deposit removed; 0/31 lymph nodes
T3 pN1c M0
5/18 before surgery, CEA 11.2
6/18 began FOLFOX
7/18: CEA 1.9; added neulasta post infusion
9/18: CEA 2.8
10/18: 25% chemo reduction
11/18: CEA 1.8
7/19 CT scan clear

Punky44
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Punky44 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:39 am

Sorry to hear a mass was found. Please keep coming here to ask any questions—this board has been wonderful to me.

If it’s colon cancer or early stage rectal cancer, you’ll most likely go straight to surgery and you’ll want to find a board certified colorectal surgeon to do that.

http://www.abcrs.org/verify-a-physician-2/

If it’s rectal cancer beyond a T2, you’ll likely start with chemo/radiation to downstage the tumor (or even total neoadjuvant chemo, which is the approach my mom is taking), and then surgery.

This is beatable.
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17 at diagnosis
MRI/CT/PET puts staging at T3N2M0
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes
CEA 4/23: 2.1; 7/24: 1.9
6/28/19 Reversal and port out

Me: 34, first colonoscopy 11/16/18—normal! Come back in 5 years.

Rock_Robster
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Rock_Robster » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:52 am

Hi Deep, firstly I’m really sorry to hear of your scope result. I’m 36 years old and got my diagnosis about a month ago, so it all still feels very fresh and raw here too.

I hope your staging comes back nice and low. At stage 1 or 2 this is easily treatable; at 3 or 4 well you’ve got a bit more of a fight on your hands, but some very good outcomes also remain very much on the table. Mine unfortunately came back as stage 4 with local lymph nodes and liver mets, but I’m very lucky the liver is resectable so I’m fighting hard for cure.

As a serviceman, no doubt you’ve already got the warrior mindset for this. You’ll get the info you need, get your best team in place, and start fighting. I don’t claim to be an expert (in fact I’ve just started out), but I’m an analyst and strategist by training and have done a lot of research over the past month. Feel free to ask your questions you have of this very experienced group here, or you can always message me privately anytime.

Best of luck for the staging.
Last edited by Rock_Robster on Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Male 37; Melbourne, Australia
10/2018 Dx 3.5cm RC adenocarcinoma, 12cm from AV
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+ PNI-
3 LN; 4 liver mets, resectable
pT3pN1apM1a; Stage IVa. MSS, NRAS (G13R)
CEA: Oct-18= 12; Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0
11/18 - FOLFOX x 6
3/19 - Liver resection
4-5/19 - 25 x pelvic radiation; complete met. response, TRG 3
07/19 - ULAR (robot), temp ileo, 1/27 LN+
08/19 - Missed liver spot
08/19 - FOLFOX x 1, FOLFOXIRI x 1, FOLFIRI x 2
10/19 - Planned liver resection #2 & ileo reversal

Rock_Robster
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Rock_Robster » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:57 am

PS: as others have mentioned, they will do a CT scan and possibly MRI to determine the extent of any spread for staging. They should also do a PET scan which shows which cells are malignant. Ideally push to get these done around the same time if you can, as I stressed out about a whole bunch of things on my CT which turned out to be nothing on the PET a month later!
Male 37; Melbourne, Australia
10/2018 Dx 3.5cm RC adenocarcinoma, 12cm from AV
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+ PNI-
3 LN; 4 liver mets, resectable
pT3pN1apM1a; Stage IVa. MSS, NRAS (G13R)
CEA: Oct-18= 12; Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0
11/18 - FOLFOX x 6
3/19 - Liver resection
4-5/19 - 25 x pelvic radiation; complete met. response, TRG 3
07/19 - ULAR (robot), temp ileo, 1/27 LN+
08/19 - Missed liver spot
08/19 - FOLFOX x 1, FOLFOXIRI x 1, FOLFIRI x 2
10/19 - Planned liver resection #2 & ileo reversal

Deep
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Scheduled for end of month, and I fear I might have colon cancer

Postby Deep » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:39 am

I had my CT scan yesterday. Got a call from one of the doctors who read the pictures and it turns out the cancer has not spread to any other organ. They did see some suspicious spots on lymph nodes, but no spread to other organs. I have another procedure this week to see how far the cancer has penetrated the colon wall. Then hopefully they will be able to stage the cancer, so I know what I am up against.
11/29/18 Diagnosed T3N1 Rectal Cancer (Age 39, Male, no family history)
01/02/19--02/7/19--- 25 rounds radiation/chemo (Capecitabine 2000 mg)
04/15/19 Surgery, temp ileostomy (Tumor Staged T2)
7/8/19 Chemo (8 Rounds) Folfox


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