Patient Comments: Colon Cancer - Diagnosis

How was the diagnosis of your colon cancer established?

Comment from: KK, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, which had spread to the lymph nodes, in 2005. After extensive surgery and one year of chemotherapy using leucovorin, 5 FU, oxaliplatin, Avastin, and irinotecan, I was in complete remission! I continue to remain in remission and have scans every four months. Even at diagnosis, my CEA levels were very normal. It is a miracle, and I am very grateful!

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Published: June 30

I was 33 years old when I began noticing blood in my stool. I went to my family doctor and he had ordered an X-ray and CT scan of my abdomen. I was then sent on a 'wild goose chase' of suspicious “masses” that were “found” in my CT scan. Finally after finding out that the 5 cm mass found in my uterus was completely normal (it was just a bag of blood) my OB/GYN asked, why did you have a CT scan in the first place? I told him about my symptoms and he suggested that I get a colonoscopy ASAP. I went back to my family doctor that day and told the receptionist that I wanted a colonoscopy. . .I was told that the person who schedules these tests was on vacation for two weeks and that I'd have to wait. I told her that I'd be looking up “gastroenterologist” in the yellow pages and getting my own appointment. I did just that! I found a wonderful doctor (whose last name begins with A). He gave me an appointment within the week and I had my colonoscopy within two weeks of my initial phone call. I had my colonoscopy completed and saw the tumor with my own eyes, and observed the biopsy (it looked like a little “Pac-Man”). My biopsy did show malignancy, and I was immediately scheduled for my colon resection. After surgery, they found that my lymph nodes were positive for cancer cells, so I had stage III colorectal cancer. I met a wonderful oncologist who explained the six months of chemo and six weeks of radiation that would be necessary for me to undergo in the coming weeks. I opted to have my ovaries moved high within my body so that they wouldn't be “fried” during radiation. So after my second abdominal surgery in two months, I began chemo treatments with oxaliplatin. It was very exhausting, and I slept the weeks I had the treatment. Thankfully, it was given every other week, so I had some “awake” time to spend with my little 4 year old.

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Comment from: Cancerous Carol, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I had a barium enema and the rectal cancer ws not detected because the excess barium was sitting in that spot. However, my colonoscopy was put on hold because they couldn't find anything in the barium enema. Right from the start I had ribbons of blood in my stool and after the barium enema, I continued having this blood. My husband called our MLA who gave us a phone number to call. The doctor called this number and I finally got in for a colonoscopy - rectal cancer was detected immediately. Be an advocate for your own health. If I had had the colonoscopy earlier I may have only been stage 1 or 2 - unfortunately I am stage 3.

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Comment from: Nancy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

In July 2008, I had knee replacement surgery and during my recovery, I developed a blood clot. I was put on Coumadin for several months and noticed I was bleeding after two months on Coumadin. The bleeding was excessive, so I went to the ER and found out that I had lost an entire unit of blood. They admitted me to the hospital where I had a colonoscopy. The doctor found three polyps and a tumor. It was malignant. I never felt sick and would never have known about the tumor if I hadn't been on Coumadin and thought the bleeding was related to that blood thinner. I probably would not have bled so soon, and it could have been years before I had shown any symptoms at all. I have very early stage III and look forward to a full recovery with the wonderful surgical and medical staff I have assigned to me. Jesus is the Great Physician and my faith in Him is strong. I know with Jesus and my medical team, complete healing is a fact.

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Comment from: Goldie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

At the age of 19, I developed stomach cramps and experienced rectal bleeding. I was 20 when I finally went to the doctor and was found to have advanced colon cancer after doing a colonoscopy. I never suffered from fatigue or anything like that; those were my only symptoms. I thought I was doing OK, but I have had a relapse. I'm now 21.

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Comment from: Bernadette, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

I missed my colonoscopy in the fall of 2006 but made sure I had it done in the fall of 2007. I was concerned because I was tired all the time, but I did have a history of colitis and anemia. I didn't hear anything from my doctor in October, so I assumed all was well. I made travel plans and then in early December, I received that horrible call that I had colon cancer. I live in Kentucky, and it was strongly recommended I travel to Cleveland Clinic. After following my instructions and meeting my surgeon after doing my homework regarding surgery etc., I still did not have all the details I needed. It will be a year in January that I had my large intestine removed and in April had the ileostomy reversed. I need help with diet and figuring out how to prevent leakage with leads to a very secluded life. I've used every ointment on the market. Calmoseptine is the only one that provides me with relief. Subsequently, I still use the restroom a lot. My weight is up and down. I really hate my life right now.

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Colon Cancer - Symptoms Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with colon cancer?
Colon Cancer - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment did you undergo for colon cancer?

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