Colon Cancer Update with The Cleveland Clinic (cont.)

There are a few colorectal cancer syndromes that include primary cancers in multiple places. It sounds as if your mother's cancer may have extended from the female organs into the adjacent colon by local growth. However, if your mother had a confirmed colon cancer (not cervical cancer extending into the colon) you are at increased risk of colorectal cancer and should have a colonoscopy ten years younger than the age of your mother's colon cancer detection or at the age of 40 if your mother was over age 60.

I may have to skip my last two treatments of 5-FU and oxaliplatin because of elevated liver enzyme level. Are there any consequences for not getting my last two treatments and how is elevated liver enzyme levels caused?

Medications used to treat a variety of physical conditions are metabolized in the liver. These medications can have direct effects on the liver cells which may include inflammation of the liver which results in elevated liver enzymes. There are other mechanisms for liver enzyme abnormalities related to medications and they are somewhat complex.

The risks and benefits of ceasing your chemotherapy needs to be discussed with the treating physician and weighed to ensure you come to an informed decision about the next course of care.

We are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final words for us?

After this chat you know how important it is to prevent colorectal cancer, which kills nearly 50,000 of us each year. Make sure that you and all of your friends and family get screened for colorectal cancer so we can prevent this dreadful disease.

Our thanks to Cleveland Clinic colorectal cancer specialists Carol Burke, MD, and James M. Church, BSc, MBChB, MedSci, for joining us today. And thanks to you, members, for your great questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of them. .

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