Patient Comments: Colon Cancer - Symptoms

What symptoms and signs did you experience with colon cancer?

A Doctor's View on Stage IV Colon Cancer That Has Spread to the Liver

Read the Comment by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Colon cancer has four stages. Stage IV is the most severe stage of colon cancer, and at this stage the cancer cells have spread or metastasized to other organs (for example, the lungs and lymph nodes). Examples of symptoms of colon cancer when they do occur include:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Pain in the right side of the abdomen or stomach
  • Leg swelling
  • Itching
  • Abdominal swelling

Treatment for stage IV colon cancer to the liver include surgery to remove the liver tumors, chemotherapy, radiation, radiofrequency ablation, and brachytherapy. Targeted therapies also are available.

Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: Debbie, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 10

My husband is 52. Two years ago he was seeing his primary care physician for constipation, right side stomach pain, night sweats, and back pain. She told him he was going through man-o-pause, and needed to go to physical therapy. He decided he must just be overweight, but continued to consult with her. One night he came home from work (truck driver) with a 106 temperature. We went to the emergency room and he was taken by ambulance to a larger hospital. His colon, after 6 months of seeing his doctor for his symptoms, was already perforated by a 9 cm tumor. He had 4 lymph nodes that were involved. Two couldn't be removed (one was by the artery to his heart). He responded well to oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and Avastin. After a year and a half of chemotherapy he had 3 scans that showed no sign of colon cancer. However, his last scan showed an inconclusive 1 to 1 1/2 cm spot on his liver. It is too small to see with an ultrasound so we are waiting to find out what they feel they need to do to find out what it is. This whole cancer thing really messes with your head and heart. Waiting is the worst.

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Comment from: Too hot to handle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Applying Burt Bees diaper rash cream with baby powder to the affected areas helps a lot with heat rash. It provides a cooling sensation and helps eliminate wetness.

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Comment from: biddy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I had a change in bowel movements. I noticed some small round fecal matter, but no blood visible. After another month or so went by I experienced sporadic (once a week at night) pain in my stomach area, rolling pain like labor pains that came and went with regularity. By this time I had been referred to a gynecologist physician. Ultra sound showed no abnormalities. This doctor suggested I go see a gastric surgeon. I only saw a physician's assistant at this office, however she gave me a take home fecal test which I returned to be told it had blood in it. She suggested I have a colonoscopy. Before I had the colonoscopy I experienced a particularly nasty night of pain and was waiting outside before the doctor's office opened. I was sent immediately for a CAT scan and as I got home, the phone was ringing with the news that a mass in the descending colon had been found. I had the colonoscopy a week or so later and the surgeon could not get the mass so surgery was scheduled two weeks later. Tumor was removed via keyhole surgery, 39 lymph nodes removed, all negative and was staged as 2B. I was offered adjuvant therapy but declined. I hope that was not a mistake on my part. That was in March 2014. I am being followed by surgeon and oncologist on an interval basis. Lesson, listen to your body, do not ignore pain or change in bowel habits and insist on a colonoscopy. It is easy, painless and could save your life; absolutely. A polyp in time saves you from cancer!

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Comment from: PADAKI, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was diagnosed November 11, 2010 (47 years old at the time) with stage IV colon/rectal cancer. I had 7 surgeries, bag installed and then taken off, several feet/inches colon removed, 6 plus weeks radiation, 8 to 12 weeks chemotherapy twice and it has been hard. I continue to struggle with immense pain, uncontrolled bowel and am exhausted all the time. I am told cancer is not growing but shows some activity so not sure what that means. I am fighting but honestly wish I would have gone to the doctors sooner back when I had all the stomach pain and blood in stool (which my general physician said was irritable bowel syndrome or ulcer). Listen to your body and seek the right doctors to listen to you.

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Colon Cancer - Diagnosis Question: How was the diagnosis of your colon cancer established?
Colon Cancer - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment did you undergo for colon cancer?
Colon Cancer - Experience Question: What�s your biggest challenge with living with colon cancer?
Colon Cancer - Life Change Question: What changes have you had to make to your routine since being diagnosed with colon cancer?

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