Colon Cancer

Question:

How was the diagnosis of your colon cancer established? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Yasmin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I had severe pain in my lower abdomen starting from the left to the right side. I had severe constipation and blood in stools. The colon cancer was diagnosed through colonoscopy.

Comment from: Aly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

Last year I was caregiver to my husband who had rheumatoid arthritis. I was so tired and had no energy. I went to my doctor but was told it was just stress, then my husband passed away and my symptoms got worse. I was always tired and it felt like I was having a heart attack. I went back to the doctor and she gave me pills for stress. Things got worse, my daughter went to my doctor and insisted they test my blood. They found my iron was down to 7. I needed 3 units of blood which was given. I was booked for a colonoscopy and they found that I have colon cancer. I had no blood in my stools nor lost weight, so be careful, not everybody has the same symptoms. I am going for a CT scan next week to see if the cancer has spread, and after that I will go for my operation. I haven't been told at what stage it is.

Comment from: lg016, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I never had any symptoms until one night I had a bad stomach ache. I went to the emergency room and had a CT and ultrasound done and found a 5 cm tumor in colon. I had a colonoscopy the next day and found out I had stage 3 colon cancer. Only 22 and I found out I had the same thing my mom died of. Now I am doing chemotherapy using oxaliplatin and Xeloda. I had the mass removed through surgery. I still have swollen lymph nodes that could be from surgery or live cancer cells. It has only been a month and a half since I found out.

Comment from: Lee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

At age 53 I had blood in my stool and it was suggested I have a colonoscopy (my first). I had a large mass at the top where the rectum meets the colon. The biopsy confirmed cancer. I had a resection to have the cancer removed. I had an ileostomy for a bit over 3 months so I could heal and then it was reversed. The cancer was stage one and I had no chemotherapy or radiation. That was over 6.5 years ago.

Comment from: Maggie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

If you read the list of symptoms of colon cancer it is a wonder I didn't recognize I had a problem. I lost 50 pounds in 2 months, ribbon stools, super fatigue, no pain, etc. My daughter insisted I go to the emergency room (ER) which we did. They immediately gave me blood transfusions for severe anemia. Many tests and 1 day later I was told I had stage IV colon cancer which had also spread to my liver. But, good news! After colon and liver surgery, recovery, and 6 months of chemotherapy I am now 2 years into remission and feeling great! Fight hard!

Comment from: Mgh4me, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 13

My beautiful wife was diagnosed October 2017 with stage 4 rectal cancer. It had spread to her liver, lungs, and other areas. Other than an initial pain in her right side (liver), she had few symptoms until several weeks before diagnosis...fatigue, change in bowel habits, weight loss, fatigue. Cancer was so invasive it was inoperable, and after some palliative radiation and a few chemotherapy treatments, she passed away Jan. 24, at 57 years of age.

Comment from: KK, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

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!

Published: September 11

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.

Comment from: ciel15446, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 20

I started to see rectal bleeding when I was 27 and went to my doctor. She ordered a colonoscopy, but my husband was laid off and we lost our insurance. She had said during my visit that because I had IBS in my teens and had been taking ibuprofen for migraines that the blood was probably from that. I didn't worry about it again until almost two years later because I didn't have any weight loss or anything to go with the bleeding. When I was seven months pregnant with my son, I started getting really lightheaded and the bleeding increased. I wanted to make sure that my pregnancy was healthy, so I went back. Another doctor said that it was probably a bleeding hemorrhoid that needed snared, so he ordered a sigmoidoscopy. You can't have a colonoscopy during pregnancy. They found a 3 cm polyp in my rectum that had cancer cells throughout it. I now have a 9-week-old baby and am starting to go thorough testing to see if there are any more polyps and to see if the cancer has spread into the walls or nodes. I will have surgery before the end of the year and then I don't know if I'll have chemo or not. I turn 30 in three weeks.

Comment from: kate, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 30

I got sick every time I ate. I had a colonoscopy, which showed tumors and a biopsy that confirmed cancer.

Comment from: Bray 1960, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I had cancer in my appendix and my appendix ruptured and healed itself - scabbed over - by affixing itself to my colon. This caused it to be colon cancer. I did not go for chemo at that time. Two years later cancer had showed up in my lung. I went through chemo and two years later, I'm cancer free.

Comment from: kitty, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

My cancer was found through a colonoscopy.

Comment from: Mary, Published: March 03

In 1978, I was diagnosed with colon cancer, at the age of 49. Symptoms were chronic pain in the left abdomen, and bleeding and obstruction. I had a partial resection of the left colon, and no chemo was required. I recovered quickly and returned to my job as a secretary within three weeks.

Comment from: Michigander, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 14

I am a 51 year old female who was diagnosed with rectal cancer 3 months ago. I had no prior symptoms but had been receiving a complete physical by my family physician which included a fecal sample. Blood in the stool was detected and a colonoscopy was done. The tumor was nearly obstructing the area where colon and rectum meet. Surgery was performed in July, resulting in removal of the tumor and resectioning of the colon. I am now receiving chemo therapy, 12 treatments total. I'm on my third. I use humor to help me get through this and also help my family friends get through it.

Comment from: Val, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

My problems began with a very painful menstrual cycle, followed by no menstrual cycle, and months of trying to diagnose the pain I felt in my chest (they thought it was heart-related). I had a blood transfusion with no explanation then, finally, in the E.R. in severe pain, a CT scan was performed which revealed a "mass". The surgeon decided to do exploratory surgery which revealed stage I colon cancer. Thankfully, all that was required was a partial colon removal. I was 28 yrs. old, and have been in remission for 11 yrs. One side effect of having abdominal surgery is the formation of adhesions, which is scar tissue that forms. I developed adhesions which caused a bowel obstruction that required surgery and more resectioning of my colon...

Comment from: Nath, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

I was having difficulty in passing complete stools. My stools became jet black. I felt pain in the middle of stomach. Doctors did a colonoscopy and confirmed stage one cancer. I had surgery and the entire affected colon was removed.

Comment from: kram, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I had several different tests but only the colonoscopy test detected my tumor. My age made doctors look for other reasons than colon cancer, but as long as you got the ball rolling, a process of test eliminations will find it. I was 37.

Published: April 28

I started fainting. I was told it was stress. Then a lab test detected iron deficiency and Vitamin B-12 deficiency and that alerted my doctor to the possibility of colon cancer. I had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with Stage IIB colon cancer.

Comment from: morena, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 19

Thanks to a skin cancer lesion, my husband's colon cancer was discovered. He had been postponing a colonoscopy for 9 years but he was forced to have it done this week because recently a dermatologist removed a cancer on his face and told us that the type of cancer he had, sebaceous gland carcinoma, was sometimes indicative that cancer was present also inside his body. Since his father had colon cancer the colonoscopy was highly recommended. We were very lucky because the cancer is small and the doctor told us they will only have to remove a small part of his colon.

Comment from: Charleston, SC, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

Saw a small amount of blood on toilet tissue after bowl movement. Since no history of hemmoroids, asked for colonoscopy. Discovered polyps; one was cancerous, but still contained within polyp. Section of colon was removed.

Comment from: ERNESTO, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL TO HAVE A CAT SCAN AND BLOOD DRAWN AND THE RESULTS OF MY CAT SCAN WAS THAT I HAD A 5C.M PIECE IN MY COLON THEY TOLD RIGHT AWAY I HAD COLON CANCER MY WIFE BROKE DOWN CRYING AND I WAS STUN TO HERE THE WORD CANCER I FEEL MY LIFE IS OVER WITH AND MY EIGHT CHIDREN THAT I HAVE NO ONE IN MY FAMILY RUNS ANY COLON CANCER MY SYMPTOMS ARE I FEEL DISCOMFORT AND TIGHT ON MY LEFT SIDE OF MY ABDOMINAL AND SOMETIMES I DONT FEEL IT BUT WHEN I DO I FEEL MY STOMACH LIKE IF WAS SOUR AND LIKE IF I AM GOING TO HAVE DIAHREA BUT I DONT HAVE DIAHREA I HAD A COLONOSCOPY DONE AND THE DR SAID HE DIDNT FIND ANYTHING WRONG AND CUT A PIECE OF POLYP OUT AND HAD EXAMINE AND CAME BACK NEG NOW HE WANTS TO GO BACK IN AND SCRAPE MY WALL OF MY COLON WHY DIDNT HE DO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE IF A GOOD DR IS TOLD YOU WERE DETECTED COLON CANCER LETS GO IN SCRAPE THE WALLS TAKE POLYP OUT AND LETS EXAMINE IT THROUHLY SO WE DONT HAVE TO DO THIS PROCEDURE AGAIN DONT YOU THINK I AM STILL SORE AND HAVE BEEN BLEEDING EVERYTIME I GO TO THE BATHROOM I AM TRYING TO SEEK ANOTHER DR I DONT FEEL CONFORTABLE WITH THIS DR AND HOPE ITS NOT TO LATE THANKS FOR LISTENING TO ME AND HOPE NO ONE ELSE GOES THRU THIS AND FINDS IMMEDIATE HELP ONCE RIGHT AWAY!

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Colon Cancer - Signs and Symptoms

    What signs and symptoms did you experience with your colon cancer?

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REFERENCES:

American Cancer Society. "Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2017." 2017. <http://pressroom.cancer.org/CRCstats2017>.

Cancer.Net. "Colorectal Cancer: Treatment Options." August 2017. <http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/treatment-options>.

"Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of colorectal cancer"
UpToDate.com

"Overview of the management of primary colon cancer"
UpToDate.com

"Colorectal cancer: Epidemiology, risk factors, and protective factors"
UpToDate.com

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