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Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch! Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

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Unread 06-25-2003, 11:55 AM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in December and had part of my colon removed in January. I never had symptoms but felt really really led to have a colonoscopy done. The surgery was hard on me. I spent 11 days in the hospital instead of the normal 3 and had to have a blood transfusion. I have a huge scar on my stomach and now I am facing the decision to have a hysterectomy due to ongoing pain and problems with ovarian cysts. I have just gone into menapause. My doctor has told me that due to 2 major abdominal surgeries that alot of my pain could be from adhesions and not my ovaries, but with a history of cancer they should go in with a laparoscope and check things out. In that same breath he also said that I had to trust him if things looked complicated and he would have to do a full abdominal opening to see clearly and to do a full hysterectomy! I am tired all the time and anemic all the time, so any help with getting through this decision would be very much appreciated. This site is absolutely wonderul and I am so thankful I stumbled onto it.
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Unread 06-25-2003, 12:25 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

s to You

You have sure been through alot. And so recently as well.
Has your doc done any further testing in regards to the ovarian cysts? Do they appear to be fluid filled or solid? Have you had a recent CAT scan? A ca 125? (can sometimes be a lab indicator for ovarian cancer) Are you still anemic inspite of being post menopausal?
There is a link between breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
If ovarian cancer is suspected to even the tiniest degree, I would highly recommend that you seek a second opinion from a gyn oncology surgeon. They are experts in this area and should be the type of doctor to perform any surgury you consider. Not a regular gyn/ob doc.
Let us know how it goes.

Unread 06-25-2003, 12:26 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!


Sorry to hear that you are having yet more problems. Are you seeing an oncologist/gynocologist??? If not, please do. They are the experts in the field and will surely guide into the right direction.

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Unread 06-25-2003, 02:57 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

Thank you all for your quick responses. My Dr. just called and they are setting up surgery for mid July. I will get a false reading on the Ca125 because of the gastro surgery and yes I have had a cat scan that showed cysts, then an ultra sound and then 3 months later another ultra sound which show more cysts. I also had a bad pap come back and had to have a uterine biopsy (whew was that uncomfortable) and it came back negative for cancer. I have read in these different forums that other ladies have had negative tests and after surgery it was cancer, so now I don't know. I will see about seeing an oncologist. I really am comfortable with my gyn. What about a surgeon (the one that did my colonectomy?). His team is great and they have done all my other surgeries in the last 19 years, so I am really comfortable with them. I am at work, so have to run. Thank you again for all the help.
Unread 06-25-2003, 07:01 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

I cannot stress this enough!!
I have learned sooo much about ovarian cancer in the past two years, since my own diagnosis, even having attended three national conferences.
Hopefully you do not have ovarian cancer. Unfortunately it takes surgery to make the final diagnosis.
BUT studies have been done that show increased survival rates when the initial surgery is done by a gyn oncology surgeon.
Survivor rates are much lower when the surgery is performed by a gyn/ob or a gyn/ob along with a general surgeon!!! Therefore a gyn oncologist is the only way to proceed.
Thiis so important. And one of my major grievances about ovarian cancer is that too many gyn/obs are ready to take this task on. When ovarian cancer is even remotely suspected, any gyn worth his weight would refer you out to the experts. All ob/gyns under the age of 50 have been educated to this fact during their residencies.
Please take this advice. It may well save your life!!!

Unread 06-26-2003, 01:19 AM

First of all, I am so sorry to hear how you have gone through so much so far.

I pray only the best for you, and with that, I have to agree with Karenann, that you seek a gyn/onc to do this surgery. They are truly the experts in this type of surgery/cancer and know so much more. If you do go with your gyn, and they do find cancer, sometimes it will take another surgery with a gyn/onc which wouldn't be good.

So please take our advice and consult with a gyn/onc before you do anything else.

's and ers to you...
Unread 06-26-2003, 05:14 AM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

Just to reinforce what those who have posted before me have said, I would strongly recommend that you see a gynecologic-oncologist. I firmly believe I owe my life and good health to having had my surgery performed by a highly-competent gyn-onc with many years of surgical experience in performing surgery on women with actual or suspected pelvic malignancies.

Regular gynecologists have limited surgical training compared to gynecologic oncologists. General surgeons do not specialize in or perform gynecologic surgery so they would not be a good choice either. When undergoing surgery, your chances for the best outcome are going with someone who has extensive training, has performed the procedure hundreds of times, and has had a good outcome in those cases. For gynecologic surgery that would mean a gyn-onc with a lot of experience.

When I needed surgery for endometrial cancer, I consulted with 2 gyn-oncs. One was very nice, rather young and at one of the country's largest cancer centers. The other had about 25 years of surgical experience and was at a less well known hospital. I chose the more experienced gyn-onc. I found out after the fact that he is listed in several publications as a "top doctor" in gynecologic oncology. Some people choose the hospital by name; I believe when undergoing surgery, you need to make sure the actual surgeon performing the operation is the best possible for he procedure to optimize your chances for a good outcome. Top cancer centers have people on the top rung and the bottom rung, and the surgeon is operating, not the hospital.

Good luck.

Unread 06-26-2003, 02:35 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

I really can feel for you. I had 4 tumors (non-malignant) removed from my upper colon in 1998 at that time my OB/GYN did a partial hysterectomy due to the same type of tumors forming in my uterus. I never did recover completely and in November 2002 they found a tumor the size of a large grapefruit on my left ovary. Subsequently, with elevated CA125 results, they took both ovaries. The colon surgery was by far the hardest as far as pain management etc... but the ovarian surgery and being opened again abdominally really has taken a toll. Make sure you trust your doctor and I really was glad that this time I found one that I was comfortable with and who also specialized in oncology. There are just so many issues for OB/GYN cancers and surgeries that women have to contend with. Good luck and God bless you on this journey!
Unread 07-08-2003, 02:18 PM
Date set - lots of ?????

Hi and thank you one and all for all the wonderful support, answered questions and prayers I have found in these boards. Thank you Psyd2b. Your journey really helped me to see that mine could be much worse! You sure went through the ringer. I am now scheduled for a radical hysterectomy on August 11th. If anyone else had 2 major abdominal surgeries within 8 months of each other, was your recovery any harder? Do they use the same incision? Are adhesions a problem and if so, did you know about them before surgery or did they find them while inside? Has anyone had more than one doctor doing the surgery? I am so nervous. I had a very hard time with the other surgery. Do you think history will repeat itself or can I breeze through the hyster (well, maybe not breeze, lets say hobble - smile) without a whole lot of complications? Nervous = rambling on and on for me. It is so nice to just be able to express honestly all my concerns. I feel better already. (I have had 3 doctors all answer the above, but it is soooo much more reassuring when you can hear other women who are living the same journey, tell their stories). Good luck to everyone else nearing their trip to the castle. God bless all of you. Debbie

Unread 07-08-2003, 05:09 PM
Colon cancer now a hysterectomy - ouch!

Just wanted to say my surgery was done by my gyn.who I really trust however my gyn had scheduled for a gyn oncologist to be on standby at the hospital so when they sent it down to pathology if my pelvic lymph nodes needed to be removed the gyn oncologist would be he one to do it. He did confer with him during my surgery and because my biopsy came back early stages they left my lymph nodes in. My gyn is following me every 3 months after my six week check up. If you are not sure it will not hurt to get a second opinion. Hang in there and make sure all your question are answered before the surgery. Most dr will not want to do a hyst unless they feel it is truly needed.

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