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Routine colonoscopy...and surprise! Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

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Unread 10-31-2003, 08:08 AM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

Hello Ladies - I'm am so upset and scared and frustrated! Yesterday I went in for my colonoscopy. I had decided to go ahead and get one because of my recent dx of endo ca. Also, read many posts here about the possible higher risks for colon ca. I am 48 and had my tah/bso 3 months ago and finally feeling pretty good. Dr. found a polyp at the very end of my colon near my appendix that is flat, not mushroom shape - so was unable to remove. He did take a couple of samples for biopsy. I won't know the results until Monday, but he said that in his opinion I have to have this removed via abdominal surgery this whether it's begign or not...because it most likely will progress to cancer over time. I am devestated. I have such a high insurance deductible ($5050) per year that's already been met for this year that I need to have this done in 2003. So I feel like this is all happening too, too fast. Anyone have this kind of experience after her hyst please let me know.

I lost my mom this past year too, and she's the one I would go to right now...

Thanks ~
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Unread 10-31-2003, 08:34 AM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I can only imagine. My mom was diagnosed with cancer early this year as well and would have been here for my surgery if flying was safe for her right now, which it isn't.

I know it's hard to look at the good in all of this, but once you are well through it, it will be easier to see: that it is a blessing they have found this so early. I know it must be impossible to feel any sense of good when you are probably just now starting to feel better.

Please let us know how you are doing and let your doctor know about your deductible issues -- maybe he/she can make sure you get the surgery you need before the end of the year.

Unread 10-31-2003, 09:52 AM
More than your share!

And then that HIGH deductible! Be thankful that it was caught this early and if it needs removing via abdominal--well, you're taking discomfort now for peace of mind later. I know it's a shock but as I often say--whether we know something is there or not--it's there, and best to know and act on it while it's early.
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Unread 10-31-2003, 02:11 PM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!


I know how disappointed you must be at this point. I too had a colonoscopy shortly after completing treatment for endometrial cancer, because I was aware that I was at an increased risk for other cancers, especially colon cancer. I did not have any polyps found at that time. I did have another scope three years later and had some type of tissue removed which turned out not to be a true polyp. However, I have had a couple of breast cancer scares--one when I was just about to start radiation treatments. I had to have a needle biopsy, which turned out to be benign. I can certainly relate to the stress and anxiety you are feeling!

However, what if you had not been vigilant and gotten tested? A colonoscopy is such an effective test at finding pre-cancerous polyps which can be removed before they present any life-threatening danger.

If you've only seen a gastroenterologist, he or she may not know how this polyp would best be removed, if it does turn out that it has to come out. You will most likely need to consult with a surgeon or two who may have other less invasive methods of removing the growth.

I am very glad that you had the test and that this issue can be resolved before it becomes a serious problem.

Best of luck to you and please let us know what the pathologist concludes.

Unread 10-31-2003, 02:25 PM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

Thanks for your responses. Moekay ~ I want you to know that reading some of your posts pushed me in the right direction. Thank you so much. I was never told by any of the doctors to get this test, and I'm glad I didn't rely on them - I had been thinking about this for a while...and realized if I wanted something done, I was going to have to make it happen myself!

The dr who performed the colonoscopy is a surgeon. He said the absolute safest, best way to get this polyp is surgery. But I'll need to speak to him again in depth after the path report comes back and when I'm not "out of it" from the meds they gave me. He did say he could go in at the same incision site and give me a nicer scar...
Unread 10-31-2003, 02:45 PM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

Two major surgeries in such a short while is just not fair. Thank goodness you went for the Colonoscopy. Colon cancer starts with a small polyp. They are slow growing, but silent. Like ovarian cancer, so often, once your body starts showing signs the disease has already progressed.

I have had colon cancer (found early enough that no adjuvant therapy was needed) and had to get a colon resection. I had some bleeding over a period of a few months and finally checked it out. Since I was only 36 at the time, cancer was the last thing on my mind. 4 1/2 years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer which did require major surgery and chemotherapy. My normal follow up for my colon cancer was annual abdominal ultrasounds which is how they found my ovarian cysts.

I had a TAH BSO in April and everything was benign. For my surgery, they did go into the same incision. Quite honestly, after 6 years, my colon resection scar was so light and straight you could barely see it. My hyst. scar isn't quite as pretty.

There are such strong links between colon cancer/Uterine & Ovarian cancers/breast cancer, that any of the sisters that have had ovarian, breast, or uterine cancer should have a routine colonoscopy. The actual test is relatively painless although the prep is unpleasant.

I hope that the cells found are all normal. I found that the recovery time to the hyst. was the same as the colon surgery. Good luck.
Unread 11-01-2003, 03:46 PM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!

Thanks, everyone, for posting on this most important subject. I had surgery for a TAH BSO on 4/17/03 of this year. They found cancer in the ovaries and separate cancer in the uterus. When I was preparing to meet with my oncologist, I had to do a family health history. My Mom was with me at the time and I asked her what her two parents died from. Well, in discussing this, I found out that both her mother and father had colon cancer at relatively young ages.

Later on, as I learned more about the link between these cancers, I was just amazed! Sheesh! I was a cancer accident waiting to happen. Well, you can be sure that there's a colonoscopy in my future. When I was finishing my course of chemotherapy, I was reviewing with my oncologist all the different tests I'll be going through. We talked about my age (45) and my family history. I reminded him about the colonoscopy and asked him to recommend a doctor. He gave me two names. We discussed the timeline and agreed that after the new year, I'll be on the docket for the colonoscopy.

If this is the price to pay to get an early leg up on any cancer, I'll pay it.

Alice, good luck to you. You've got two whole months to get in under the wire. Remember, too, that while this all may seem to be happening so quickly, hopefully, it means that it will all be behind you that quickly, too. God's timing is perfect.

Good luck to you and let us know how you're doing.
Unread 11-02-2003, 05:42 AM
Now I'm scared!

My doctors (gyn and onc) never said anything about this test. The markers they are looking for when I do blood tests include something to do with the digestive system, but I forgot what.
(I looked up the numbers the first time I did them). They also haven't had me do any kind of ultrasound - is this something else I need to worry about?

Unread 11-02-2003, 06:37 AM
Talk to Your Doctor About Colonoscopy


From what you describe, the tests your doctors are doing are to detect of recurrences of endometrial cancer, and have nothing to do with other primary cancers such as colon cancer. Because a history of endometrial cancer puts you at an increased risk for colon cancer, you should seriously consider having a colonoscopy. I did not wait until my gyn-onc recommended it; I knew from my research about the link between the two cancers. When I raised the issue with my gynecologic oncologist, he said it was a very good idea. He wrote me a prescription for the test right away, but he suggested that I wait for three months after completing radiation treatments to allow time for the effects of the radiation to subside.

Unread 11-02-2003, 09:46 AM
Routine colonoscopy...and surprise!


The test that you may be referring to is the CEA blood test. The CEA is a colon Cancer marker. I did have colon cancer, but never had an elevated CEA. I also recommend going in for a colonoscopy. By the time the CEA is elevated, the cancer has probably already entered the blood stream (just my non-medical background deduction). There is no down-side to having the test done.

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