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DH may have colon cancer

(71 Posts)
Mammabear31 Fri 10-Nov-17 14:14:15

Since June, he has been ill. It was thought to be related to his gastro and acid reflux problems; however he had an endoscopy and PH test as well as ultrasounds and they found nothing wrong. He was still having symptoms - lost over 3 stone in weight, stomach/chest pains, tenderness in his abdomen - so he was sent for a CT. Today his results showed a mass in his colon. He has been referred for an urgent colonoscopy and further blood tests.

I know I shouldn't google but I found a piece of literature stating that of all masses found in the colon, 90% are malignant. Please talk me down and tell me the reality of all this. It has been a really bad year for us both; and this is just the worst news we could have had.

MyYoniFromHull Fri 10-Nov-17 14:23:25

What frightening news for you both flowers some colon cancers can be treated very successfully, so hope for the best possible outcome

esk1mo Fri 10-Nov-17 14:25:53

sorry you are going through this.

my gran had colon cancer in her 70s and had just turned 90, so there is every chance your DH will make a full recovery if it turns out to be cancer flowers

esk1mo Fri 10-Nov-17 14:26:10

*has just turned 90

rogueantimatter Fri 10-Nov-17 14:27:46

I had colon cancer. Stage 3 with lymph node involvement. There were spots of it all over my abdomen. That was six years ago. It's extremely treatable. And the surgery left minimal long term effects.

Congenialspirits1 Fri 10-Nov-17 14:30:01

I had colon cancer and 5 years later I am in excellent health.
I am very sorry, op, that you and your dh are going through what must be a frightening time.

LivLemler Fri 10-Nov-17 14:30:22

Even if it is cancer, that doesn't mean it's the end of the world at all. My dad's currently waiting to find out what procedure he'll need for his third diagnosis (hereditary factors, so three distinct cancers, not cancer coming back) and he's still going strong. Assuming appointments run smoothly etc he'll be cancer free by Christmas.

Many colon cancers are treated just with surgery, and there are plenty of options if it is malignant and he needs a bit more treatment than just an op.

Please please don't panic until you have to, just because an illness is called cancer doesn't mean it has to be the end of the world by any stretch. flowers

Gruffalosgrandma Fri 10-Nov-17 14:31:14

Don't panic Mammabear and don't google. My colon cancer was diagnosed after 18 months of symptoms. That was 8 years ago. It's very treatable these days . If the diagnosis is confirmed treatment will start very quickly and I found it easier to deal with than the previous uncertainty. Good luck .

MissConductUS Fri 10-Nov-17 14:31:24

First, I'm sorry that you're going through this.

There are several different types of non-cancerous tumors that occur in the colon or rectum:

Benign tumors of the colon and rectum

I wasn't able to find statistics on the incidence of one type vs the other.

How old is DH? Was there bleeding when he went to the toilet? Did they perform an upper endoscopy (down from the mouth) or a lower one?

You won't really know more until the colonoscopy. Has he ever had one before? I have them once a year due to a medical condition that predisposes me to colon cancer. They seem to be much more routinely done here in the US than in the UK.

rogueantimatter Fri 10-Nov-17 14:32:28

The size of the mass is not necessarily an indicator of how advanced a tumour would be if it were cancerous. Even large masses are sometimes confined to the inside of the colon.

I had symptoms for five months before a colonoscopy diagnosed colon cancer. Please try not to be too worried. Which is so much easier said than done of course. It's a highly treatable cancer IF that's what it is. Really easy to chop it out with minimal after effects.

fialor Fri 10-Nov-17 14:33:32

Mammabear31, I don't have any insights but just wanted to send you and your dh a warm hug, and best wishes.

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 10-Nov-17 14:36:54

DH was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer plus secondaries last year and is just about to have his final scan to double check whether he is cancer free, it's been a long year but we are nearly there.

In that time, two of my closest friends have been diagnosed, treated and are now in remission, operations only, no chemo.

I won't lie, I lost my sister to cancer last year, but don't lose hope.

Mammabear31 Fri 10-Nov-17 14:57:05

Thank you all for your lovely, lovely messages. To answer some questions he is 35, he had an upper endoscopy via his mouth. His GP said there was no sign of anything spreading on his CT, it was just in his colon so that is good. I know it is treatable and one of the "better" (for lack of a better word) cancers to get.

Ironically I work in a cancer support centre! I can confide in a colleague next week when I'm at work, but I'm just worried for DH. He doesn't do being ill very well!

Again thank you for the lovely words and hugs. Fingers crossed it's benign but until he has the colonoscopy we will be on tenterhooks.

flumpybear Fri 10-Nov-17 15:03:13

My mum had a mass in her colon and it turned out to be a ruptured appendix that was encapsulated - we were terrified too that it may be something dreadful but honestly, lots of cancers are curable
These days and it’s not always cancer if there’s a mass involved
Good luck I hope it’s nothing concerning flowers

LivLemler Fri 10-Nov-17 15:03:43

OP, I'm not a doctor, but I suspect if it's confined to the colon the treatment will be the same regardless of whether it's benign or malignant. Don't get too caught up on whether or not it's cancer, focus on what his surgeon recommends, what the long term effects of any op are likely to be, how long he'll need off work to recover etc.

Ewanwhosearmy Fri 10-Nov-17 15:40:02

I also had colon cancer 6 years ago (waves to rogue, congenial and gruffalo) Stage 3 with lymph nodes. Had surgery and chemo and now I'm fine.

Mammabear31 Fri 10-Nov-17 15:47:19

It's so lovely to hear you all recovered well. You're all amazing flowers

LostMyMojoSomewhere Fri 10-Nov-17 15:49:22

Another one here <waves> Colon cancer in 2006. Confined to colon. Surgery and 6 months' chemo. Fine since.

If your DH does have cancer of the colon (and it's becoming increasingly common in younger people) he should ask for a referral to the genetics service to see whether there is a genetic cause. Mine was found to be a HNPPC cancer (even though I was the first person in my family to get it) so we had IVF and tested embryos before having DS.

GemmaB78 Fri 10-Nov-17 15:50:46

Different cancer, but my DH has just been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He's had the offending testicle removed, and we await the results of the CT scan that was done on Weds to determine the extent to which it has spread.

Mammabear31 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:01:49

lost we have a son (4) and have been trying for a second child for nearly 2 years. Apart from a miscarriage in May we've had no success, and have started coming to terms with the fact that we may not have another (there is no way we could afford IVF). Obviously we still don't know what this is; but it almost feels like another nail in the coffin; forgive the pun!

Mammabear31 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:07:16

Hi all - quick update.

Yesterday DH and I spent the evening in A&E. He had severe abdominal pain so he was given some strong painkillers and told to rest. Tested for pancreatitis and other inflammatory markers (CRP, LFT, FBC among others) but they all came back clear.

He's home now but totally am I! Spoke to his consultants secretary this morning who said if we haven't heard re: colonoscopy by Wednesday to call her back as it's been requested as "extremely urgent", whatever that means!

I am so, so worried about him but trying not to show it. He doesn't like hospitals or needles so he was very very anxious last night. Trying to be calm and keep him calm too. So tired today, we've been lounging on the sofa binging on Stranger Things!

rogueantimatter Mon 13-Nov-17 14:12:07

That sounds horrible. flowers

I hope he gets his colonoscopy appt very soon. Not knowing is often worse than anything else.

missyB1 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:19:38

HI Mamabear sorry to hear he’s feeling so rough. It’s a shame they didnt keep him in last night and start prepping him for an inpatient colonoscopy. Still he probably would have struggled with the laxative drinks if he was feeling poorly anyway. Hopefully the appointment will come through tomorrow. Good luck!

Gruffalosgrandma Mon 13-Nov-17 18:07:43

You are quite right Rogue. Once I knew what was going on and had a proper diagnosis it suddenly got a lot easier . Everything that happened from that moment was one step near to a cure.

Mammabear31 Mon 13-Nov-17 18:24:29

Do you mind if I ask what happened after diagnosis? Were further tests/scans required? Did you have to have chemo/radiotherapy? How long did you have to wait for treatment or surgery?

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