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Cancer Father

Posted by


My dad is 85 years old survived prostate cancer and has early jan had heart valve replacement, now been diagnosed with bowel cancer.  The surgeon will not operate due to heart operation and scan booked early august.  But what if he does not make it till then?  What should I look out for he has lost a bit of weight and bleeding all the time when goes to toilet.

They have not given a stage either, say it could spread by then and then he will die.

Need some guidance feel lost and very upset

Daugter Lisa

Josie - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for getting in touch with us. It’s only natural to feel lost and upset.  Sorry to read your dad now has a diagnosis of bowel cancer. It’s always difficult when someone has been diagnosed with cancer but because they have other health problems they aren’t able to have any treatment.

You would generally see your dad deteriorate, not being able to do much for himself. Feeling tired and spending most of his time sleeping. These would-be signs that maybe things are progressing. It’s difficult to say when this could happen as everybody cancer grow at different rates. Usually doctors wouldn’t book a scan so far advanced if they thought anything was going to happen.

You mention he is bleeding when he goes to the toilet and lost some weight. If these are new symptoms let the medical team know.

I wonder does your dad have a nurse specialist who you can speak to you about his cancer and what it all means. Coping with a new diagnosis can be difficult, both for the family as well as the person with cancer. You can feel anxious afraid and overwhelmed with everything. All these feelings can be normal.

At this stage I would think your dad would benefit from getting some support from the Macmillan/palliative care team. They offer support with pain and symptom management. They help the person with cancer as well as the family. You would ask the GP for a referral.

 Our online community is great source of support. You can speak to people who are going through the same as yourself.

Sometimes, it can help to talk to one of our nurses on our Support Line about what is happening. If you think that would be helpful to do you can call us on 0808-808-0000. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 8am till 8pm.

I hope this is helpful. Please do get back in touch if we can be of any more help.

Best wishes


Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist.