Newly diagnosed rectal S4 with liver mets

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In total shock, from having a vague intermittent pain in lower left abdomen in December, a few instances of constipation and a couple of poos that looked a but stringy to being diagnosed as stage 4 rectal cancer which has already moved to liver. Now waiting for oncology appointment as they want to deal with the liver first if they can shrink the tumours. I don't actually know how many I have ir how big they are. My main issue is anxiety pain across my diaphragm and under my rib cage although I guess that could also be liver pain, been told to take regular doses of paracetamol.  At 59, fit healthy and working to now feeling very down, frightened and tired in a mater of 8 weeks. Trying to stay positive but the pain is making it very hard. Any help and advice appreciated  

  • Hi, It’s always a shock when you’re first diagnosed. Once you meet with an oncologist and get a treatment plan in place, you will find yourself getting used to the new normal. I was diagnosed with a rectosigmoid tumour with liver mets in 2022. I had six months of chemo, followed by ablation to my liver mets. I’m not in the clear yet, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel! All the best xx

  • Hi  

    Welcome to the forum . So glad you reached out .

    My mum had what was termed by the radiologists as a significant spread to the liver and her scan looked like a fruit bowl of tumours . However despite the sudden diagnosis at 67 through a bowel screen like you she was in robust health apart from the obvious. This was a good way to be going into treatment. 
    She also happened to be a great responder to chemotherapy and the scans turned from inoperable to operable. Not once but twice .

    Stabilising the liver or any other micro disease is a good plan . Then they review in the background and reevaluate the treatment plan . 
    So far with the help of her team she has made it to 15 years ( very soon ) since diagnosis.

    The initial diagnosis with all the unknowns and what felt like a series of unfortunate events , it did settle into a routine . The staff at the oncologist units are great although the first meeting does take a few days to find your feet afterwards. Just the volume of info to process. However contacting your Gp to help to get a handle on the mental health aspects. This can be so helpful . Also Macmillan has teamed up with Bupa to offer 6 free sessions of counselling if you think that would help you .

    Our helpline have all the info on 0808 808 0000

    They also have information on employment aspects or local support .

    Ask anything you like . Did the pain you mention start before your diagnosis?

    Take care ,


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  • Hi Sadie ,

    i was diagnosed last year at the age of 42 with S4 bowel cancer that had spread to my liver also . The oncologist will set up a treatment plan , and in my experience talked me through each step . I had 5 sessions of radiotherapy followed by 4 cycles (3 months )!of chemotherapy.  Then follow up scans showed that the treatment had worked and shrunk the tumours so that they could be operated on . I had bowel surgery just before last Christmas and then liver surgery in Feb . The pathology reports from that showed that everything has been removed , with good error of margins and the lymph nodes removed were all clear . The result , Cancer clear .  I am now taking adjuvant chemo to help reduce chances of reoccurrence ( and actually this time the drugs have hit me a little more than they did last year !) 

    so, not is all lost , is what i think iim trying to say . Stay positive , take the advice from your oncologist and trust the science and medicine . 

    here for any questions 

    take care 

    Jim x

  • That is so good to hear.  Thank you so much for sharing your story as I am in the same position as Sandie12.  My world has just been turned upside down in 6 weeks.  Just waiting for appt with oncologist.

  • Hi Sandie12, I'm in the same position as you.  Turned 60 in March and was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer after experiencing some abdominal pain.  Just waiting for appt with oncologist.  Are you anaemic too? 

  • Hey Janeyjingle

    My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer with spread to liver. Our world was turned upside down for weeks waiting for meetings, appointments etc. However once we got a treatment plan things have got slightly easier. 
    It also helps reading some of the positive stories on here. 
    Once you get your oncology appointment, things will start pretty quickly. 
     All the best in your journey x

  • Thank you so much

  • Sorry to jump in on this post, but I am struggling terribly. My partner has just been diagnosed with bowel cancer and has a scan next week. He is only 50 and this has come like a bolt out of the blue. His ALP liver enzymes levels are very, very high. Does this mean it's likely it has spread? I really want to remain positive for him, but I am so nervous about what this all means and googling is not helping.

  • Hey Rainbowstar. 
    No not necessarily. 
    My dad no symtoms/bloods indications at all that it had spread. 
    Theres a feature on this app where you can speak to a nurse. So might be an idea to either ring, or talk to them on live chat x