Inoperable rectal tumour / bypass operation

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Does anyone have any experience of having a bypass operation to try and ease symptoms of an inoperable tumour? 

Some background, my mum (aged 77 now) was diagnosed with Stage 4 rectal cancer in Oct 2022, with spread to her liver.  She underwent radiotherapy followed by 3 months chemo which she tolorated brilliantly.  She then had a liver resection which again went well and prepared to have her bowel resection last August.  Unfortunately, when they went to operate they said the tumour had fixed to her pelvic bone and was now inoperable:-(  they rescanned and discovered further spread again to the liver and lungs.  She went straight back onto chemo for 6 months which she again coped well with until the very last cycle when she seemed to just fall apart, sudden hair loss, weight loss and dramatic drop in appetite and energy..she really struggled.  We were told after her last scan that things were 'stable' and so she is now on a 3 month break from treatment.  But she is really struggling with the worsening side effects of still having the rectal tumor, awful bowel issues, having to take constant codine for the discomfort and trying to get the balance between constipation and diarrhoea. She also has bleeding on and off which they said was to be expected.  We have an appointment in 2 weeks to discuss possible bypass surgery to divert to a stoma, but a consultant told us that she would still have the same discomfort and bleeding as the tumour is still there.. so just wanted to see if anyone had any experience of having a bypass and whether it has improved their quality of life?  I know it would still be a major operation, especially when she seems so much weaker now than before.

Just as an aside, I have asked to be referred for a second opinion on whether the tumour can be removed at all now that she is considered stable.  I feel we need to at least ask that question.

Thanks and sorry for the long post!

  • Hi  

    Sorry I can’t answer your question . But just want to say I think that’s a good idea to bring in another opinion . From the forum it seems to matter who you consult with . Some of the bigger teaching hospitals have surgeons that seem at the top of their game .

    Send your mum our love and support . Although the stoma would not be able to reduce the tumour pain would it prevent it from being Aggravated every time she went to the toilet and possibly help control her toilet issues .

    It’s horrible watching them struggle . 
    Much strength to you too .


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  • Hi Believer75

    Courts completely right that a stoma would help processing food. 
    I am not in the same position but after having a stoma I managed my meals much easier although I was on a low fibre diet. I still enjoyed my foid 

    If you ask on the stoma support group you will find others there in the same position and they may have personal experience of the benefits

    Ill be thinking of you 

    Best wishes 


  • Thank for responding Court and Artsie, I really appreciate it.  I will try posting in the stoma group.  I know we will get an insight at mums consultant appointment but it's always good to hear others experiences.  In response to my second opinion request, they have now said they are going to review her most recent scans at the next MDT next week.  So let's see what that brings.  Every week is a roller coaster!

  • Hi Believer75

    im sorry that you are going through this.

    Roller coaster is a good description of the emotional strain you are going through. I found it hard to process  

    I have read previous topics in the stoma group from members that have had the same choice as your mum with their stage 4 diagnosis and I hope that you’ll get some personal experience opinions.

    I found the stoma group an amazing support for my concerns 

    Good luck with the MDT’ s review. Keep us updated. 

    best wishes