Grading Confusion

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Hello, I had a colonoscopy 7th June the doctor saw a 1cm rectal tumour 2cm from anal margin and biopsies were taken.  I saw a clinical nurse specialist on the same day, she said the tumour was probably cancer, I had a CT scan and an MRI scan which both seem to be OK and show no disease progression. The worry has been totally overwhelming. My case was discussed at the MDT meeting on Friday. I had a call from the specialist nurse, she said my biopsy results showed Low/High grade dysplasia and that she was waiting to see if one of the doctors could remove the tumour with the EMR method, if not, then surgery will be needed. Crazy question, but does this mean I have cancer or not? How definitive are biopsy results (they took eight)? Should I be relieved? The nurse practitioners have been so lovely and I should have asked loads of questions, but I just seem to get all tongue tied.

  • Dysplasia means that there are abnormal cells present which may be pre-cancerous but not necessarily cancerous yet.  I suggest that removal of the growths should confirm that.  It's recommended that we concentrate on living healthily. For me, that's covered by Mind, Exercise, Diet and Support.  That means using mindfulness and relaxation practices, taking at least moderate outdoor exercise every day, cutting back on sugar, milk and red meats, and eating organic where possible.  Front line support will be from the medical team, of course, but there are some excellent charities as well as Macmillan that can provide advice on nutrition, supplements and alternative therapies.  Finally, research your condition and be your own self advocate.  In otherwords, don't leave it all to your doctors. Slight smile

  • I can't speak specifically to your case but I have some general information that may help you.

    As grandadH stated, dysplasia means abnormal cells which may or may not be cancerous.  If the tumor is contained within the rectum and has not worked thru the rectal wall and started spreading within the pelvic cavity, you would be considered Stage 1 if it was cancer. 

    Regardless of whether it is cancer, precancerous, or just abnormal growth... it needs to go. So they will remove it. After it is out, they will do a thorough pathology and be able to give you more definitive information at that time. 

    This is a terrifying finding and I know you are scared, hopefully this information helps. 

  • Thank you for your kind replies.