Colon cancer awaiting scan results

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I’m in my early 40s and 2 young kids under 5 - last week diagnosed with colon cancer no symptoms but a 4cm tumor that has not gone through the colon wall-  then sent for a CT scan which showed some shadings on my liver but radiologist couldn’t be sure so having an MRI on Tuesday and waiting for a PET Scan date 

is this all normal or is this more serious than they are telling me? Scared for my kids 

  • Hi  I had exactly the same and my tumour was 4cm too! Not gone through the bowel wall is good. I had something picked up in my liver and it was a haemangioma. These are harmless cysts and apparently very common although most people go through life non the wiser unless you have a scan?

    The waiting for scans and results is very stressful but once you have a plan in place then things will honestly feel a bit better

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Thank you Karen did you have an MRI and PET scan - are these normal requirements once diagnosed? 

  • I had an MRI once something in the liver was seen. I’ve never had a PET scan and if I’m honest im not sure what extra they add? I’ll tag in my friend  who’s a bit more knowledgeable than me x

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  • The MRI is often used  to get a better look at any liver issue and very routine . The PET scan is often used too particularly If they can’t get a good visual. It pays to remember it’s an image and some images seem clearer that others . The PET scan gives them another layer as it uses a different technique and shows if there is any activity in the areas of concern . They pull this information together to give them More information to make a clear decision.

    My mum’s surgical teams always insist on them prior to any of her surgeries . Might depend on the surgeon or oncologist in the area . 
    They often put images up on the screen .

    The other thing to remember about Bowel cancer . If it has spread to the liver it still has many treatment options . My mum had a significant spread to her liver but it’s been clear for 14 years . 
    But it sounds as though they are trying to rule out than  in . To put that in context my mum had no pet scan when they told her it spread to her liver . They could clearly see from a Ct scan and there was no doubt in the radiologist mind what they were seeing due to the volume  . She did not even need an mri . 
    Hope that helps .

    Court 

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  • Thank you Court that is helpful - I hope you are right and they are trying to rule it out as was hoping the CT would have been clear but they saw a couple of shadings but couldn’t be sure - 

    i am so scared that it has spread everywhere and this is what the PET Scan would see but hoping the CT scan of chest, abdomen and pelvis not showing anything is a good sign

    My children are so young and I just want to be around to see them 

    there is not a minute of the day I’m not scared and every ache or pain I attribute to the colon tumor and spread 

    I’m going insane 

  • Have you approached your Gp to get some help over this period ? 

    It is frightening at this point when you have part of the information but not the treatment plan . Once that’s in place you get some structure and direction to take you forward .

    My mum has always had a spread from diagnoses back in 2009 . The Ct scan alone can pick up tiny Lung mets at 2 mm .   The scanners are amazing now  . As long as you don’t move or breathe at the wrong point as I think if I remember correctly it takes slices of images . Since then my mum has had 60 scans and they often want things clarified. The oncologist/surgeons often have chats . 

    Bowel cancer is also one of the few primary tumours that they operate on the liver for a spread . Then there are things like radio frequency ablation . 

    You have your hands full with two wee ones and facing surgery but it will be worth it to get it over with and back to raising your children . Do you have support to help while you recover ? 
    Also good news it’s not gone through the bowel wall . 

    You have a good radiologist as hard as this process is they are making sure they have you covered . Everyone is scared at this stage and just like you they imagine it has spread   As   stated we get so many people who have to get harmless liver issues checked . The lungs are often the same as harmless nodules seem to pop up there too .

    Our helpline staff are there if you ever need a safe place to chat with a supportive person .

    But we are always here when the anxiety surges to help bring it back down .

    Take care ,

    Court

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  • Thank you Court you have made things more clear for me - last question can I ask why you say good news the tumor has not gone through the wall - does that mean something?

    I am happy at least  it is contained to one part of the bowel and not everywhere 

    I’m new to all this and have been given no Information on this 

  • As I understand it , it’s better to be contained within the bowel wall. So that’s a positive on that front .

    Ask as many questions as you like and if you would like professional answers the helpline can get the nurses to answer anything too so help is around .

    https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/diagnosis/staging-and-grading/
    This leaflet is good at explaining staging . The tumour depth within the bowel wall etc . It also goes into cell type etc . You might get more information after surgery on some of it after it goes to pathology .

    Sometimes understanding helps reduce some of the fear . But also really important to remember to limit what is unhelpful or triggering. Someone else’s staging is not yours . You are your own stats and get your own plan . If you can take it in small manageable chunks and dismiss what you can’t process just now too . Even as a relative I just needed to know some aspects but not others but with time that developed. 
    You have started the process to heal your body and that’s important .

    Take care ,

    Court 

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    Helpline Number 0808 808 0000

  • Hi  I was given this booklet at my first meeting and it may give you a heads up?

    https://bowelcancerorguk.s3.amazonaws.com/Publications/Bowel_Cancer_UK_Your_Pathway_V10.1.pdf

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hello, i have just come out the other side of the journey and hopefully can give you a little reassurance. I am a 35 year old woman with two primary school aged children and was diagnosed with stage 3 just before Christmas. My first MRI showed something on my liver too so I had a second and it turned out to be nothing to worry about (can be cysts etc. my consultant said if you scan 10 people you will find something on everyone so try not to panic!).

    being a mum of two young children I completely understand how you feel. It feels hard to hold it together some days but also having children gives you a normal routine and reason to get up in the morning. In some ways it sort of helped me.

    Try not to worry - waiting is the worst bit xx