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How long before you would die from colon cancer???


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#1 Homebound

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Posted 17 July 2000 - 02:57 AM

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The reason I'm asking is because this seems to be the major excuse to why I don't need further tests from my stool sample, blood, and ultrasound.The doctors always ask me what I'm worrying it is. Well I run down the Crohn's and Colon Cancer. Then they always say "Well heck if you had cancer you'd be dead already!" So that is there way of telling me theres nothing seriously wrong with me.I've had IBS for 2 years now. And things have gotten much better not worse (thanks to calcuim and eating better). Which is their other reason for me not needing tests. After all if it was serious I would be getting worse, accourding to them. So my question is- Does anyone know how long a person will live with cancer without it being treated? I'd like to throw it in the doctors face if it is longer then 2 years. Thanks.Jennifer


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#2 Guest_Axelle_*

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Posted 17 July 2000 - 01:25 PM

My goodness Jennifer. I know it depends as 8 of my relatives have lost their lives to colon cancer. One as short as 3 weeks and one as long as 1 1/2 years - but I'm not sure cancer should be used to make a point in an argument. Be thankful they haven't diagnosed you with anything "more" than IBS.

#3 Rose

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Posted 17 July 2000 - 02:18 PM

My father-in-law has colon cancer. Actually I should say it looks as though he has been cured from colon cancer, as he was diagnosed over 16 years ago and he is doing very well now and has never had a re-occurance.I do know that before he was diagnosed, he saw blood in his stool, which prompted him to make the doctor's appointment in the first place. I do believe that rectal bleeding is the primary symptom for colon cancer. I am sure if your doctor believed you were in any danger of having this disease, he would not hesitate to order the necessary tests especially where most doctors are concerned with malpractice suits.You say your condition has improved, so I guess I don't understand your post. Why would you think you have colon cancer?------------------"Remember To Stop and Smell the Roses"Rose (C-type)[This message has been edited by Rose (edited 07-17-2000).]
"Remember To Stop and Smell the Roses"
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#4 Mannie

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Posted 17 July 2000 - 02:50 PM

My doctor used to tell me, "If you had cancer, believe me, you'd know it." I think the symptoms are far worse than IBS. Blood in stool, severe pain, weight loss, stool that continually decreases in width, etc. I'm not sure how long one would live with untreated colon cancer, but I would guess that after 2 years you would certainly be full of pain and lumpy tumors. This could be checked by a sigmoscomy (sp) or colonoscopy, so you could insist that your doctor do one. If he gives you a hard time, it could be your insurance company. Although I am not an advocate of lying, if you tell your doctor that you have a family history of colon cancer he will likely perform the test. If not, consider finding another doctor or paying for the test out of pocket.

#5 Guest_osgev_*

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Posted 17 July 2000 - 03:11 PM

Homebound: Rather than throw in his face the information you are requesting, I'd do better than that by finding a new doctor experienced with your problems! What kind of doctor is he? Does he have other IBS/Colitis patients?Did you say you have blood in your tests?Did he tell you why?If not, find someone who can!!Best wishes and hope you feel better.Barbara ------------------BJV/Female__(D)

#6 Homebound

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 05:12 AM

I hope I didn't offend any of you. Basically I have asked a few doctors I've seen for more tests then just the rutine blood work and such. The doctor usually tells me if it was something worse then IBS I wouldn't be sitting there talking with him. So he basically ruled out everything without a colonoscopy. And from what I've read here and another board, thats a big no no. Your to have LOTS of tests before knowing it's JUST IBS. I'm not saying I think I have cancer. I don't think so actually. There was no blood found in my stool. I WISH I could sit back and relax knowing that it wasn't something worse because of the amount of time I've had this. But some of you have been suffering for 10+ years. Why do you guys still go through all the tests? Wouldn't you be gone if it was something worse? Even if it's Crohn's or IBD, I doubt I'd be dead in 2 years! Yet they don't want to listen to that. I wanted to know how long people live with the cancer untreated for my own personal education. So when I went to the next doctor and he says that I can say "Yes but I've heard of people living 5 years with cancer. So how could you be so sure I don't have it without more tests?" And for my own peice of mind. If it's true that people die within a year or two I can probably relax knowing that I would be much worse off by now, or possible not even here. Colon Cancer is in my family as well. Every single time it hits when you are much older (70's usually). I have mentioned this to the doctors, my age seems to tell them it's impossible I suppose. Next time I'll ask the doctor further to why he believes it's impossible. I felt some of you got offended with me asking this. I'm really not sure why? Isn't that why most of you have those tests? To rule those out? Don't you want to be informed on something that has similar symptoms to IBS? Wouldn't some of you want to know that if you've had this for a very long time you can pass on some of those horrible painful tests because you wouldn't be here if you had what they were testing for? I've read a lot on these boards about how many doctors aren't very sensitive to those with our problems. I think if you've found a doctor that is, your VERY lucky! The doctors I've seen are just regular family doctors. I don't get past them to see a specialist. HMO thing maybe? Yes. I have to get a referral before I can see a specialist. And the few regular MD's I've seen say every doctor has seen people with IBS at some point. So they think they can handle it I suppose. I apologize if I offended any of you. That was not my intent. I'm trying to decide whether I should just believe the doctors or push for more tests. I wouldn't want to go through painful expensive tests for nothing. Thanks.Jennifer[This message has been edited by Homebound (edited 07-19-2000).]

#7 Guest_osgev_*

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 09:53 AM

I personally wasn't offended in any way by your question, just concerned for you. Your question can't be answered in just so many words. If I were to guess I'd say probably a while (Years). If you've told doctors of your family history and symptoms and they still don't give you a referral to a GI doc for tests and you have DEMANDED one, the only thing I can think to do is refer yourself and pay for the visit. Although I think that is awful for one to have to do, it could give you peace of mind.Where do you live? Maybe someone could direct you to a doc who would refer you to a specialist in your area??Take Care and Know that we care! Barbara------------------BJV/Female__(D)

#8 Maggie Mae B

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 11:52 AM

Homebound:Colon cancer is one of the most cureable forms of cancer if detected early. My mother passed of this dreaded disease two years ago. She had surgery and they said she was completely cured and Chemo-therapy was optional. She died 4 months later.God Bless

#9 Mannie

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 12:44 PM

I didn't get the feeling that you offended anyone... if anyone answered you "matter-of-factly" (like me) it's only because this is a question we address often on the board. Insurance companies are horrible to deal with. I have a friend who is 30 and got D and her doctor did a colonoscopy before anything else. But then I know people who have never had them. Maybe you could check your insurance company information and see how to deal with complaints, and complain about the lack of testing to someone higher up. You can also check with your state's attorney general's office... sometimes they have procedures for lodging complaints about insurance companies. I'd be willing to be that since you have seen a few different doctors, that the problem lies with the insurance company encouraging them not to do tests, rather than the doctors themselves. Keep in mind that many insurance companies give their doctors monetary bonuses for not doing tests. While I don't think you have cancer, I don't think you should have to put up with the "you'd be dead by now" speech. You (or your employer) pay premiums for insurance, and you should get a test when you want a test, even if it is only for piece of mind. Keep fighting, and let us know how it goes.

#10 Guest_Geraldine_*

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 05:10 PM

Dear Homebound -- I understand how you feel. First, let me tell you that I have colon cancer. I had what I thought were symptoms of IBS for a little over 2 years. I've always hated going to doctors (foolish me!) About 7 months ago I had an attack of peritonitis and had to have a colostomy,at which time it was discovered I had colon cancer, State IV - Terminal. I was diagnosed as having 2-4 weeks to live without chemotherapy. With chemotherapy, I am now into my 7th month. While I don't expect a cure, I hope to have several more months or maybe a year or so. As many people can tell you, cancer is a difficult condition to predict as far as survival rates. A lot depends on the stage it is discovered, your doctor, support from family and friends, and above all a positive outlook on life and will to live. Also, don't let the doctors tell you not to worry until you're a little old lady. I'm 49 years old (and they usually tell you to get sigmoidoscopies or colonoscopies after 50). I think you should find another doctor and express your concern and tell them you'd like to have at least a sigmoidoscopy which will check the lower part of your intestines. It's a little uncomfortable, but not painful. There is someone out there who will listen to you and help you. Keep looking and I hope your results are all negative and they can give you some medicine to help your current symptoms. God bless you and good luck!

#11 HipJan

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 05:35 PM

If I were you, I'd go to a different doctor and try again. If you do in fact seem to be getting better, I'd sure doubt you'd have cc. But many people here have colonoscopies or sigmoidoscopies as a matter of course. If there's c in your family, that's another good reason to have one.Oh, Geraldine, I will definitely be thinking of you. I feel saddened , but you sound brave. Thanks for coming forth.Another story: I had quite a change in bowel habits, went to 2 docs (PCP and specialist) and, of course, was told I probably had "just IBS." No blood was found as a result of a simple blood-in-stool screening test. But, I had loose, somewhat thin little stools (almost always) and a fair amount of pain - later, lots of nausea (also weight loss, which I still have). Finally (after many, many months), the doc. gave in and gave me a sigmoid. and was surprised to find a not-tiny pre-c polyp, which he removed. He'd kept telling me that my symptoms simply DID NOT justify giving me a colonscopy or sigmoid (cc also seems to be in my family); I think he was following overly strict HMO guidelines. I'm now scheduling my next colonoscopy; in the back of my mind I wonder if I have c, actually (but I don't dwell on the idea).The key is to catch the c or pre-c early; however, sometimes, I understand, the symptoms can be mistaken for something else -- and not everyone has the blood early on. I don't know how long one can go without c being treated -- depends when the c started. I think, however, that polyps may be rather slow growing (could take up to 3 years?? to develop into c), but sometimes polyps don't give any really significant warning signals. I don't want to scare you, but you asked! Again, you're probably fine -- but not a bad idea to go get your colonoscopy anyway!
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#12 Guest_Axelle_*

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Posted 19 July 2000 - 05:48 PM

Homebound - I wasn't offended (hasn't there been too much of that going around here lately? ) - but what does concern me is in your follow-up post, you mentioned colon cancer also runs in your family. Now that should be a huge red flag to any medical professional! Who cares of the age your family history predicts you might get it? Has your doctor never heard that phrase - "There's a first time for everything?" Once doctors have found out my medical history, the flip out and give me every test in the book 3x over. In my family history, people have been struck with colon cancer as early as 30 and as late as 70 - but that shouldn't matter. I have had IBS since I was 8 or 9 years old - I am now 34. I have not really been dealing with it much until the last 7 months or so when it took a turn for the worse. Now I am poked and prodded by everyone, everytime I go to the doctor. I absolutely hate it; however, I will continue to endure the uncomfortable tests and the endless question and answer sessions for my own peace of mind. Since you and I are already in a higher risk group for colon cancer since our families have suffered losses - I would suggest selecting another physician through your insurance and keep selecting another doctor until you find one that takes your case seriously. It isn't easy and it feels like it is a full-time job all by itself - but think of the alternative.Best of luck Homebound.

#13 Homebound

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Posted 20 July 2000 - 05:24 AM

Thanks everyone. I'm sorry if I thought you guys were offended. I think I worded my original post kinda bad. Anyway next month I see this new doctor. And I think once he starts going down that road of "Well your young...blah blah" I'll just ask for a referral to a GI. And insist on it.I think my odds are pretty good for me not having it. No blood from what the test said and none that I've seen. And I have been able to control it better with calcium and diet, something in which I'm not sure I'd be able to do if it was cc. I think you would just be getting worse? I think my age does help, but it certainly shouldn't be the only reason why they wouldn't give me more tests. Things do happen to young people too! Those doctors that I saw were in the San Fransico Bay Area. I've now moved to Northern Nevada so hoping the doctors here are better then what I've seen. But I won't hold my breathe! It's scary though not knowing for sure. Geraldine- my heart goes out to. I can't even imagine what your going through. I wish there was something I could do! My mom is 50 and has Lymphoma, and she won't find a cure either. I think that is WAY to young! Please let us know how your doing. Thanks again everyone for the information. Even if it scares me I'd rather know! Jennifer

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Posted 29 July 2000 - 02:38 PM

My Mom had bowel cancer. Her sole symptom was a little bit of blood in her stool. She did not have any pain associated with this. She had a colostomy but years later found out that she had breast cancer and that the breast cancer was not a primary cancer. She had a mastectomy. Then it spread to her bones and she died from it. My point is that one does not always have a lot of symptoms with bowel cancer. I suspect that is why responsible Doctors will often do a stool test for non-visible blood in the stool. I believe this is referred to as occult. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, go with it, and get that test! You know your body better than anyone else does. You should be a partner in diagnosis and treatment, not merely an object.

#15 me3

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Posted 29 July 2000 - 03:34 PM

I am 50 and have family history of colon cancer on both sides. I now know I have had IBS a long time (13) but was not diagnosed officially till I changed doctors three years ago. I called it "intestinal allergies". My original family doctor gave me all the tests but never suggested IBS - told me nothing was wrong with me. My new doctor after reading my file said IBS was indicated. In March I had my 1st colonoscopy. I was terrified as my younger sister died of cancer three years ago. I got an ALL CLEAR and was very relieved. The colonoscopy is repeated every 2 years (for people over 50) - that should tell you a lot. As Molly b said, it is supposed to be a very preventable cancer and in the last two weeks there has been info in the press about removing polyps during colonoscopy as a prevention for colon cancer. Anyway Jennifer, if this is stopping you from enjoying your life - tell your doctor and have a colonoscopy so you can stop worrying about cancer. Good luck.





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