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Colon Tumor found during colonoscopy - chances it's benign?

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I am very sad to be here posting this. My mother turned 60 yesterday and had her colonoscopy this morning - the doctor found a tumor that was too big to remove during the procedure. He took a few samples and sent it off for biopsy. He told us that just by looking at it, he is unable to tell us whether it is benign or malignant. He said it is about 4cm x 4cm (1.5 inches) and a fairly large size. Other than that, he said we'd have to wait a week for the results, and, whether they be malignant or benign, the mass would need to be removed anyway. Of course, I was crying my eyes out and my mom was so calm but I just am so scared. The doctor did not seem very optimistic - at least in my opinion.

So, her background. She has had diverticulitis off and on in her 50's and suffered with constipation her whole life. She has also had hemorrhoids but nothing too major. She has never been a drinker or a smoker and cancer does not run in our family at all that we know of. She is a just a tad overweight - maybe 10-20 pounds at most? Also, she has never had a colonoscopy before.

She has no pain, no weight loss and had a chest x-ray about two months ago for an elective cosmetic procedure - it was negative. However, she did tell me that she has had a tinge of bright red blood after a BM while wiping about three times in the past three years? So, this concerns me a bit.

Oh, and about two years ago, when she had severe pain in her left side, she went to the ER and they did a CT scan with iodine - they discovered that she had diverticulitis. Would they have seen the tumor at this point?

So, would mind helping my mom and me out with these questions? We would appreciate it so much. We would just like to know about the sizing and the real chances of this tumor being benign? Every place I look on the internet seems to have very little chance of it actually being non-malignant - why did the doctor not tell us the truth? Why can't he give us a better idea by just looking at it? If it is 4cm round, does this most likely mean that it has gone into her lymph nodes and metastasized to her liver? The fact that the findings were fungating and friable - does this point toward it being malignant more than benign? Why in the world was the doctor not frank with us about this - he wouldn't explain any of it!

I am so scared for my mom - I can't even function, she is my very best friend and I'm a complete wreck - I never thought this could happen to her in a million years - please give us any information and advice you have - we thank you so, so much!

*** Findings: In the rectum, a non obstructing, large size, fungating, friable 4cm. by 4cm. mass was seen. The mass was not bleeding.
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First Helper Brawny
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replied October 28th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
i think you should go to another dr and get a second opinion and some better information

it doesnt sound like this doctor is very considerate of whats going on and thats a big red flag.

i dont know much about tumors or any of that so i wish i could be of more help but i cant Sad
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replied October 29th, 2007
thanks, hon. we are still waiting for the biopsy results and will then have to have the tumor removed - either way. this is making me sick. i guess its only about 2 inches up in her rectum - how could it have grown so large before anyone noticed this?!?! ugh.
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replied October 29th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
ugh you guys must be so frusterated! im sorry all this is happening! hang in there! it will be okay and stay strong

i will keep you and your family in my thoughts
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replied November 1st, 2007
Thanks For Posting.
Take heart. And thank you for posting here. We can help each other.

My friend has survived five years, having had Stage III colon cancer...more ominous than your situation is right now. Nowadays, even metastatic (Stage IV) patients can survive.

A 4 cm tumor sounds pretty large, to be honest, but if it makes you feel better, I recently made the acquaintance of a young woman who had a larger tumor removed from her sigmoid colon. She barely had symptoms...which itself doesn't mean much. She will need chemo, as she is "barely" Stage III.

The important thing is to get that tumor out and to appraise her lymph node involvement. If there is no lymph node involvement, then she won't even need chemo. She's cured, even if the tumor is cancerous.

I am not a medical professional, so I cannot give you "reliable" advice, but you are free to read widely on the internet about the statistics and therapies of patients like your mom. (There is comfort in statistics.) And I don't even know the difference between "benign" and "malignant," to be honest. It seems perplexing how any "benign" tumor could get large in the first place, but I suppose it's a matter of time. My friend's malignant tumor apparently grew fast...they can do that. 6 months earlier, a barium enema missed it...perhaps because such testing is inadequate...or perhaps because the tumor grew rapidly thereafter.

Please come back and tell us how this thing worked out. We will be pulling for you. And others will benefit from your experience.

Best wishes.
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replied November 1st, 2007
Risk Factors
Reviewing again your posting...of your mom's risk factors. Based on my readings 5 years ago...I'd say familial (hereditary) factors are of no consequence, anyway, in cases for a 60 year old and her relatives. There are hereditary cases that present at a young age. Google this if you care. But don't get carried away about your own risk for this disease.

The obvious biggest risk factor your mom "blew through" (unwittingly) was to NOT have a colonoscopy earlier in her life. Everyone should have this done, and age 50 is the recommended age. There is a long time window before polyps become cancerous, so that translates to a huge opportunity to eradicate colorectal cancer. Indeed, today's statistics bear this out. Colorectal cancer incidence is falling...obviously in reaction to commonality of colonoscopy.

Dr. Bert Vogelstein of John's Hopkins is the maven of epidemiology, at the molecular, genetic level, for colorectal cancer, in case you wonder how this comes about.

I have never found the "smoking gun" regarding the lifestyle cause of colorectal cancer, but I haven't looked lately. No, cheeseburgers have never been proven to cause colorectal cancer. Though the young CEO of MacDonald's did tragically die of this disease.
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replied December 3rd, 2007
hi, i'd just like to say i was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 2 at the age of 22, i'm 25 now and am fine. The symptoms for colon cancer can be difficult. I never had a drop of blood in my stools, yet had other symptoms that could have been put down to a number of things, and the drs thought i had gastroenteritis. It was only when i had a colonoscopy they discovered a tumour which after biopsy turned out to be malignant.

I had an operation to move my whole colon (as i was so young) and had a temporary colostomy bag which i have now had reversed. I had 6 months of chemo as a precaution.

Just to say that no matter what the diagnosis, if it does turn out to be cancer, it is beatable especially if found early, i am living proof of this. So please try not too worry until you know the full facts
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replied June 30th, 2009
I too was diagnosed with stage III colon CA in 2004. Went through 6 month of chemo (Folfox) and am still actively working. However, I do feel a little lathargic these days....mabe it's the summer heat?? Oh, I'm 45 years old female. Don't worry too much. Think positive all the time. By the grace of God I am still very much alive.
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replied December 26th, 2009
benign colon tumor
Hello, please do not give up hope. GOD is the almighty awesome God & he made you & can fix you & your loved ones. The ole devil wants to discourage & defeat all, but I am a 52 year old female, & will have a benign colon tumor removed Jan 2010. I had no symptoms, no ailments, etc. I was advised to drink metamucil 3 times a day, increase my water & eat high fiber 3 times a day. I am very optimistic that GOD can heal & work miracles & I'm claiming thru the love,grace & power that the tumor will not be found when they perform the procedure laproscopically & that I'm healed & that your healed as well...Doctor's think we're crazy but GOD knows ea. heart, he honors prayers & I trust his guidance & believe that he sent his son (my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.) This world is not all knowing, but GOD is!!!! Please pray & ask Jesus into your heart to make you a new person & begin to live..........Life is to be lived for Christ Jesus & to tell others how he loves, protects, comforts & came to save each one of us!!! He will never reject any who ask him into their heart...!
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replied January 17th, 2011
Rectal Tumor
This was posted almost four years ago, but I am so intrigued as this I happen to find myself in almost the exact same situation with my father. What was the conclusion to this??? Anybody know????
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replied April 12th, 2011
Colon Cancer Stage IIa - My story.
Understanding that this is an old thread, I would like to add-on to it.
I am 46 yr old Male, I had Diverticulitis with a sigmoid colon resection at the age of 29. Outside some back surgeries I haven't had other major surgeries. At 30 it was explained to me that I won't need a colonoscopy until I was 50 due to no Cancer in the family history. Unknown to me there was a history.
This past December I suffered gas pains below my right rib cage, months before I had the same problem, but I used the old "It's only gas" excuse. The December attack caused me to vomit; I immediately went to my internist. Since I was leaving for a cruise a week later, my doctor had me admitted to the hospital so testing could be done quickly. A CT scan revealed a 3cm tumor in my ascending colon, the next afternoon I had the colonoscopy which confirmed the tumor, and that it looked cancerous. 48 hours later I was recovering from a Colon Resection, open surgery. Pathology confirmed that it was cancer, and that the tumor broke through the muscle of the intestine. 17 Lymph nodes were found to all be clean -- I had a follow-up PET scan which revealed no cancerous cells in my body. This resulted in a diagnosis of stage IIa Colon Cancer - T3N0M0 - Tumor was a Stage 3, no lymph nodes infected, and no metastasis. With my age and health it was recommended that I start chemo as a "mop-up" - my wife is an oncology nurse and she was onboard with the decision. The hospital tumor board met on this case and all agreed that the chemo was a good idea, the prognosis was good, and the tumor was well-differentiated. After an infection of the resection my chemo was delayed due to me being readmitted to the hospital - I contracted a yeast infection at the resection site - that almost killed me -- go figure. I have since started chemotherapy Folfox 5, Six months 12 sessions. I am on session two. I hope that this information may be helpful to others. As far as the family history, when I was released from the hospital a cousin of mine forwarded my grandfathers memoirs - every male on my father�s side had heart disease and colon cancer. I knew about the heart disease, my dad died at 58 from it - so I had taken care of my heart from his death. No one mentioned anything of the cancer.
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replied May 31st, 2011
colon mass
my husband just had a colonoscipy they found a large soft mass near ghe beginning we go for a ct scan tomorrow, then he has to see a specialist we wont know anything for another 20 days due to his dr being booked up, Im scared I am pregnant with our 4th child and he is only 38, hesx my best friend I dont want to lose him thanks to the people on thisd thread who shared encouraging survival stories
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replied December 1st, 2011
Hi there,Are there anymore positive stories about this.My dad has been told he has a possible malignant polypoid tumor.I am 25 and as so worried.My family arent very well educated so I could do with any information.thank you xxxxxx
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replied December 8th, 2011
Finding cancer ,Taking chemo,Being healed
I was 62 years old and male,I was not sick,or had any pain. my bowel movements was always good.not hard or to soft. But it was time to get my colon check,
The Dr found a cancer the size of a softball and 7 inches long, it was removed and I took 6 months of chemo,That was in 2008,
My Dr checks me now each 6 months and have my colon check every 12 months so far I am cancer free, I hope this will help someone, Cancer if caught early can be cured...get check out men and women...each year if you can.many insurance compaies now want you to have your colon check every 5 years,but a Dr can get that change if cancer is in your family.Talk to your Dr..
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