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Invasive Adenocarcinoma

My mother received her biopsy results - colon cancer confirmed.

The colonoscopy report states "narrowing to the colon and an ulcerating mass in her
sigmoid colon, typical of carcinoma . . . she may be developing some obstruction.

Please translate - would the biospy show whether the cancer has spead? How quickly would she need surgery?

Thanks for your time,
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replied September 4th, 2009
The first step is for your mother's colon cancer to be "staged," which is usually accomplished with a CT scan (also, blood should be drawn for the colon cancer marker known as "CEA"). After that, she will require surgery to remove the segment of her colon where the cancer is, as well as the adjacent lymph nodes. The decision regarding chemotherapy (or not) will ultimately be based upon the results of her surgery.

The biopsy performed at the time of colonoscopy cannot determine if her cancer has spread behyond the colon.

Ideally, she should have her colon cancer surgery within a few weeks of diagnosis.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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replied September 5th, 2009
Thank you for responding.

She did have a CT Scan (July 27) prior to the colonoscopy (Aug. 2Cool which revealed:

thickening of a fairly long segment of the sigmoid colon with surrounding inflammatory change and mildly prominent adjacent lymph nodes measuring up to approx. 5 mm. This could represent an inflammatory process related to diverticular disease (no peridverticular abscess identified). However the possibility of primary colonic malignancy would need to be considered and endoscopy may be necessary for further evaluation."
"There are areas of cortical thinning involving both kidneys. There is a small hypodensity at the lower pole of the left kidney, representing a cyst."

Would the above tell me what stage the cancer is at? I thought the biopsy would reveal the stage.

I again thank you and appreciate your explanation/clarification.

Very concerned daughter,
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