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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

First, again, realize you are jumping way ahead of yourself... although I KNOW how worrisome this can be.

To answer your question:
YES. An experienced Gastro can tell you in most cases whether your husband has cancer right after the colonoscopy. He/she will also biopsy if there is something that cannot be removerd via a colonoscope (for example, if a tumor is present). But the biopsy takes about a week or so, and will reveal the kind of cells present, whether it's an aggressive cancer, or slow growing (like most colorectal cancers). He will then undergo a bunch of other tests and depending on the findings as to whether it penetrated the colon or rectal wall, will determine whether he will also consult with an oncologist and/or radiation oncologist. And again, IF this is the case, you have some time to let this settle in and make decisions before you need to do anything. The people that need to make an immediate decision are those that have a complete obstruction, and don't have much time to consider options.

This is ONLY if he DOES have cancer. There is a very good chance that he has a non-cancerous polyp/s, which they will remove in right then and there in MOST cases. Even the tough ones tend to be removed by a skilled gastro. Then it gets biopsied to see if it was pre-cancerous. If it was pre-cancerous, you won't know that until the pathology report comes back... again, typically a week or so later. But if it is just a polyp, and is removed, then your husband is in the clear... maybe requiring more frequent colonoscopies, but clear nonetheless (even if it is determined precancerous).

You asked in another post about CEA's (carcinoembryonic antigen). This is a protein secreted by SOME colorectal tumors that is used as a marker for recurrence... so IF he has cancer, part of the testing I mentioned will be a blood test to see what his CEA level is, then after the tumor is removed, they can follow his blood work in addition to other testing to make certain he does not have a recurrence.

I am glad he got an appointment so soon... I know, it's still not soon enough. The worst part of the test is the prep when he cleans out his colon. Have him use plenty of hemorrhoid cream with each BM to ease the soreness from constantly having diarrhea.

I hope this information helps you. Again... I don't want to jump ahead, but since you asked, I think it's important that you have the information you need.

Good Luck. Please don't hesitate to ask ANYTHING.


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