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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

Your sister's MD can't know if the cancer was completely contained within the polyp. CAT scans of the abdomen/pelvis and chest need to be done to see if there has been any spread. Usually a cancerous polyp if not removed eventually goes through the colon wall and spreads within the colon in that manner. However, cancers continually shed cells (our immune system normally kills stray cancer cells) and colon cancer can spread in three ways - directly through the inner colon wall where the polyp is attached; through the lymphatic system; and through the bloodstream. One of my acquaintenances had a polyp with a tiny cancerous center removed - doctor told her she was cured and to forget about it, but after doing research and reading the colon message boards, she insisted on having the CAT scans and a solitary lung nodule was found. It was removed and now several years later she is doing fine.

With a family cancer history and due to her young age, a consultation with a geneticist should be scheduled to test for Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC). Ovarian cancer is one of the Lynch cancers. In addition, the cancerous polyp should be tested for microsatellite instability. If it tests microsatellite high instability, there is a 90% chance that there is a genetic cause to her cancer and further testing would be indicated. If a genetic mutation is found, you, her parents, any other siblings or children should have colonoscopies to check out your colons. Lynch Syndrome is a dominant mutation meaning that direct relatives have a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation.

Lynch Syndrome PMS2 mutation
Endometrial Cancer 1995 Stage I
Colon Cancer 2003 Stage III

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