Colorectal Cancer Recovery Rates | 79 Year Olds

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  • Thread starter Greg Bernhardt
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In summary, my grandfather was just diagnosed with Colon cancer. He had surgery last week, but seems to be having trouble recovering. He is home, but says the bad days out weigh the good. He is currently 79 years old. Does anyone have statistics on recovery rates for the different ages? My dad is 78 and finished treatment last year for colon cancer. Surgery was Dec '06, with about 6 months of radiation and chemotherapy from March to Sept. He had to recover from surgery, and then two subsequent infections of the the surgical wound. He still has trouble related to effects of the radiation and chemo. I'll follow up with him and see what's going on now. I'm very sorry to hear about that, Greg. My
  • #1
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My grandfather was just diagnosed with Colon cancer. He had surgery last week, but seems to be having trouble recovering. He is home, but says the bad days out weigh the good. He is currently 79 years old. Does anyone have statistics on recovery rates for the different ages?
 
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  • #2
Greg Bernhardt said:
My grandfather was just diagnosed with Colon cancer. He had surgery last week, but seems to be having trouble recovering. He is home, but says the bad days out weigh the good. He is currently 79 years old. Does anyone have statistics on recovery rates for the different ages?
Well my dad is 78 and finished treatment last year for colon cancer. Surgery was Dec '06, with about 6 months of radiation and chemotherapy from March to Sept. He had to recover from surgery, and then two subsequent infections of the the surgical wound.

He still has trouble related to effects of the radiation and chemo. Neuropathy and stiffness of his legs are problematic.

I'll follow up with him and see what's going on now.
 
  • #3
I'm very sorry to hear about that, Greg. My best wishes to him and your family.
This is one of those situations where it's pretty much all up to the victim. A positive attitude and strong will to survive make a tremendous difference... if not to actual longevity, at least to the quality of life remaining. If he puts all that he has into getting better, there's a significantly better chance than if he just lies back and waits to die. People can recover from things like this, but they pretty much have to want to.

edit: Hi, Astro. You sneaked in on me again. Best wishes to your dad, as well.
 
  • #4
I'm sorry hear that news. Hope he feels better soon. Heres a few links that I found. Looks pretty promising. Maybe shareing this news with him, will perk him up a bit.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/g18q9fftmvtxmvx5/

Elderly patients have a lower capacity to react to postoperative complications, but the relative survival is similar to younger patients.


http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/106566492/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

Age alone is not a risk factor for postoperative mortality or a predictor of long-term survival.
 
  • #5
March 5, 2008
Easily Overlooked Lesions Tied to Colon Cancer, Study Finds
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/health/research/05cancer.html
By DENISE GRADY
An easily overlooked type of abnormality in the colon is the most likely type to turn cancerous, and is more common in this country than previously thought, researchers are reporting.

The findings come from a study of colonoscopy, in which a camera-tipped tube is used to examine the lining of the intestine. Generally, doctors search for polyps, abnormal growths that stick out from the lining and can turn into cancer. But another type of growth is much more dangerous, and harder to see because it is flat or depressed and similar in color to healthy tissue.

Japanese researchers became concerned about these flat lesions in the 1980s and ’90s, but studies here had mixed results and American doctors tended to think that flat growths were less common and less dangerous in the United States.

The new study, to be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests otherwise.

Some doctors in this country were already alert to flat lesions, but the findings will pose a challenge to others, because it takes a trained and vigilant eye to see the growths and special techniques to remove them. The results also mean it is especially important that patients take the harsh laxatives that many dread in advance of the test. The flat lesions, hard to find even under the best conditions, will be impossible to see if any waste is left in the bowel.

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, after lung cancer, with about 154,000 new cases detected and 52,000 deaths a year. It is one of the few cancers that is totally preventable if precancerous growths are found and removed; it can also be cured with surgery alone if found early enough.

People who have just had a colonoscopy should not rush to schedule another one just to look for the flat growths, doctors said.

“I don’t think people have to panic that they’ve somehow been neglected and had poor care,” said Dr. David A. Rothenberger, deputy chairman of surgery at the University of Minnesota.

But he and other experts emphasized that people should see a doctor any time they have persisting symptoms that could indicate colon cancer, like rectal bleeding or a change in bowel habits — no matter how recently they had a colonoscopy. The test is highly reliable, but not perfect, doctors say.
If there is a history of colon cancer in one's family, I strongly recommend a colonoscopy by age of 50. My father found out late that he had colon cancer, and while he seems to be in remission, the treatment he received has taken a toll on his health.

Changes in diet may reduce the onset of colon cancer.
 
  • #6
Sorry to hear about your grandfather, Greg.

As Danger mentioned, it's all up to the individual case, attitude, severity of the disease at the time of diagnosis, the extent of the surgery, and overall health of the patient when admitted for surgery.

It might just be too soon to know how his longer term outlook is only a week after such major surgery.
 
  • #7
I saw him yesterday. Made him some soup. Seems to be in fairly good spirits. In a lot of pain still though.
 
  • #9
Astronuc said:
Greg, will your grandfather have chemo and radiation?

Recovery rates depend on the stage. My dad was stage 4, and so far he seems to be doing well.

Here is something about stages and survival.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_3X_How_is_colon_and_rectum_cancer_staged.asp


Believe it or not, a good or positive attitude really helps in recovery.

Actually I'm not sure. I just know he had surgery two weeks ago. I think they are waiting to do some more checks to see if it spread. So maybe that means he is low stage right now?
 
Last edited:
  • #10
Greg Bernhardt said:
Actually I'm not sure. I just know he had surgery two weeks ago. I think they are waiting to do some more checks to see if it spread. So maybe that means he is low stage right now?

That's what they'll determine when they know if it's spread and/or how far. Sometimes in older patients, it's a tough decision whether to pursue further treatment, or to just leave it alone. It's often a judgement call best left to the patient rather than doctors whether the side-effects of chemo or radiation therapy are worth the few extra years of life vs just letting the cancer go, especially if it's a slow-growing cancer.
 
  • #11
Greg Bernhardt said:
Actually I'm not sure. I just know he had surgery two weeks ago. I think they are waiting to do some more checks to see if it spread. So maybe that means he is low stage right now?
The surgeon will send the removed tissue (including lymph nodes) to a lab and a pathologist will determine if the cancer has spread beyond the colon. That's when the stage will be determined. My father had 5 of 15 nodes test positive for indications, so he had to endure about 6 months of chemotherapy with a short period of radiation. Hopefully, your grandfather won't have to go through that. If he does, he'll need support, since it's pretty debilitating - especially when one looses control of one's bodily functions.
 

Related to Colorectal Cancer Recovery Rates | 79 Year Olds

1. What is the average recovery rate for colorectal cancer in 79 year olds?

The average recovery rate for colorectal cancer in 79 year olds varies depending on the stage and severity of the cancer. However, studies have shown that the overall survival rate for 79 year olds with colorectal cancer is approximately 50-60%.

2. How does age affect the recovery rate for colorectal cancer?

Age can impact the recovery rate for colorectal cancer in a few ways. As we age, our bodies may have a harder time fighting off cancer cells and recovering from treatments. Additionally, older adults may have other health conditions that can complicate their treatment and recovery process.

3. What factors can influence the recovery rate for 79 year olds with colorectal cancer?

Some factors that can influence the recovery rate for 79 year olds with colorectal cancer include the stage and location of the cancer, the type of treatment received, overall health and fitness level, and any other underlying health conditions.

4. Is it possible for a 79 year old with colorectal cancer to have a full recovery?

While every case is unique, it is possible for a 79 year old with colorectal cancer to have a full recovery. This will depend on various factors such as the stage and type of cancer, response to treatment, and overall health of the individual.

5. What can be done to improve the recovery rate for 79 year olds with colorectal cancer?

To improve the recovery rate for 79 year olds with colorectal cancer, it is important to catch the cancer early through regular screenings and to follow a treatment plan recommended by a doctor. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help improve overall health and potentially aid in recovery.

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