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Medical Colorectal Cancer

  1. Mar 4, 2008 #1
    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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  3. Mar 4, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    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.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2008 #3

    Danger

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    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.
     
  5. Mar 4, 2008 #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.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2008 #5

    Astronuc

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    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
    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.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2008 #6

    Moonbear

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    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.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2008 #7
    I saw him yesterday. Made him some soup. Seems to be in fairly good spirits. In alot of pain still though.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2008 #8

    Astronuc

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  10. Mar 7, 2008 #9
    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?
     
  11. Mar 7, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    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.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2008 #11

    Astronuc

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    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.
     
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