• Stage 4 colon cancer, neg. nodes and no symptoms! How can this be? Found on routine colonoscopy.

    Asked by rustysflygirl on Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Stage 4 colon cancer, neg. nodes and no symptoms! How can this be? Found on routine colonoscopy.

    2 weeks ago we had a normal family, now we are overwhelmed. How can a "healthy" man have stage 4 colon cancer, negative lymph nodes and have no symptoms? He had the ascending colon removed 5 days ago, the surgeon said the cancer had spread to the omentum. He told me post op that he had a year to live. How can that be? We see the oncologist tomorrow to see what is next. But, I am having a hard time understanding this. If you are going to be dead in a year shouldn't you be sick? I am an experienced RN, the man had no symptoms. I talked to our family doc. he said he did a full physical, bloodwork and all, he didn't see any symptoms either.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • cavalierlover's Avatar

      The same exact thing happened to me. After a colonostomy I was told the same exact things. I felt great had the same surgery and was told they found cancer same places. Exact same story. I am now taking 6 months of chemo. I was told this is what is reccomended so I am doing what my doctor said do. I do not believe that I have a "certain" time left. They told me 2 to five years max. I can remember feeling just like you thinking no way I feel to good. Please keep me updated. Also keep praying that is the only way we can beat this thing. The chemo is just insurance. Prayer is the way. God Bless you and your family. Debbie

      over 6 years ago
    • rustysflygirl's Avatar

      Thank you! I am not alone! God bless you for sharing, you have given me a glimmer of hope.

      over 6 years ago
    • stillkickin's Avatar

      I felt compelled to respond to what you said about the doctor giving your husband a year to live. I have pancreatic cancer, and was initially given 6 months to live. Not only am I still here 2 years later, I'm doing well. People beat the odds all the time, and miracles DO happen. Hold onto hope...it's really important.

      over 6 years ago
    • mcky's Avatar

      I am just like your husband. I am on the avastian as the first did not stop it from spreading. I go in thursday to attempt to reverse me..if there is too much cancer, then its a no go and i will have some answers .
      14 months for me.
      My surgical dr had me believing it would be 6 months. Not sure if i am glad or not that i believed.
      I have worked with much seven up, lots of rest (five pm is now sleep hour vs happy hour). I irragate myself everymorning so i don't have to wear a bag. Take care

      over 6 years ago
    • mamajltc's Avatar

      Please, always choose hope. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer 2 1/2 years ago. He had surgery and although the cancer is gone from his colon, it is now in his lung..a small tumor, but did grow. He is in his 3rd round of chemo and had radiation. The drug he is now on, Erbitux, did not exist as an approved drug about 12 years ago, and not only does it exist, but for many, it works. I don't believe in numbers...living one day at a time and knowing that every single case of cancer is different, gives me knowledge and hope. I tell everyone that if cancer has done one thing for me, it was and is, to make me live one day at a time..I didn't plan it, it just happened because each day brings new things. The most important thing is to take care of yourself, get the best treatment you can, enjoy each day the best you can and...choose hope. Thinking of you with positive thoughts..

      over 6 years ago
    • Jane's Avatar

      I have had colon cancer 5 times in the last 10 years. I now have it as a chronic disease with no chemo. I have had it twice in the liver and twice in the lung. I have had "shaped-beam radio surgery" a kind of radiation that targets just the tumors. Five to ten days of radiation and then back to normal life. Little to no side effects.

      over 6 years ago
    • Buckwirth's Avatar

      Doctors are notoriously bad at presenting timelines. What they are referring to is what the studies and trials refer to as the median. If there are 100 people in a study, and the 50th lives one year, then the median is one year. It does not matter that the first lived a week, and the top 50 are all still alive ten years later.

      Bottom line; ignore the prognosis.

      over 6 years ago
    • danellsar's Avatar

      My husband was diagnosed stage 4 esophageal cancer. He was told 6 mos-1 year with treatment. Max. Well, in 2 weeks it'll be a year from diagnosis, 1.5 years from when he got sick. He's still here, still in treatment, still taking chemo. He went from 0 to stage 4 in only a few months. 2 summers ago, no symptoms. By that winter, he was doubled over in extreme pain constantly.

      I guess all this is to say believe the doctors. Ask lots of questions and do your research. After all of that, hold on to hope and the firm belief in the power of hope. I have heard story after story of those who were given months and are still around years later. Almost to a person they credit that they never stopped fighting, never gave up hope.

      over 6 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Get another opinion! My Stage 4 Appendix cancer had spread to the omentum and to my ovary; my surgeon removed them and gave me chemo directly into my belly (intraperitoneal chemo). There is also a HIPEC option out there with certain specialists. If there is no lymph node involvement, then the omentum was probably "seeded" from the original tumor rupturing through the colon wall (mine broke through the appendix wall, and sent bits of tumor all over my peritoneum- omentum, ovary, outside of my colon.)

      I had IP chemo followed by Folfox/Avastin. I'm now almost 4 years post-treatment; almost 5 post-diagnosis. I switched oncologists from the one who had me dead by now, and my current drs have me good for the long term (I go to Sloan Kettering.)

      Technically Stage 4, but without systemic spread, it's not the same. Find an expert, and continue living!

      over 6 years ago
    • care1201's Avatar

      my mom had no symtoms of colon cancer, she had pain under her ribs turned out to be mets to the liver, did a liver biopsy found out it was colon ca that was stage 4 already spread, my mom died 5 1/2 weeks after her diagnosis

      over 5 years ago

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