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Bowel cancer

20 Aug 2019 22:05

my mum has bowel cancer (stage 3 N1 M1) not sure if the type of cancer has been diagnosed yet. She has small nodes on her lung that showed on CT and on a PET scan although this was indescriminite. Areas on the PET also showed something around shoulder and stomach but they aren’t sure what. She’s had a bowel resection and the primary tumour was removed and the majority of the affected lymph nodes but a small amount was left behind. She can’t start chemo until she’s healed from the bowel surgery which I understand. But meanwhile the potential lung and other mets could be growing and this concerns me. They do not seem to be doing anything about looking at these further - they want to wait and see if they change post chemo. Surely a watchful wait is dangerous given that she can’t have chemo for a few months? I want to know what these areas are for definite - not wait and see!? 

Bowel cancer

21 Aug 2019 15:21 in response to Juvey_Chick

Hello and thanks for posting of the forum,

I am sorry to hear about your mum.  This must be a difficult time for you both.

I can understand your frustration about wanting your mum to get on and start treatment but until your mum has recovered I am sure the doctors will be reluctant to give her any treatment.  The reason for this is that any treatment such as chemotherapy that they decide to give her comes with side effects and if they give treatment too soon then it can delay the healing of her recent surgery.

Also chemotherapy affects the blood cells particularly the white blood cell.  These are the cells that fight infection.  The doctors need to make sure that her blood count is at a reasonable level and her kidneys and liver are working well. If the doctors give treatment too soon it could make her feel quite ill.

I am not sure if your mum has been given a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist).  If she has been given one with your mum's permission you could ask them to explain what her next steps are and how quickly it will be before they can consider other options.

If you would like to give us a ring to discuss any of this please do. You may find it helpful to talk things through with one of the nurses on our helpline.  The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

Best Wishes,

Catherine