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Question
Posted by: MG | 2007/03/12

Growth in colon

My mother in law is 84 and they have discovered a growth in her colon. The doctors want to operate to remove it and I am against it as I think she is too frail to recover. They say she is fit enough to survive the op but what about the recovery.
Is it a long recovery? Is it a major op?
What happens if she doesn't have the op, what is she facing?
If she does have it and they find that the growth is malignant, will she have to go for chemo?

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Our expert says:
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Dear MG
Colon cancer can be healed by operation if the tumour did not yet penetrate the whole thickness of the bowel. Yes it is a risk to operate on a 84 year old, and yes, it is major surgery, but if you leave it and it spreads, her 5 year survival is almost nil. On top of that she may end up with metastasis and bowel obstruction because of the tumour. She may need chemotherapy if the cancer is right through the bowel or into the lymphglands - but that is her own choice.
see http://www.emedicinehealth.com/colon_cancer/article_em.htm
Good luck with the difficult decision!

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