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Colon cancer stage 3

Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by soulwynn on Jan 4, 2019 10:29 am

We live in Ontario and the more I read up on treatment options for stage 3 the more I read that my bf should be getting surgery to attempt removal of the tumour. My explanation for this is that it is attached to fatty tissue so that is why they can't remove it. I understand not being able to remove it totally surgically, but wouldn't chemo have a better chance at working if there wasn't such a large mass to kill? I'm getting scared that they're not treating this right and he's going to fall through the cracks somehow and become a statistic. I'm obviously not a doctor, but even my friend who's an MD is concerned that they're not discussing a surgical option. If anyone could offer suggestions I'd really appreciate it.

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jan 4, 2019 11:22 am

Hi soulwynn‍ 

Your partner is lucky to have your support and help looking up information.As you know even cancers that are the same stage may be treated differently depending on the individual circumstances.

Some people find it helpful to get a second opinion from another Doctor. Your current medical team can likely help with referring you for a second opinion.If you’re thinking about getting a second opinion:
  • Be honest with your doctor and let them know that you would like to see someone else before deciding on treatment.
  • Ask your doctor to suggest other doctors you could consult.
  • Ask for a referral from your doctor.
  • Ask your doctor to give you a copy of your medical records, test results or even biopsy samples that will help the second doctor make a diagnosis.

Hearing what another doctor says may help you feel better and more confident about your treatment.

Here is a link to more information on Cancer.ca about Working with your Healthcare Team that I hope you find helpful. You can also call our Cancer Information Service to speak to an Information Specialist for support with navigating this situation at 1-888-939-3333.

Is your partner doing chemo right now?

Please keep us posted,

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by soulwynn on Jan 4, 2019 12:12 pm

Hi Lacey Yes he is doing chemo right now. He's been doing chemo for about 6 months I believe at this point. They started him on a weaker dose, then changed it to a more aggressive one because after his CT scan they realized the first formula wasn't working and that the cancer was still growing. We're both really scared. Generally he goes with his Dad to appointments so I don't always get a chance to ask anything but my bf is really good about asking the questions I talk to him about. The only positive thing we've had happen recently is that his hemoglobin had been very low, and each time before chemo he's needed a transfusion. This time around his hemoglobin count was higher than it had been. I know sometimes it's not good to do research. I ended up reading percentages and survival rates and I didn't do myself any favours with that.

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by yow613 on Apr 25, 2019 12:01 pm


I've also been diagnosed with Stage 3 (IIIB) colon cancer.  I am expected to start my chemo treatments in June.  I've been doing a lot of research on the subject and you have to be careful where you get your statistical survival rates from, especially if you are getting them from the internet.  I saw some reports showing stage 3 5 year survival rate down to 40% but the study was 20 years old.  I found more recent studies where chemo treatments are better which now shows survival rates up to 75%.  Then you have to factor in other conditions like health, age, weight, ect.... but more importantly, mental state.  The mind controls the body and if the mind is happy, the body should follow. 

Anyways, I am no doctor but if the Red Blood Count cells are increasing, it means things are going back to normal.  It also means that your partner should be gaining more energy to do things vs being tired which is great considering summer is just around the corner. ;)   

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by Haemish on Jan 3, 2020 9:48 am

I just got diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer.  I was contacted by my surgeon today about the mri results.  I will have a meeting next week with an oncologist to discuss treatment before surgery.  My biggest worry was having to be on the bag the rest of my life.  Now knowing that I have stage 3, the bag is less of a worry.  

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by CL4ENOO on Jan 13, 2020 4:24 pm

Hello all - my 46 year old husband was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in December. It’s been overwhelming at times, and we are anxious to get going with treatment. The plan involves lengthy neo adjuvant treatment - starting chemo this Friday (local hospital) for three months, then 6 weeks of 5days a week chemo and radiation in Victoria (we live on northern gulf islands), with a surgery date in Vancouver later in the summer. Long road ahead. 

I’m amazed how many “young” people are being diagnosed with colorectal. I hope GPs are getting more educated around risk. I’m angry that our GP was so  dismissive of the symptoms my husband has been reporting to him over the past year. Like someone else noted, he was told he “probably” just had hemorrhoids or IBS and he should just put a spoonful of Metamucil in his food.  We had to beg for a colonoscopy and the tumour was instantly obvious. Even a simple digital exam would’ve found it. Lazy doctoring from my perspective, and I work in the medical field.  I know it’s pointless to be angry - all our mental energy is going towards dealing with it now. We’re staying strong and positive. 

Sucks to join the cancer club - but love and healing energy to all.  Nice to meet you! 

global_reply_abbreviation: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 13, 2020 4:58 pm


Sorry you are here, but good to meet you. You will find many members here to share information with, or just vent as needed, and get out what you need to.

Like your husband and unfortunately so many of us here, many times we are not diagnosed in a timely manner. If you go through the different discussions in this Forum, you will see a good discussion thread about this very topic. I've copied the link for you Here. This quote from the article in the tread within the thread is telling:

"Several studies have shown that the rates of colorectal cancer in younger adults have risen slowly in the US since the 1970s, but for practicing physicians, it feels like we are seeing more and more young people  with colorectal cancer now than we were even 10 years ago," said Dr. Goodgame. "Until just last year, guidelines recommended colon cancer screening beginning at 50. Now many guidelines do recommend screening at age 45, but most physicians and patients don't appear to be following those recommendations."

I see from your post, that your husband has a very thorough treatment plan ahead of him. I wish you both well as you move through this experience. It's easy to say, but hard to do about the anger issue. You are so right to direct your energies toward the treatment, and being positive in your approach.

Keep in touch and keep well. It does suck to join the cancer club, but you are in good company with others that understand and "get it".


Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by ABeaz03 on Jan 14, 2020 9:19 am

This is very familiar-sounding.  My hubby was 43 when he was diagnosed with stage IIIB rectal cancer.  He also had symptoms for a long time before finally being scheduled for a colonoscopy, where we were told in the recovery area that he definitely had rectal cancer.  This was in February 2018.  He had radiation and oral chemo before surgery, and it was HARD.  He was very sick and unable to work, the side effects were very tough to tolerate and he had to stop the chemo for a while.  Surgery was in July 2018, had a temporary ileostomy which was reversed in September 2018.  Continued with oral chemo for a few months afterwards.  Now he is cancer-free and basically back to normal, except that he has no rectum.  The surgeon created what is called a "J-pouch" inside.  At first, he found he had some "urgency" when he had to go to the bathroom, so we tried to never be far from one (no long road trips for a while).  Now his bowel movements are more predictable and regular.  He's basically back to his normal self, playing hockey, working hard at a high-level job, coaching our boy's sports teams, travelling, etc etc.  I hope for the same results for your husband!  Tomorrow we meet with the surgeon for another 3-month follow-up visit where we will get the latest CEA test results.  Hopefully the CEA level is still low and we can keep saying my man is cancer-free.  Medicine has come a long way!  All the best to you both.


Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by Whitelilies on Jan 14, 2020 2:20 pm

yes at times this does "all suck".
I wish your husband THE BEST.....stay strong for/with him.
I was 56 (now 57....am feelin' old !) at DX of my Colorectal cancer.  Stage 2/3 found on FIRST EVER colonoscopy.
I chatted with a lady, just last week.....she is 42 !!!! they found a 4 cm tumour in the ER, on her latest visit there, complaining of "abdominal pains".
If only.......they would listen more......
Yes, it is true, younger and younger, "it" is being found......

Keep posting.....
I had 2 surgeries, Radiation....and am now healing......and praying....



Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by ConnieB on Feb 14, 2020 12:55 pm

What a road you are on!  My hubby was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and he will have finished treatment 2 years ago in May.  It was a rough time for sure and positive vibes are going your way right now.  

He really had, and still has a rough physical and mental go ahead of him.  Wanted to let you know a bit about my hubbies treatment because it sounds like you both are going through some of the same things we did.  Al (my hubby) did have neuropathy throughout his chemo however his actually went crazy after chemo finished.  By the end of June/July (I'm thinking) it had travelled up his legs to mid thigh and his up to his wrists with his hands.  OMG the grumpiness that came along with it.  I totally get the frustration with having to ask for help and it really did take me a long time to react calmly rather than being grumpy about having to stop everything to help as we are very independent people.  Part of my learning curve for being a caregiver was accepting that he was not going to be the man who did things himself all the time and he really hated relying on me for anything.  POSITIVE THING is that through time and the help of physical therapy as well as a support group at Wellspring he learned to do things on his own and not beat himself up when he couldn't.  The neuropathy has definitely improved but still there.  No feeling and lots of pain in just feet and no feeling and pain in fingertips.  He is still off work but appreciates on cold days like today in Niagara as the cold just sets off those nerve endings.  

One final thing - take care of yourself too.  I really appreciated Wellspring Niagara (the have other locations as well) and their support groups.  I took some time for myself and learned a lot.  They also stressed that you take some personal time and although I found that very hard I realized how important it was (and still is).  

Take care.  

Re: Colon cancer stage 3

Posted by ConnieB on Feb 14, 2020 1:15 pm

One further thing.  We all need to be our own advocates!  We too realized that we need to question question question.  Al's cancer had been found (via a appendectomy) 10 months earlier but hehad not been notified.  By the end of all of this we now have a binder full of ALL his test results, MRI, Blood Work, Cat Scans, etc. etc.  We realize drs hated it when we came in but we had questions written down and I was always busy jotting down notes.  That way we were sure to have answers even if we didn't like those answers.  LOL