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What should I expect with a diagnosis of malignant rectal polyp?

I just had a colonoscopy two days ago because of occasional rectal bleeding with bowel movement. To my surprise and apparently the doctor’s who performed it, a 4 cm mass was found just inside my rectum. He was surprised because I’d had a clean negative colonoscopy in 2013. There were also multiple tiny benign polyps.I have been having occasional bright spots of blood since 2015, maybe earlier than that. I have mentioned it to every doctor whenever I went in. I was always ask when my last colonoscopy was and what color the blood was and about my bowl movements. The spots were always very bright red, and as I’ve always had ibs (I’m 66) my bowels were all over the place most of my life but with good eating habits geared toward the ibs ultimately normal. So docs never seemed concerned and would give creams and sitz bath instructions, use Tucks etc. ......The doctor tried to get what he could of the “mass” but apparently mine is not on the surface but imbedded. I just had an abdominal ct scan in December to check out a pain in my side but that all came back normal. I saw a gastro doc in Oct for the bleeding and she used a small instrument to look but said she didn’t see any hemorrhoids or fissures but possibly I had internal hemorrhoids. I had to ask for stool test to look for parasites etc and I got a brief call back that none were present. My colonoscopy doctor said he just couldn’t believe she did not see it that close to the end. I now have an appointment for a ct of chest to pelvic with contrast then a rectal surgeon, then an oncologist then another test of somekind. I am reeling! I am terrified. My life I was enjoying with my husbands retirement and my precious granddaughter and family is looking like it may not continue. I know I’m supposed to stay positive but I’m fearing the stage I might be in and the treatment side effects and still having the feeling it’s not actually me they’re talking about. I especially feel the medical community as a whole really let me down. Please anyone with positive comments for me?!
4 Responses
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello mindi23.  I'm stunned at your diagnosis and we are really sorry to read of this.  I'm sure you are in shock particularly because you have been so diligent about your health care.  You didn't ignore signs and not go to the doctor but were fully on top of investigating any issue that arose and having the proper screenings, etc.  So, I'm really sorry that this has happened and now you have this diagnosis.  I do want to confirm though that it is indeed malignant as there can be benign masses of this size as well.  https://www.emedicinehealth.com/rectal_cancer/article_em.htm#how_do_doctors_determine_rectal_cancer_staging  That's an overview of rectal cancer.  It's long and you have to keep scrolling.

Have they looked at your lymph nodes as of yet? This is important to staging as well as other organs to see if the cancer has spread there.  We will hope with you that this is not the case but it is probably the step you are at now to determine the stage.  There is actually several things that go into determining stage https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/staged.html

I'm sure your mind is reeling and I just want to encourage you to stay calm and try not to think worst case scenario.  Easier said than done, I know. But take it one day at a time.  Please let us know how you are doing and we are here to support you.
3 Comments
The doctor who did the colonoscopy wrote malignant in his report. I’m assuming he could tell by looking at it as he tried to get it off but it is too imbedded. Right now I’m waiting pathology report and am scheduled for Ct Wednesday then see the surgeon and oncologists the next week. So scared I can’t hardly breath
I certainly can understand your fear as it would be only natural under the circumstances.  However, you do not have much information at this point so try to not become overwhelmed with the fear. Take it one step at a time.  They've caught it and are not going to aggressively treat you. Please let us know what your next doctors appointment reveals and what your next steps are.  A tip that we share also is to have someone attend appointments with you that just takes notes because when in the moment, it is hard to remember what is said after the fact.  It also helps to write down your questions, all of them, prior to appointments so you don't forget to ask when at the office.  Again, we're here to help support you and will comment when you get your path report.
My path report came back positive. I have since then had a ct with contrast that does not show any spread. This Thursday I get a rectal endoscopy to determine the depth of mass. I saw a surgeon today who said the ct did not show any involvement with lympth nodes but this other test is needed to know for sure and determine staging. He examined me and could feel it as it is very far down the rectum. He mentioned possible surgery probably with ration and maybe chemo (all depending on test results). The more I research treatments the more I am considering alternatives like diet and juicing as I have seen many others via internet doing that with good results. There are clinics in Germany that treat naturally and one in Arizona as well. Problem is I am an ordinary retiree on an adequate budget but certainly no resources for natural healing clinics.  Medicare certainly won’t cover. What a tragedy that only wealthy people can pay for treatments and shame on our health care system for not providing alternatives. My biggest fear of traditional treatments is suffering the side effects (maybe long term)
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hi mindi123.  I just wanted to see how things are going.  I do understand the dilemma of finding adequate, affordable treatment.  That's really hard.  Where are things at now?
Avatar universal
I took colposcopy on 7/8/19, had 4 polyps, the doctor sent 3 samples for biopsy on the large one, 2cm to 3cm..
Back normal,NO CANCER.
They gave me on 7/24/19 for colon EMR . The doctor removed another 3 polyps, two 2mm and one 1 cm. He can not cut
the large one because the polyp not raised up. He viewed and cut deep the polyp and biopsy again,
I don’t know, may be he want to make sure, but he told  me , already cancer . Why ? Cancer just look and confirmed .
I am waiting for result and surgery . I hope back also normal . I am scare and nervous . I am 72 years old.
1 Comments
Hello.  Very sorry to read this and can understand your concern.  When will you find your results out?  Was the biopsy on the same polyps? I'm trying to follow what happened.  Colon EMR may have given a better sample for diagnosis.  I too hope you get a good outcome from this.  Please let us know when you will find out.

for those reading, here is information on the endoscopic mucosal resection procedure.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/endoscopic-mucosal-resection/about/pac-20385213
Avatar universal
Well done for your diligence.  We have to be our own advocates.  Reading around it seems that a regular CEA test is worthwhile as if it increases over time or suddenly then that's an alert.  Research has shown that aspirin and omega-3 taken daily reduce the formation of polyps significantly like up to 30+% depending on dose. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31775-6/fulltext
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