Colon Cancer

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PhilD
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Colon Cancer

Postby PhilD » Thu May 06, 2021 7:21 am

Is there a link between Colon Cancer and Alzheimer? My wife had a recent colonoscopy and cancer was found. Still waiting for Biopsy and CT Scan results to see if the cancer has spread. Assuming the cancer at this stage is just local ( hasn't spread) there are 2 options . Leave it as it is and monitor it or get it removed surgically . Removing it will require General Anesthetic which is likely to make my wife worse. So what I am to do ?? Let the cancer grow or remove the cancer with the risk of making AD worse. Any opinion out there ??

lucytownsend
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby lucytownsend » Thu May 06, 2021 1:12 pm

PhilD wrote:Is there a link between Colon Cancer and Alzheimer? My wife had a recent colonoscopy and cancer was found. Still waiting for Biopsy and CT Scan results to see if the cancer has spread. Assuming the cancer at this stage is just local ( hasn't spread) there are 2 options . Leave it as it is and monitor it or get it removed surgically . Removing it will require General Anesthetic which is likely to make my wife worse. So what I am to do ?? Let the cancer grow or remove the cancer with the risk of making AD worse. Any opinion out there ??
PhilD,

A warm welcome to apoe4.info ! First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your wife's recent colonoscopy results. Hearing news like this can feel overwhelming and scary. We are here every step of the way to guide you in your efforts to find the answers to your health questions. Many of us here are at a genetically increased risk of Alzheimer's or caring for loved ones who are. I continue to be encouraged by both the support of this community and the up-to-date research it provides.

I am a support team intern and wanted to share useful links with you to help familiarize you with this site. One of our subject matter experts will respond to you soon with specific responses to your about the link between Colon Cancer and AD.

First is the How To Guide it will help you get the most out of the ApoE4.info website. It is created to help members navigate the site. This area explains how to use the quotes button so that the other member receives an email notification of your reply, how to search for topics, how to subscribe to topics of interest and more.

My favorite is the Primer written by one of our member physicians, Stavia, who is ApoE4/4. It is great introduction to ApoE4, biochemistry, and possible prevention strategies in addition to exploring areas such as the science behind the ApoE4 gene and the lifestyle factors that impact its expression. It is a wealth of information - a great place to start and to come back to time and again!

The Wiki offers a wealth of additional information and details the muti-factorial approach to taking control of your brain health. It is useful for searching specific topics of interest.

Warmly,

Lucy
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floramaria
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby floramaria » Sat May 08, 2021 3:51 pm

PhilD wrote:Is there a link between Colon Cancer and Alzheimer? My wife had a recent colonoscopy and cancer was found. Still waiting for Biopsy and CT Scan results to see if the cancer has spread. Assuming the cancer at this stage is just local ( hasn't spread) there are 2 options . Leave it as it is and monitor it or get it removed surgically . Removing it will require General Anesthetic which is likely to make my wife worse. So what I am to do ?? Let the cancer grow or remove the cancer with the risk of making AD worse. Any opinion out there ??
That is a difficult and important decision and certainly I am not qualified to advise you on what course is best for your wife. I found this article about staging and grading colon cancer: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about- ... wel-cancer
The stage and grade of your wife's cancer may help to determine or at least guide the best course of action.
Searching for highly recommended specialists and then consulting more than one is something that I found helpful in navigating the choices for my partner's cancer treatment.
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NF52
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby NF52 » Sat May 08, 2021 4:23 pm

PhilD wrote:Is there a link between Colon Cancer and Alzheimer? My wife had a recent colonoscopy and cancer was found. Still waiting for Biopsy and CT Scan results to see if the cancer has spread. Assuming the cancer at this stage is just local ( hasn't spread) there are 2 options . Leave it as it is and monitor it or get it removed surgically . Removing it will require General Anesthetic which is likely to make my wife worse. So what I am to do ?? Let the cancer grow or remove the cancer with the risk of making AD worse. Any opinion out there ??
Hi Phil,

As someone who has a fair amount of colon cancer in my family history on both sides, one GI doctor told me "We're going to keep you on a short leash!" I don't know of any genetic association between ApoE 4 and colon cancer risk; unfortunately, it happens to be a very common type of cancer. You had said last fall that your wife was in the MCI range for about 4 years and recently had moved into the Alzheimer's disease range. If I've got that right, that would probably indicate she is in the mild stage of Alzheimer's, needing support to be both safe and happily engaged in activities, but able to still do many things on her own and enjoy time with family and friends. My understanding is that people who moved slowly through the MCI stage (which she appears to have done) may also move fairly slowly through AD stages.

If her doctor thinks that she is in the early or mild stage of AD, you may want to talk with her about her values and preferences. I had to have surgery for a non-cancerous large polyp 7 years ago. While I was under general anesthesia, it was only for a short period of time. I did need anti-nausea meds by IV after surgery, but that's a common side effect of anesthesia and it didn't prevent me from going home the same day and going for a walk in a local park the next day. [ I probably overdid it, since I didn't feel great on days 3 and 4 post-surgery.] No problems with brain fog and an uneventful recovery and have had no recurrences of polyps since then.

If you decide to have surgery, I'd suggest meeting with the surgeon ahead of time who will probably not be the person who did the colonoscopy. Talk about what helps your wife to be calm (music, soft lights, favorite foods after surgery, etc) and ask what options there are for minimally invasive surgery, possibly without a re-section of her colon and without an abdominal incision.

Then, enlist some help at home! Friends, family, buddies who can feed the dog and mow the lawn--this is the time to tell people exactly how they can help! They'll be glad to do whatever helps the two of you and gives you an occasional break to go for a walk, even to go our for a beer to celebrate good news. Best wishes, Phil.
4/4 and still an optimist!

PhilD
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby PhilD » Sun May 09, 2021 6:57 am

I really appreciate you taking so much of your time to respond to my question. Yes you're right ... my wife had MCI for quite sometime and then all over sudden she fell of the cliff ... it's incredible to see someone not being able to do what they could do a week previously. When I first learned my wife had AD I taught her how to juggle , play the Wii , do puzzle .. play brain games on the computer .. one by one she lost her ability to do them. Last week she could not juggle anymore ... she could do it the week before ... I tried to get to juggle each day thinking maybe she was having a bad day but it was no use ... she lost it. It's like death in slow motion ... it's just terrible. I am lucky so far .She can still do SOME things by herself . She is also quite passive. Everyone loves her .. she is very sweet. The colonoscopy was a breeze ... she just went with the flow... and yes you're right the person who is going to operate her is not the same person who did the colonoscopy. I will make sure he (or she) is the "best" in the business ... no matter the cost. We had a cat but he died 5 years ago ... and since we travel a lot we decided not to get another animal . As soon as I found out my wife had AD ,,, I decided we would go for an adventure every year. So we walked Hadrian's Wall in England.... the Spanish Camino,,,, and the French Camino... Last year we were supposed to walk in Portugal but Covid killed that idea. Walking is very good for people with AD and this is why i retired I wanted to do all these things while there was still time. You're talking about friends ... it's amazing there reaction to the news that my wife had AD.... most of them ran away as if this was a contagious disease. Most people don't really understand the disease. I didn't ... thank you for your best wishes and your fantastic response and advice. I need to become an optimist (like you ) to live longer . I am glad you survive your cancer.

PhilD
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby PhilD » Sun May 09, 2021 7:01 am

:D

Tincup
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Re: Colon Cancer

Postby Tincup » Sun May 09, 2021 7:20 am

PhilD wrote:Let the cancer grow or remove the cancer with the risk of making AD worse. Any opinion out there ??


Not exactly the same situation, however my mother had dementia and a blood cancer, Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia. She'd had the cancer for 8 or 9 years prior to presenting with dementia. It can be a fairly indolent cancer, but can also flair into a very ugly end stage. In consults with her doc, I (I'm her only child and was responsible for making decisions). I decided not to treat the cancer. Mom ultimately passed from a respiratory infection 6 years after I made that decision.

My logic included, that the Alz/dementia can have an ugly end stage, while so can the cancer. The treatment could have accelerated the dementia, so the course I selected was to not treat it.

Good luck to you.
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