Possible Small Bowel Cancer

Hi there,

I just wanted to introduce myself and maybe get some advice and information from all of you. I haven't officially been diagnosed with cancer yet, so I don't know a specific type or staging. But from all the tests so far, it looks like things may be heading in that direction. I know small bowel cancer is rare, but I think maybe it's similar enough to colon cancer that the process is relatively the same.

Here's a brief summary of what is going on. I am a 27 year old, otherwise healthy female. But for the last few months, I have been feeling nauseous and constantly run down. I went to a few doctors with no help, but finally I had one order a CT. They found a large mass in between my duodenum and jejunum, so they recommended an endoscopy. I had that, and they found a 6cm large polyp. They couldn't take it out there because it was too big, but they biopsied it and the results came back negative. They told me they still weren't sure, however, and that they would need to wait until the whole thing was removed to say for sure that it is or isn't cancer. I went to see a surgical oncologist to get ready for a bowel resection, but she has ordered a colonoscopy and lung CT scan first to rule out metastasis. The CT showed a single large lymph node in the mesentery near my cecum, and she said that is concerning. She will need to remove this lymph node first and look to see if it shows cancer. If not, then she will perform the resection and determine if there is cancer in the polyp or in the lymph nodes surrounding the polyp. If so, then she will assume the cancer has metastasized and begin palliative care and chemotherapy.

I'm scared and confused right now, so any advice or information you can give would be much appreciated. I've heard that the waiting is one of the worst parts.




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  • Hi Nicole, waiting and the uncertainty with that is for sure the toughest part! I also get frustrated with the "process" as I tend to want things done NOW when it comes to cancer, currently I'm waiting to heal up from surgery so I can start a new treatment for my metastatic melanoma. I hope things turn out as well as they can for you and that all your appointments move along as quickly as possible so you can get your feet on the ground again and feel like at least you know what's going on. Don't be afraid to do some research on facilities/doctors and get a second opinion though if you feel like you aren't getting the care or explanations you need. I saw oncologists specializing in my type of cancer at two different research facilities when first diagnosed then chose to see the one closer to home once I was confident I would get just as good of care there. Best of luck!

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