Posts tagged ‘polyps’

Ask Dr. T – Can Pre-Cancerous Polyps Re-Grow?

We haven’t checked in with our favorite Lee’s Summit gastroenterologist in awhile, so I thought we’d throw a question his way:

Dear Dr. T,

Can pre-cancerous polyps re-grow (once removed?)

Dr. T says:

“Not usually at the same site where they were removed -sometimes a polyp that is incompletely removed will recur -especially flat or large polyps. Sometimes more frequent exams are required to ensure that regrowth does not occur.”


A huge thanks to Dr. Marc Taormina of Midwest Gastroenterology for weighing in on our “everything colon” questions! If you have a question for the doctor, just leave a comment, or send me an email and we’ll get your questions answered!

June 5, 2011 at 9:42 am Leave a comment

A Polypy Family

Last fall, our family tree had a bit of growth.

I’m not talking about more babies or marriages (although that did happen), but genetically speaking, we had some movement in the genetic family tree.

You see, for about 10 years now, I’ve been the odd ball out when it comes to this colon cancer stuff. I’ve had a great-aunt who was known for polyps and a few great-grandparents who supposedly had colon cancer, but nothing that really gave any doctors insight that my colon cancer diagnosis was a family thing. I’ve had to answer “no” every time I’ve been asked if there’s a family history of the disease. And while that’s still the case, things got a little more interesting a few months ago.

My Cousin Eric

Meet Eric

This handsome stud (sorry gals, he’s got a gorgeous wife) is my cousin Eric. He’s lives in Nebraska and texted me out of nowhere several months ago asking me about blood in the stool. I immediately was concerned, as that was my main symptom of colon cancer.

Genetic testing I underwent a few years ago indicated that my mutated gene (commonly found in Lynch Syndrome)  is most likely traveling through my dad’s side of the family. So, when Eric texted me (cousin on my dad’s side), I IMMEDIATELY told him to get a colonoscopy. Good thing his doctor was already headed there, or I would have driven up to Nebraska myself to make sure he got tested.

Colonoscopies Save Lives

Eric’s colonoscopy found that he had polyps growing in his large intestine. This young, twenty-something hunk (sorry again – he’s married, and actually has a baby on the way) indeed had pre-cancerous growths in his colon. Thankfully, they did a colonoscopy right away given his family history (sorry dude) and symptoms, and were able to remove the polyps safely. Now, Eric knows he’s at high risk for colon cancer and can get screened often to prevent an occurance.

Polypy Cousins

A Polypy Family

Don’t get me wrong, while this might seem like I’m excited, I’m bummed that Eric has to deal with this too – yet so relieved that he caught it early. There’s a suspension that a weird variation of Lynch Syndrome is running through our family, thus the importance of everyone getting screened. (That’s right you Ripleys who are reading this – get your rears CHECKED OUT NOW.)

If you are like our family and have someone who’s been diagnosed with colon cancer — and especially someone diagnosed with colon cancer UNDER AGE 50 — get yourself into a gastroenterologist and get your colon checked NOW.

It’s nothing to play around with.

April 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

Welcoming Dr. Oz to the Colon Cancer Cause

It feels good to have one of the most reputable doctors (granted, he’s on TV) talking about your cause.
He’s putting Katie Couric to the test for sure.

This week, Dr. Oz opened up his show’s season premiere by giving a very personal look at his colonoscopy.
He went in for a routine scan since he turned 50 over the summer, and came out shocked and stunned.
His first-ever colonoscopy found a pre-cancerous polyp that had it not been removed, would have turned to cancer.
Thanks to my mom for mentioning the show to me, I had no idea.

I found the episode to be quite emotional, as did Dr. Oz.
The look on his face showed that he was totally surprised by the results – something I can definitely relate with.
Nobody thinks (especially those who are generally healthy) that they will get colon cancer.
It especially tugged at me when he realized what it meant for his kids. He knew it was a game changer.
When your path report comes back and says your body had started to turn that way, it’s unsettling.
I’m so thankful that he caught it early and avoided even a stage 1 diagnosis.

I didn’t think I could get colon cancer it at age 17, and then again at 25.
A host of my good friends never expected the diagnosis in their 20s, 30s and 40s either.
Nobody thinks that their body is growing polyps, and especially the pre-cancerous kind.
And especially the perfectly healthy Dr. Oz.
But as he showed the world, pre-cancerous polyps and colon cancer CAN (and does) happen to anyone.

If anyone saw the episode – don’t freak out. I don’t know why these people on TV stay awake for their colonoscopies.
I’ve never been awake during one, and I’m always sedated and have a nice sleep.
The gallon prep they showed is also something of my former days – the prep I do is much easier.
But the multiple bathroom trips, bloating and lovely hospital gown are all the same. Sorry about that.

Colon cancer is no joke.
I know that people can get tired of hearing about it and ignore the scans due to the prep, but it’s time to stop waiting.
A colonoscopy saved Dr. Oz’s life, it saved my life, and it will save many more.
Colonoscopies are must-haves for everyone, just as mammograms are for women. There’s not really a way around it.

So – if you’re over 50 and have not have a scan yet, call and get one set up today.
If you’re not over 50, but you have a family history of the disease (AHEM all of my aunts, uncles and cousins), get screened earlier and don’t mess around if you have ANY symptoms of the disease.
If you’re African American, you need to be screened closer to age 40-45.
And if you have any unusual gas, bloating, bleeding, weight gain/loss, or any other strange stool issues, please get it checked now.

September 9, 2010 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

Too Much Stress

A Reuters article reported this week that, “People with inflammatory bowel disease commonly believe that stress can trigger their symptoms, and a new study suggests they may be right.”


I am not sure whether I am humored or disturbed by this recent study by Canadian researchers. Maybe if more of them would get out of the lab and spend a week or two with some of us, they’d get even more perspective for what we go through. All I need is a bad day where my nerves are shot and my hands are shaking because I’ve got so much adrenaline and nervous energy pumping through my veins … and see where I am that night and the next morning. It’s not really rocket science here. Or here’s a tip for those who are on the cutting edge of colon cancer genetic research – come and test my blood after one of those days and see if stress impacts my MLH1 gene, or if I happen to grow a new round of little polyps after one of these seasons. I’ve got a hunch that there’s a corolation.


Although these researchers are just now finding some ‘validity’ to some of our ‘claims’  – it still doesn’t take away the real problem most of us face: too much stress. And while I’m sure we’d love it sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to isolate ourselves from it or just throw in the towel (although I do feel sometimes a total break from a bad situation is what it will take.)  But generally as a culture,we’ve got to find a way to manage our stress better. My colon takes a toll, while for others it’s their skin, teeth, weight, blood pressure (or all of the above.) I’ve come to realize that if we all don’t start taking steps in this direction, we’ll be sorry.  Some of us will get sick and deal with a poor immunity the rest of our lives, others will be on chronic care, and then some of us just might not even make it. Sorry to sound grim, but it’s reality. It will eventually kill us.


In the spirit of helpfulness, let’s talk about how to make this even a little bit better. Here are 5 things I am trying to put into practice when I hit those high-level stress days. Granted, I need to listen to myself more than I do, but here’s a start.

– Take a walk
– Landscape (a recent find)
– Boxing class
– Leave the situation
– Drink wine

OK … your turn. Chime in and toss out your ideas about how you try to manage your stress to add to the list.

April 22, 2010 at 10:23 am 5 comments

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