precancerous cells and surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
New member here. I was diagnosed in the spring after a routine (50 years) colonoscopy. It was really not a big surprise since I'd had trouble for years, but it had been diagnosed as "irritable bowel," and I'd just lived with it. Nothing major, just occasional cramps, D, discomfort. But now I've had 3 colonoscopies. the Dr. does biopsies and finds varying degrees of activity of UC throughout the colon (pancolonic?). After this latest, he told me that most of the UC seems to be inactive, one area is mild, and one area has some cells that MAY be precancerous - he's sending them off to another lab to check. And now he says if they are precancerous, that the thing to do is surgery. As in remove the entire colon. That seems drastic to me, but obviously I don't want to "mess with" cancer.
Sorry to be so long winded, but, any thoughts????

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
When you have Ulcerative Colitis, you are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer. Most GIs will recommend removing the colon when cells turn dysplasic, or precancerous. I have two friends who have j-pouches... both had them done when colonoscopies revealed dysplasia after they suffered with UC for many years. My aunt has UC and precancerous cells were ultimately found, but she refused surgery. Several years later, she ended up with colon cancer. She had to get a colostomy at that point but also ended up going through chemo, radiation, etc. to get rid of the cancer. My GI has always told me we will resort to surgery if he finds precancerous cells in a colonoscopy. I am of the mindset that you mention above... I do not want to mess with cancer. To me, it sounds like your doc is right on track.

That being said, don't underestimate the value of a second opinion. I am a firm believer in getting a second opinion before undergoing such a drastic procedure. You have to make sure you are comfortable with your decision.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 12/12/2007 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
My first thought is second opinion. That being said I don't want to mess w/ cancer. Keep us posted! Oh and Welcome! We are glad to have you here.
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-9 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Nexium
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 12/12/2007 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
A second opinion is a great place to start. There are several people who have had dysplasia (precancer) and have had surgery. You can meet them online at

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

cap'n colitis
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/12/2007 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
First off, I want to say that the notion of colon removal scares the heck out of me. I hope that I never have to make a decision like that, but I have read about j-pouch surgery, and from what people say, you get used to it and not to be afraid. I find some degree of consolation in that.
As a kid, I can remember doing something stupid and wrong, and knowing in the back of my mind that I could get in a LOT of trouble for it. Then, once I inevitably got in trouble, I was always filled with remorse and wished that I could turn back time and make another decision. That's how I relate the j-pounch surgery. It's not the most convenient thing, but it's lot better than its likely alternative. It's just a matter of getitng used to the idea.
Well, maybe not an answer for you, but at least another way of looking at things
Male - Age 39
Diagnosed in 1988
Moderate Pan Colitis 10 years ago, but mild and fairly controlled since then
40mg Pred 30mg Pred 25mg Pred 20mg 15mg 10mg 5mg  0mg Pred
100mg Azathioprene
800mg Asacol 2x daily
20mg Omeprazole

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30842
   Posted 12/12/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi nom, welcome to the forum! (you're not long-winded at all!!)
What exactly did the pathology report say....abormal? dysplasia? hyperplasia?

How are you flare-wise? and what meds are you on?

I think knowing exactly what the report said (you can get a copy), where it is in the colon and possibly having another scope will be a good confirmation.

*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

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