Colon Cancer

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 12:08 AM GMT
    I'm not really a big poster in here but I just received the news from my mom that I never wanted to hear.

    My father who is 59 turning 60 this September, has been battling colon cancer for a few years now. He has gone through chemo and tried everything we can think of. He's a fighter that's for sure. Our last hope was this clinical trial, which I found out today has failed. Basically what my mom has told me is that my dad won't survive, she won't even tell me how long he has because she knows I will drop out of school.

    I had to have my Russian professor literally hold me up as I told her why I wasn't going to be in class today. I had just been called by mom just before class.

    Colon Cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the western world, with 655,000 deaths per year. My father has never smoked or taken a sip of alcohol in his life. He also was in the United States Air Force for most of his adult life, so he was fit since he was a pilot. He is currently at stage 4 and has spread to his liver and his lungs. 8-15% of people with stage 4 colon cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis. Which means my dad might not see me graduate college. My brother dropped out of culinary school very short before his graduation and I so wanted to have my dad see me graduate.

    He never did regular check ups, which could have prevented this. I think I am at the anger stage of grief since I was in denial all throughout his treatments.

    The whole point of this thread is to tell everyone to get check up. Don't put your family or loved ones through this. I've never had the kind of breakdown that I had today happen today.

    I'm only 22 and a junior in college (I took a year off after high school and my parents made me take a year off when I first moved to the United States from Europe. My father won't see most of my adult life or see what kind of man I will become after graduation. I also might cancel my summer internship (which is against my dad's wishes, so I am so torn as of what to do.) I already cancelled my spring break plans to go back home for at least a little bit.

    GO get checked up, I know there are guys in here with similar stories. It's incredibly hard and I'm just, I guess in day 1. I keep praying (yes I still believe in God) that there can be a cure but I know it's probably unlikely. There are many causes in this world. I know AIDS is big for the gay community but I think cancer is the bigger threat to our lives because it will effect everyone.

    Again please go get check ups. Tell your friends and family to get checked up. We have great health coverage and this still happened, so it really does effect everyone.

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    Mar 11, 2009 1:58 AM GMT
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you. What you say here is so true. Take your health seriously, if not for yourself than for the one's who you love and love you.

    I may have never met you, but I am here for you if you need anything. I don't live that far away.
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    Mar 11, 2009 2:17 AM GMT
    It was good of you to reach out at such a difficult time. I lost both my parents before age 30, so I know it is a terrible loss.

    Colon cancer is indeed a horrible disease which is preventable. The current CDC guidelines recommend a screening colonoscopy beginning at the age of 50 (regardless of gender) to be repeated every 7-10 years. Earlier if you are African-American or have a family history (about age 40-45), or if you have symptoms such as rectal bleeding, and at earlier intervals if pre-cancerous lesions (i.e. polyps) are found.

    A colonoscopy is a procedure where a scope with a fiberoptic camera is inserted into the rectum while the patient is under sedation. The entire rectum and large intestine is visualized for lesions. A bowel prep is necessary the night before and most people can go to work the day after the procedure which only takes about 45 minutes. It is an extremely low risk procedure, but is generally done in either a surgicenter or hospital because of the possibility of bowel perforation, but this is NOT a common complication.

    For more information, check www.cdc.gov

    My prayers are with you. Take care.

    Mike

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    Mar 11, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    I'm so sorry, man. And thanks so much for your thoughtful and encouraging words.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 11, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!
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    Mar 11, 2009 2:34 AM GMT
    It probably is too late, but here is this....

    "People treated for locally advanced colon cancer with surgery and chemotherapy can greatly improve their odds of survival by choosing a healthy way of eating high in fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry - and avoiding the food choices characteristic of the Western diet, i.e., high intakes of meat, fat, refined grains and dessert."

    Eat more:
    Organically grown fruits and vegetables, especially apples, cranberries, blueberries and grapes

    Extra virgin olive oil

    Whole grains for their high fiber

    Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and halibut for their beneficial omega 3 fatty acids

    Onions, garlic and leeks

    Brassica vegetables including broccoli, kale, mustard greens

    Yogurt and other full-fat dairy foods

    Peanuts

    Turmeric

    Ginger

    Soy foods

    Grapefruit and other citrus fruits


    Drink more:Green tea
    Red or purple grape juice


    Avoid red meats and other foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats,pickled foods, refined sugar and alcohol.


    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=disease&dbid=10#diseasename

    ............

    How Does the Process of Detoxification / Cleansing Work in Our Bodies?

    To appreciate the complex dance of health performed by the active constituents in whole foods, a brief overview of the process through which our bodies detoxify or cleanse harmful compounds can be helpful:

    Detoxification / Cleansing involves three primary steps, which have been labeled Phase I, II and III.

    Phase I is composed of the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. Although the CYP450s can fully detoxify a few toxins, almost always they only alter toxic compounds slightly, adding a molecule that makes the toxin even more reactive and dangerous, but also serves as a beacon to attract the enzymes involved in Phase II.

    Phase II enzymes further change the activated toxin, joining it to other compounds that render it ready for elimination by making it water-soluble.

    Phase III proteins, which sit in the external membranes of our cells, then push (efflux) the now water-soluble toxins and cell wastes out of the cell into blood for elimination in the urine, or into the bile for elimination in the feces.

    A key point here is that healthy detoxification requires balance among Phases I, II and III.

    The Phase I enzymes create compounds that are potentially even more harmful than the original toxin. So, when the activity of these CYP450s is increased, so is the potential for damage-unless the activity of the Phase II enzymes is also increased, so they can promptly process these intermediate products. And finally, the Phase III enzymes must be ready and able to push the resulting water-soluble garbage out of the cell.

    Imbalanced detoxification-an upregulated Phase I and downregulated or overloaded Phase II or Phase III-results in the accumulation of highly reactive toxins and garbage inside our cells, a nasty situation that can promote cancer.

    Research is now showing that combinations of phytonutrients naturally found in whole foods, particularly the cruciferous vegetables, both increase and balance the activity of Phase I, II and III enzymes. Here are just a few examples of how they work:

    Phytonutrients in crucifers trigger the activity of gene response elements. We now know that genes are not activated singly, but in families, each of which is controlled by a gene response element. A gene response element is a very small group of DNA bases that acts like the foreman in a factory and controls the going-to-work of whole crews of genes that then direct the production of proteins needed for various functions, one of which is detoxification. Gene response elements contain information that ensures all the necessary proteins will be made to effectively coordinate and balance detoxification. Phytonutrients in crucifers signal these gene response elements, which then activate the genes needed to produce all the necessary Phase I, II, and III enzymes.


    Read more

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    Mar 11, 2009 2:50 AM GMT
    From "You Staying Young" by Drs Roizen and Oz:

    "Protect Your Liver: Since your liver is your main detox organ, you're smart to keep it performing at its best. Certain foods and supplements can hep imporve liver function and have anticancer properties. Liver detox systems are enhanced by broccoli sprouts, seaweed, and dark greens, and are proven to reduce the risk of cancer at various sites, including the prostate, lung, breast, and colon. How? These cruciferous vegetables [broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower] rev up detoxifying enzymes at the genetic level. Other things that have been shown to improve liver health include choine (which can be found in these cruciferous vegetables), as well as N-acetyl-cysteine (600 milligrams per day), lecithin (1 tablespoon daily), and rosemary extract (150 milligrams per day)."

    "B Protected. Research showes that a deficiency of folate, part of the B complex of vitamins, is linked to cancer. Folate suppementation decrease colon cancer rates by 20 to 50 percent....the amount that seems to reduce colon cancer (800 micrograms a day. Lots of foods like spinach, tomatoes and oragne juice contain folate, but it's absorbed less well than folic acid from supplements."




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    Mar 11, 2009 3:36 AM GMT
    Thank you all for your support.

    The worst part is my dad won't change his diet. He keeps saying if I'm going to die I'm going to die happy. This was before he was diagnosed.

    Even though HEALTHY food in my opinion tastes so much better, he won;t change and he has been fighting so hard but nothing seems to work.

    I wish he would change but he was born in 1949 and has that whole mentality of not having to change.
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    Mar 11, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    Lifeguard guy, I say this will all due respect and compassion for your situation, but right now this is about your father's comfort and happiness. If he is truly in the late stages of a metastatic disease process, the best thing you and your family can do right now is be by his side. There is nothing to be gained by punishing yourself or your father by "what should have been". Be a son to your father while you are still able to do so.

    Regards,

    Mike
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    Mar 11, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    LifeguardGuy saidThank you all for your support.

    The worst part is my dad won't change his diet. He keeps saying if I'm going to die I'm going to die happy. This was before he was diagnosed.

    Even though HEALTHY food in my opinion tastes so much better, he won;t change and he has been fighting so hard but nothing seems to work.

    I wish he would change but he was born in 1949 and has that whole mentality of not having to change.

    I was only born two years later and 1) I dont trust medicine to do everything, and 2) I am very willing to give my body every chance to defend itself.

    You joined after this, so you might not have seen it... http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/150050/ ...the stuff around January 2007 is the most interesting I think...tee hee hee

    Sorry about your dad. But it is his decision....as it will be all of ours someday.
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    Mar 11, 2009 4:55 AM GMT
    you're not alone, LG . . . you are smart to reach out instead of churning alone. . .

    it's a very hard road that you and your family are travelling, but the best thing you can do is stay on track with your school work and stay engaged. . . take care
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    Mar 11, 2009 5:02 AM GMT
    You are not alone, my friend...I'm hoping for the best for your father. Every day make him laugh.
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    Mar 11, 2009 12:05 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your father..Now you have to take care of yourself. Colon cancer definitely runs in families. Since you have a first degree relative with cancer you may be a candidate to have a colonsocopy before the age of fifty. People with a strong family history may need genetic testing. You need to discuss this with your physician. There is no reason to be upset with your dad because he did not follow a healthy diet. Cancer occurs because are immune system is unable to recognize the malignant cell. We produce malignant cells all the time but fortunately they are destroyed by the immune system. If we live long enough, all of us will eventually have a malignant cell that is not destroyed. That is the cell which will doom us. Your father had a genetic defect that caused the immune system not to recognize the cancer. If he had followed a strict diet, maybe the colon cancer would have been delayed. Cancer still would have developed in a different organ. Being a first degree relative you may carry this genetic abnormality. You and and your siblings need to be vigilant.
    .
    Recently a few simple things that everyone can do have been proven to reduce colon cancer risk

    !. Obesity is a risk factor for colon cancer...so stay a normal weight
    2. Exercise amazingly reduces colon cancer rates
    3. Folic acid may reduce the incidence of premalignant colon polyps
    4. Calcium and vitamin D may reduce risk but this is not proven in all studies
    5. non steroidal antinflammatory may reduce the risk..Dr Oz in one his book recommends baby aspirin. I take one baby aspirin a day for this and prevention of heart disease...Some people even say it reduces skin wrinkles icon_smile.gif
    There are other recommendations from the American Cancer Society, such as a healthy diet, which you can read about on their excellent web page.

    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_Can_colon_and_rectum_cancer_be_prevented.asp
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    Mar 11, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    LifeguarfGuy,
    What if the roles were reversed? Imagine your son having an oppurtunity to go to Florida this summer for in internship. Wouldn't you want him to go and be happy? If your dad truely wants you to go... go. Make him happy. Most people do not like excessive pity and worry. Your father would proabably much have you go through with this oppurtunity than to stick around.

    Do you have any professional resources you can tap into concerning your father? E.g. counciler, therapist, close friend, psychologist, guidance counciler, etc?

    One other thing which has helped me in the past: Your father is dying... but so are you. So am I. Everyone is dying... anything can happy to anyone at anytime. A plane could be flying over my house right now... 30,000+ feet high... and it's bathroomm storage container could break open.... dropping "blue ice" (the blue stuff in airplane bathrooms)... which could fall, smash through my roof, and kill me instantly (supposively that happened once).

    My point is... we are all mortal.. we are all "dying." The difference is... your father knows about when his time may be... most of the rest of us do not know. It is scary knowing. Find somone to talk to. My thoughts are with you.
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    Mar 11, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
    Hey there. I just wanted to let you know my dad died of cancer when I was in high school. If you want someone to talk to, you can always message me.

    I hope he gets to see your graduation, I know how much that means to someone.

    --Mike
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Mar 11, 2009 3:10 PM GMT
    My father died of colon cancer in 2003. He was 77. First he start having difficulties going to toilet, then it bleeding . The xray show a bump inside his colon. He passed away before they can perform operation to killed those cancerous tumor.

    I probably need to get myself check soon.
  • DJZ77

    Posts: 381

    Mar 11, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    Hey LG, I'm really sorry for what you are going through, just know that you're not alone. My sister passed away from Colon Cancer in February of 2008, she was only 39. Unlike your father, she did not live long from the time of her diagnosis to the time of her death, approximately 1 month. When the doctors told her what she had, she was already at stage 4 and the cancer had spread to her liver. What is ironic is that she was always getting check ups, watched her weight and exercised regularly, was extremely finicky about anything that went into her body and there was no prior history of this disease in our family. I have to schedule a Colonoscopy this year due to her being so young. The doctors told us that 1st degree family within a 10 year age range of the person who died from colon cancer should get checked. The best advice I can give you is the same that others have already said on this thread. Be there for your father, let him know how much you love him and spend as much time as possible with him. I wish I could have had more time with my sister, but I also know that she knew I loved her. If you need to chat or vent or anything... definitely feel free to contact me.

    -Damian
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    Mar 12, 2009 11:30 PM GMT
    Hey LifeguardGuy, I can relate to what you are going through. My father passed away with colon cancer a little over two years ago right before Christmas. My father was eaten-up with cancer in his liver, small and large intestines, stomach, of course colon, and it finished in his lungs. I am extremely sorry to hear about your father. I too had an internship the next spring and actually it was in Florida. My father passed away a little less than a month before I was to take the internship. I really really wanted to go and think that it would have opened many doors in the future if I had. I couldn't go through with it. Although now I really regret not going. My father would have wanted me to go as well. He really loved me as I am sure your father does you. I can also say though, that I wish more than anything to have back all the time that I missed on the last few months of his life. I was away at college the morning I got the call. It seems I would have been ready since I did know my father was turning for the worst. But I have to be honest, you are never prepared!

    If I could give you some advise, do all and whatever you can to make his time the most enjoyable! Spend the time that you can with him, you never know how much you will wish you could have it back.

    I'm sure I haven't helped. But keep your head up. I will keep you in my thoughts. I hope and know that you will pull through this incredibly tough time.

    ~ P
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    Mar 13, 2009 1:18 AM GMT
    Since you are at university be sure to utilize their counseling service. They can give you some coping strategies and some sage advice in dealing with all of this. And, if you need to leave school for a few weeks to take care of things, they can help you make arrangements with your professors so you don't lose credit for the whole semester.

    I wish you the best.
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    Mar 14, 2009 9:34 PM GMT
    I'm so sorry to hear of your father's illness. He is very lucky to have a son as wise and thoughtful as you. I wish you and your family strength and peace in the months ahead.