Brother's Painful Ordeal With Advanced Sigmoid Colon Cancer
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My brother is 37 years old with sigmoid colon cancer. He had metastases in the liver and lungs. They did a hemi-colectomy, removed the ascending and part of the transverse colon, and nine lymph nodes (two of which had cancer cells). He is currently receiving chemotherapy. However, he chronically has severe abdominal pain and lately, persistent vomiting (between 0.5 and 5 liters a day) with severe pain in the epigastric region. He is not able to eat any form of meat. During the last month about 10 liters of fluid has been drained from his abdomen and lung. Is there any more information about this type of cancer available? What is his prognosis?
Based on the information that you have provided, your brother has advanced, metastatic stage IV colon cancer. In general, stage IV colon cancer is not a curable disease, although treatment may help relieve some of his symptoms.
Over the past few years there have been numerous advances in treatment of colon cancer, including the emergence of new drugs such as Avastin (bevacizumab) and Erbitux (cetuximab), among others. These two drugs are called biologic therapy, because they’re manufactured in living cells or organisms. They work by targeting specific proteins in the body that are responsible for cancer growth. Both are approved for treating metastatic colorectal cancer.
It is difficult to comment on your brother’s prognosis without additional information, and I urge you to speak with his physician for further information. Also, you might find it helpful to visit the Web sites listed in Help and Support below for further information about advanced colon cancer.
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