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Colonography showed huge polyps 35mm each. Can cancer be detected by blood test? Could polyps cause anemia?

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Posted on Thu, 19 Dec 2013
Question: My dad had colonography and yest consultabt said they found 2 huge polyps 35 mm each and further come cancer. We are very worried. He has had anemia since 1 year but no othet symptoms. All blood tests inc crp and liver function were clear. Would a blood sample not detected this? Does this seem late or early stage to you and can anemia be the pnly sign? Could polyps the big ones cause anemia too?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (2 hours later)
Brief Answer: Consult oncologist at the earliest Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for your query. I am sorry to learn about your dad’s cancer. * Firstly, cancer of colon cannot be detected by blood tests. * The symptoms of such large growths in the colon are usually, intermittent or constant constipation or intermittent abdominal cramps/discomfort. However, if the growths ulcerate, regular significant bleeding from the ulcerated growths into the colon is liable to cause gradually progressive anemia. * I cannot comment on the stage of cancer. Initially, the cancer cells remain confined into the growth. In that case, complete removal of growths by surgery will eradicate cancer completely. However, as time passes, the cancer cells spread into the adjacent lymph nodes in the abdomen; thereafter, in the advance stage, spread to liver and finally, to other parts of the body, such as, lungs and brain. The outcome continues to worsen with the spread of cancer cells to various organs. * I would strongly recommend that YOU CONSULT CANCER SPECIALIST AT THE EARLIEST, who will evaluate your dad, order CT abdomen, PET scan and other relevant tests to assess the stage of cancer (whether it is still localized or has spread to other organs). He is therefore, the best judge to apprise you of the gravity of seriousness. Hope I have addressed to your concerns to your complete satisfaction and you find my response helpful and informative. I will be happy to answer further queries, if any. Fond regards and have a nice day, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (6 minutes later)
He has had a crp blood test and liver function . Would this crp be elevated inncolon cancer and if it spread to liver would the liver function test show it?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer: CRP and LFT do not increase in cancer spread Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Nice to hear back from you. CRP is a reactant and gets elevated in most of the active infections. Hence, an elevated CRP indicates disease activity. It is NOT raised in colon cancer. The Liver function tests are likely to remain within normal range or, minimally elevated, if the spreads to liver. Only if the cancer destroys a significant number of liver cells or the lesion is large enough to compress upon the channels within the liver, will the liver function be deranged. Take care and God Bless Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (9 minutes later)
Hi If it has spread would he get symptons ?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Organ-wise symptoms of metastases Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Symptoms depend on the organ involved and size of the cancer lesions (known as metastases):- LIVER :- dull or dragging pain in right upper abdomen just under right rib cage, enlarged liver, mild acidity. Yellow coloration of eyes (jaundice) may occur, if large cancer lesion(s) block the channels within the liver. BRAIN :- seizures, headache, vomiting and blurring of vision. LUNGS :- chest pain, cough (dry or with phlegm/blood), mild breathlessness if fluid accumulates in the cavities surrounding the lungs. You are most welcome to seek further queries, if any. Take care, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (13 hours later)
Does so the colon cancer mean a cancerous colon polyp?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (2 hours later)
Brief Answer: Yes. Colon cancer means a cancerous colon polyp Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX YES. A growth in the colon is called a Polyp, which ARISES FROM the colon wall and therefore a part of it. The condition would be less serious IF the cancer cells are still confined to the polyp and have not spread down to the colon wall. Fond regards and Take care, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (10 hours later)
How long does it usually take for colon cancer to progress?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (8 hours later)
Brief Answer: 5-years survival chances depends on Cancer Stage Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Firstly, no studies have been carried out on the rate of progress, in any part of the world. The prognosis (outcome) is estimated in terms of 5-years survival rate. This parameter, in turn, depends on the stage of the cancer at the time of its detection. Depending on the Stage of cancer when first detected, the chances of surviving for 5 years are as follows (presuming that the patient undergoes surgery + chemotherapy) :- * Stage I ( cancer involving depth of the colon wall) = 70 - 95% * Stage II (involvement of <3 regional lymph nodes) = 50-70% (involvement of >3 regional lymph nodes) = 25-60% * Distant metastases (involvement of liver, brain, lungs) = <5% Hope I have answered your query. Take care, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (13 hours later)
Hi My father notices fever at night over the past few weeks. Could this be related to any of this? XXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (19 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Fever can be due to either cancer or infection Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Fever is most likely due to Cancer. However, due to low body immunity, a secondary bacterial or fungal infection cannot be ruled out. I cannot comment online, without physically examining the patient for signs of an opportunistic infection. Therefore, please consult his doctor who will evaluate your father; get some tests done if required; and, would then come to the conclusion if the ongoing intermittent fever is due to cancer (as is usual) or, due to an opportunistic infection. Warm regards and best wishes, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (23 hours later)
Thanks Could anemia being the only sign mean its fairly early or late stage ?
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Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal (7 hours later)
Brief Answer: Bleeding from growth can cause anemia Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Anemia has several causes : Increased destruction of red cells; reduced production due to bone marrow failure; or, increased loss of blood. In your father's case, there can be gradual blood loss, PROVIDED the growth is ulcerated and bleeding. A simple stool test for presence of blood will rule out/confirm bleeding from the growth! Further, it is only in the LAST stage of SOME cancers, where the cancer cells have replaced the bone marrow(responsible for producing blood)- does cause anemia. BUT, COLON CANCER DOES NOT SPREAD TO, OR INVOLVE, THE BONE MARROW. Hence, there is a poor correlation between anemia and stage of cancer. Hope I have answered your query. Fond regards, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Rakesh Karanwal

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1980

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Colonography showed huge polyps 35mm each. Can cancer be detected by blood test? Could polyps cause anemia?

Brief Answer: Consult oncologist at the earliest Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for your query. I am sorry to learn about your dad’s cancer. * Firstly, cancer of colon cannot be detected by blood tests. * The symptoms of such large growths in the colon are usually, intermittent or constant constipation or intermittent abdominal cramps/discomfort. However, if the growths ulcerate, regular significant bleeding from the ulcerated growths into the colon is liable to cause gradually progressive anemia. * I cannot comment on the stage of cancer. Initially, the cancer cells remain confined into the growth. In that case, complete removal of growths by surgery will eradicate cancer completely. However, as time passes, the cancer cells spread into the adjacent lymph nodes in the abdomen; thereafter, in the advance stage, spread to liver and finally, to other parts of the body, such as, lungs and brain. The outcome continues to worsen with the spread of cancer cells to various organs. * I would strongly recommend that YOU CONSULT CANCER SPECIALIST AT THE EARLIEST, who will evaluate your dad, order CT abdomen, PET scan and other relevant tests to assess the stage of cancer (whether it is still localized or has spread to other organs). He is therefore, the best judge to apprise you of the gravity of seriousness. Hope I have addressed to your concerns to your complete satisfaction and you find my response helpful and informative. I will be happy to answer further queries, if any. Fond regards and have a nice day, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal