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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is colostomy effective in the treatment of colon cancer?

My husband is 80 yrs of age. He has had colon /rectal cancer 3 times and is currently in hospital with yet another tumor in his colon that is malignant. His surgeons are suggesting he have a colostomy and my husband is against this. Currently he is on a diaper with no bowel control and has to catherize himself. This is from this last surgery at MD Anderson in Houston. He has already said he is not going to do radiation or chem if suggested at his age. I think a colostomy would make both our lives easier as I am having difficult time keeping him clean and the bathroom clean. BIg problems. He also has a spot on one of his lungs and fluid in the other one. I am scared to death of losing him. What ever you can tell me about colostomies will be appreciated. Janice Lanier/ Jasper , Texas
Mon, 30 Apr 2018
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General Surgeon 's  Response

As mentioned by you, your husband has the recurrence of his colon cancer with possible spread to the lungs. The doctors have suggested a colostomy so that the stools can pass, and gut obstruction, which is again a serious problem, and can be avoided.

As per the situation, the surgeons would decide on an end colostomy or a de-functioning colostomy. As you rightly said, you would be able to look after him better and make your lives easier.

However, that said, in all probability, the colostomy could be a palliative procedure to prevent gut obstruction. The surgeons treating your husband would be able to explain in detail other aspects of the disease process.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Ajit Kumar Varma
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