Q. 69-year old smoker diagnosed with colon cancer. Does she need chemotherapy?

Answered by
Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 04, 2018

Hi doctor,

My mom is 69 years old, smoker and she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She used to suffer from her stomach pain and we ended up doing a colonoscopy for it and the doctor found a tumor. We need to know what is the best way to help her and what is recommended in her case? Should the doctor remove part of the colon? Does she need chemotherapy? What stage is she at? Is this kind of cancer treatable? Can you please help in this regard? Her sister, brother, mother, uncle passed away from different cancers but her late mother had the same colon cancer.

Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah

Medical Oncology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through the reports of your mother (attachment removed to protect patient identity). As per reports she has a sigmoid colon cancer. There is no distant spread of cancer (not spread outside colon) as per CT scan reports. The report is also showing multiple renal cysts, pelvic cysts, and sigmoid diverticula. She has also a strong family history of cancer. So, I recommend other family members to undergo genetic counseling and to enroll in a screening programme. It looks like she has stage 2 or 3 colon cancer. But she should do a PET scan to rule out metastasis. As she is a high risk because of her strong family history of cancer and smoking habit.

Regarding treatment, if the tumor is localized or with limited metastasis, she will benefit from surgical removal of the part of the colon if feasible. After surgery, further treatment plan and chemotherapy decision will depend upon the histopathological report and actual stage of the tumor. Also, It is difficult for me to comment on actual treatment plan without examining the patient and also you have not attached colonoscopy report, renal, liver and full blood chemistry blood tests.

For more information consult a medical oncologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-oncologist

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