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Ask The Expert Archive

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Surgical Oncology Archive Questions

Below are Dr. Hanna’s answers to Surgical Oncology questions
received through the Ask the Expert feature.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended
to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a
health problem. Please consult with your physician about your specific health
care concerns.

Now displaying records 1 to 7 of 7.


Q : 1

My 40-year-old husband was diagnosed with rectosigmoid cancer. The general surgeon was planning to do a resection but found there to be much more: tumor nodules studding the peritoneal surfaces in the lower abdomen; 7-8 fine nodules in the liver; multiple tumor nodules in the greater omentum; and thousands of them studding the mesenteric surfaces of the small bowel,(but not encroaching of the small bowel lumen itself). When we asked the surgeon why the large (8cm) rectosigmoid tumor wasn't removed, he said because the patient didn't want a colostomy. We think the tumor should be removed. Is it bad to reopen? Would he be a candidate for the IPHC? His CEA level is normal and his clinical picture is good. He hasn't had any acute abdominal pain yet. He is in week 8 of 12 chemo treatments.

At this stage, I would complete the current chemotherapy course and re-evaluate for surgery. IPHC if feasible would be appropriate.

Q : 2

Where and who is the best specialist to treat thymus gland cancer? New diagnosis. Thinking about second opinion. Thanks.

Thoracic oncologist is who you want to see. Second opinion is good for peace of mind. If you are in Maryland, we will be glad to guide you.

Q : 3

I'm going to have surgery to have colon removal, and a bag connected. The thought of the bag frightens me. After the surgery and hospitalization, what types of food will I have to eat? I'm very nervous about the surgery, but I've been dealing with ulcerative colotis for 15 years. Any information will help.

Have you been counseled about the option of an Ileo-anal pouch, which avoids need for permenant colostomy? While most patients fear the idea of having a bag, the majority of patients are satisfied with the outcome. In regards to food, you can eat anything that would not bother you.

Q : 4

My husband died of anal cancer last Febuary. I have a hard lump inside my anus, and have seen a internist who is going to refer me to a surgeon. Because I am a kidney transplant patient, I feel I am at greater risk of cancers, and some of my symtoms mirror those of my late husband. I'm very concerned that they get on with this quickly and if it turns out to be a hemorrhoid, then at least my mind will be at rest.

You need to see a general surgeon or preferably a surgical oncologist or colorectal surgeon. Your transplant team cordinator should help you with the referral in a timely fashion.

Q : 5

My husband has suffered from ulcerative colitis since he was 13 years old. Over the past 11 years his condition has worsened. Everyday he is plagued with bloody diarrhea causing anemia and fatigue. He also experiences pain while defecating. Seeing as he was previously on sulfadine medication and prednisone for years his liver was damaged in the process, now he has a liver condition which only escalates the digestive problem because he obviously cannot absorb nutrients properly. After so many doctors and appointments we have given up the traditional route and try to modify his condition with diet and natural methods. Despite that no one knows what he is sick from. Is there a possibility that he has GI cancer, diabetes or even have lyme disease?

He really needs to be evaluated by a expert gastro-entrologist with interest in ulcerative colitis. He should be having regular colonscopies as well.

Q : 6

I am a 17-yr-old female in need of help. Over the past 2 years, I have been suffering from constipation. I can go a month without using the bathroom. Several tests have been done, and my doctor has came to a conclusion to take out my colon and hook it up to my intestines. Would you recommend that? What are the side effects after surgery? Will I be in pain, be bloated? I am constantly in pain, and in misery. I can't be a normal teenage girl because I'm all the time hurting and looking like I am 6 months pregnant. Have tried pills, enemas, suppository, miralax, zelnorm, mineral oil, castro oil; nothing works for me.

Occasionally we recommend surgery after a full evaluation. Surgery is usually tolerated well. There will be some changes in your bowel habits, but overall you should feel better.

Q : 7

Realizing that each indivdual case is unique, please comment on the approximate length of time nausea and vomiting with diarrhea occurring 10 days post-op lasts, operation being a colostomy reversal with small bowel resecton. Patient is 78-years old in good health pre-operatively. Thank you.

It is not unusual to have loose bowel movements after such an operation. However, infection such as C-difficile colitis must be ruled out.


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