Sunday, April 19, 2009

Metastatic Colon Cancer

There seems to be some confusion about the name and location of Bryan's cancer. In 2002, his cancer originated in the colon and was confined to the colon. In 2007, the cancer reappeared in the colon, but upon removing the polyp, the gastroenterologist punctured a microscopic hole into the colon wall allowing cancer cells to escape. When his surgery was performed, the surgeon took shaved biopsies of the pancreas to see if cancer cells had landed there and they did! Thus, the stage IV metastatic cancer--cancer which had traveled from the original site to other organs in the body. Although he has tumors on his liver, lungs, small bowel, etc, it is still colon cancer because that is where the cancer originated and the cells are the same.

One amazing thing about cancer is the personal nature of it. Each cell is just that, a cell, and each cell contains DNA. Thus, Bryan's colon cancer is unique unto him because no other colon cancer patient in the world has his DNA. This is why some treatments work for some people and not others. It just depends on how the DNA responds and mutates. It really is fascinating--part of the Creation and yet the Fall!

If anyone has any other questions, please ask and we will be happy to attempt to clarify!


Dina said...

Thank you so much for explaining! Have a blessed day! Love, Dina

Keith Miley said...

I'm following your journey each day and getting such encouragement from it. I found this post particularly interesting.
Continued strength and blessings to you, Bryan and the children. Please give him my regards.
(This is my first post, so I hope it goes through....)
Keith Miley