Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Long Post But please someone help me with advice !!! UPDATE

Ok so back last year my Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer t3n1m0 . The surgeon said he could CURE it , but my dad was really against having the op pure fear mainly and said he was too weak for chemo so he had radiotheapy. After the radiotherapy they said it hadnt shrunk as much as they had hoped but scans in june/july showed no spread .After a long wait over christmas He met again with the Surgeon in jan who said its now his only option as radiotherapy isnt working but he may end up with 2 bags as tumour is close to bladder my dad was finally getting the idea he had to have op . My Dad today had a meeting with the anaesthetist who told him it was very high risk and that he wouldnt be able to be woken up for 2 to 3 days after op due to chest issues i think . He then said the op would only give him an extra few years ....... thats not what we have been told by the surgeon we were led to believe the op is happening to try and remove all cancer . How can the surgeon and anaesthetist say two different things my dads now been scared off having the op ,,,, just dont know what to think :(


Hi @jess1

I’m sorry to read of your concerns about your lovely dad.

It does sound too complex to offer specific advice apart from a sit down consultation with your dads surgeon and oncologist armed with lots of written questions.

I’ve found that in very general terms, that surgeons I’ve met with appear to be more ‘positive’ than oncologists but that may just be my perception. Others may have different views. It can be very unsettling (or in fact uplifting!) when their opinions differ.

I think It might be helpful to sit down as a family and talk about this, compile questions and hopefully meet with the doctors concerned to clarify the proposed way forward for your dad.

Will you let us know how things go?

Lots of love,



Hi @jess1

Like Baxter, I agree that, given the information that you have got, there is no sure way of any definite answers.

Where you at your dad's appointments? When my dad was being treated for bowel cancer, he didn't tell me at all at 1st, then only told me certain bits of information, so it was very difficult to know what to do. As Baxter suggests, can you as a family work out what you want to know and then ask for another appointment. Has your father got a named specialist nurse? She would be the person to coordinate with.

Don't forget that anaesthetists in particular have to warn of every risk. But I am guessing that if the tumour gets larger then an operation would be necessary to avoid a blockage.

And how is your dad's underlying health? I assume there are other causes for concern. Could his GP help here?

Sorry that it all sounds so overwhelming but it seems to me that more communication is the best way forward.

Best wishes to you both :x::x:


Hi @jess1

The anaesthetist knocks you out safely, the oncological surgeon deals with removing the cancer, would you ask an orthodontist what's your chances of survival no. Go with the surgeon sounds about right keep positive.....:x:


Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply .... I know how people really feel now when they say they never thought it would happen to them or there family ?. @Lizalou @Baxter2 yes of course I will let you know how he gets on he also had more scans today and will hear from his surgeon again soon to go over the surgery and yes your right we need to write things down to ask !! . No my dad has never had any other health problems however hes a heavy smoker and recently contracted a chest infection from a cold and he is painfully thin.

@GD1962 thankyou so much thats what I thought.

If he doesnt have the op ...he wont have chemo so thats it ?

Thankyou again all



Hi Jess!
Can I put a few things in order for you,
Your surgeon (The specialist) will give you a straight answer to your fathers survival rate, and it is he who will make the decision as to whether or not he will need chemo,
The anesthetic surgeon deals only with your father's health while on the operating table, any post op or pre op care lies with your surgeon and his team, so I don't understand him making any comments at all and should be mentioned to your surgeon, who I think would not be happy.
It is the oncologist's job, to add the 'belt and Braces' if referred, he will tell you the percentage of benefit to actually having chemo if at all, and won't offer it if the percentage is low, and outweighs the side effect, ie: if your fathers percentage rate of benefit from chemo is only say 3% and the side effects would be so bad that his quality of life would be affected then he may not suggest this as a form of worthwhile therapy. However, if having Chemo adds another 15% or to his survival rate then it's a no brainer, go for it.
Does any of this make sense? when I had breast cancer 7 years ago now, and was referred for chemo, my oncologist suggested that the rate of survival with chemo was not worth the possible side effects, that does not mean that I would die sooner but that it would not benefit me much at all, since I was diagnosed with bowel cancer the difference was with whatever survival rate my surgeon gave me which was high, the chemo could add another 15-20% survival rate which is definitely worth going for. Listen to your fathers surgeon, he is after all taking your father's life in his hands. He will tell you straight. I am not sure how old your father is, but some people go straight for palliative care, and often die with Cancer not because of it. I wish you all good wishes, please let us know how things go we are all routing for your dad. lots of hugs :)


By the way an orthodontist deals with your teeth, slip of the computer I think GD1962 Lol :x:


@deedeedokey sorry iv only just read this thank you so much for the reassurance im so anoid at what happened . He should hear on having another appointment with the surgeon this week . My Dad is 65 . Of course I will update asap ❤ :x::x:


@jess1, I totally agree with what was said by deedeedonkey- mention what was said by the anaesthetist to your dads surgeon. He really should not be making those statements to a patient. will you be able to go with your Dad? It really helps if there is someone there who can take notes etc- it's very hard to keep everything you are told straight in your head, for obvious reasons.


@shazsilverwolf thankyou we will definatly mention it . Had a letter through today to meet with surgeon Tueaday .. one way dreading it although in another way it cant come quick enough ?


SO my dad had scans to see if cancer had spread since last scans in OCT . He has an app tomorrow with surgeon however today in post recieved a letter to say that no metastasis was seen too lungs nor liver which is great news and it said that surgeon will talk to him on scheduling an op to remove tumour . but it also said that on ct soft tissue in groin showed up and surgeon will examine it tomorrow . Does anyone know what this could be ?