Stage 4 bowel cancer

You can find information about advanced bowel cancer on our website, including our Treating advanced bowel cancer booklet. You can also join our Living with stage 4 bowel cancer Facebook group.



Had meeting with oncologist Friday and was told that I have stage 4 cancer and it had spread into some distant lymph nodes. They can’t operate and can only try and control the cancer with chemo. I am shocked and devastated.
From the doctors originally thinking I had IBD to then being told they found a tumour, to then be told it’s stage 4!!! Feel like my world has fallen apart


I’m so sorry you have had this news @claresummer . My husband was told he is stage 4 yesterday too, we are yet to meet the oncologist. There are many inspiring stories on this forum and supportive people . Sending you strength :x::x::x:


Oh @claresummer lots of hugs to you. It is a lot to take in and a huge shock.
I just want to repeat what @WelshWife said, there are many inspiring stories and supportive people, when you start treatment, you will see that your options open up and that there is a lot of hope for you, for instance you might be able to have an operation, etc. Nobody knows what can happen, and as long as you have this opportunity for treatment, you have a chance for a long and happy life :x::x::x:

Fairy dust

Hi @claresummer . I've only just joined , but have been visting this wonderful forum since October when some one very close to me was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. I've read through your posts and I can see why you are feeling totally shocked at the moment.
Do you have someone close to you to share the news with and provide support? Also, I'm not an expert, but one thing I have learned from being on here is that sometimes you have to push a little bit and I know quite a few people who have asked for a second opinion. Is that something you would possibly consider?
Sending love and support, Immediately after diagnosis before a proper plan is in place is a lonely place to be and I really feel for you. I would certainly give serious consideration to asking for a second opinion.:x::x::x:


Good morning @claresummer, I am so sorry to hear this but please give yourself time to process this. I was diagnosed at stage 4 seven and a half years ago, and (touching wood as I type), with the help of continuous chemotherapy I have no evidence of disease (NED) and I live a near normal life.

There is an excellent FB group that comes under the BCUK called ‘Living with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer - UK’, - lots of knowledge and experience can be found there as well. Take very good care, Kim :x::x:


Hey @claresummer I was diagnosed S4 almost 6yr ago. I’ve always have lymphs respond well to chemo. There’s stranger chemos you may have initially eg Folfox or Folfiri. Lots of radiotherapy options for lymphs depending on size, location and number involved called things like SABR Cybrerknife and MR Linac. Sometimes Lymphs can be removed / resected too!
If radio isn’t an option and chemo is best, once things under control ‘nice’ chemos like just 5FU or Capecitabine tablets are good too. For now, just think about you and what you need? I know I needed to pull in my closest friends/family, didn’t want to talk to everyone about it, counselling (check out Penny Brohn online offering too and do one to one phone counselling you can have) and GP lots of us take anti depressants. You can and will get through this processing and fear stage and live well again :x::x::x::x::x: ps ask your Oncologist if any mutations too


Hi Clare, I just want to say I've been following your story and I'm sorry to hear you've received this news. It is such a huge shock. Like others have said please reach out for support and there are plenty of reassuring stories of people with stage 4 :x::x: