Is a followup exam after colon surgery necessary?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband had an operation last year because the doctor's found that he had a small lump on his colon. After the operation and recuperation he was given chemotherapy. He has recently been discharged from chemo and the doctor ordered another colon exam and my husband does not wish to take it. What would they be looking for since nothing was attached to the colon when he was operated on?

Expert Answers

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Yes, he should go in for the colon surgery followup. One of the goals in keeping medical information of the patient -- including former scans and other test results -- is to compare a former state with a current state. Healthcare professionals review these to see any new growths and to chart the growth rates as compared to the prior condition. If nothing else, your husband can feel good about a "clean bill of health" when leaving the office.

Community Answers

Show love answered...

My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer back in May, because he wasnt checked enough in the UK we believe it may have been the reason he got the cancer, i strongly advise your husband to get checked when they advise him to as you never know what could grow in such short time, better be to safe than sorry. Good luck.