Gastrointerological Oncology Update

Lynch syndrom (a malformation in a gene) leads to an increased chance of cancer in the ovaries, colon, uterus, and gastric path. In fact, Lynch Syndrome leads to an 80% higher risk of colon cancer.

I have Lynch Syndrome.

So, as a result, I have to have an annual appointment with a gastrointerological oncologist – Bruce Greenwald – who is in Balitmore at the University of Maryland.

In my appointment last summer, when I had a colonoscopy, he indicated that perhaps he would go to a bi-annual conoloscopy, with an annual follow up.

So, Monday was my annual follow up in Baltimore.  I met with Dr. Greenwald, and his opinion has changed from last year.  Because I have wacky plumbing (a roux en  y gastric bypass)  in which part of my stomach is sectioned off, he can’t easily get to it to look at what’s going on.

This is a concern.

There is a procedure to look at this part of my stomach (done like an endoscopy) in which a baloon is placed at the end of the scope, and it makes the turn around my Y, and into my sectioned off stomach and intestine that I no longer use.

Only a few doctors do this scope.

Dr. Greenwald feels that as a matter of safety, to put his mind at ease as well as my own, we are going to go ahead and do this scope, along with a colonoscopy.

He doesn’t do this procedure, but has a colleague who does.

So I’m waiting to have it scheduled.

What they don’t tell you about having a bowl prep post gastric bypass is this:

You have to do two days of clear liquids, not just one.  Because my body processes food differently.  Much of the food I eat is not absorbed into my system, and I have no stomach acid left (it’s in that sectioned off pouch) to break my food down.  Instead, it is broken down in the intestines.

Additionally, things like bowel prep just kind of plow on through faster.

So, I have to do two days of clear liquids, and break up my prep a bit different.  It will be easier on my system and me.

Dr. Greenwald has also indicated that if this scope is clean, he will go to bi-annual with the colonoscopy, and only do this other scope every five years or so.

I can not stress genetic testing enough.  Get it done.  That way you know what you are facing, and can get the screenings you need.

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