By Cassidy Morrison, Senior Health Reporter for Dailymail.Com
18:18 November 10, 2023, updated 18:24 November 10, 2023
- Doctors discovered stage 3 colon cancer that will require years of chemotherapy
- They had to remove her uterus, which had a tumor the size of a baseball “cemented” to it.
- READ MORE: Colorectal cancer will double in people under 40 by 2030
A Canadian woman who underwent colon repair surgery was shocked to wake up and find doctors had removed her uterus.
The surgery, which was to repair a ruptured colon, led to the discovery of stage 3 colon cancer and a baseball-sized tumor on her uterus.
Doctors called to remove her uterus and cervix, rendering the 38-year-old infertile.
Devlynn Cyr, a former paramedic in Alberta, said, “I haven’t been able to do the hysterectomy because I’m like, ‘I don’t have a choice anymore to have kids?’ »
Ms. Cyr went to her local hospital for an ostomy. Doctors would create an opening in the abdomen allowing bodily waste to flow out of the intestines.
When she woke up from the operation, she learned that doctors had had to remove her uterus and cervix in a total hysterectomy after discovering a tumor the size of a bullet baseball “cemented” to her uterus.
Ms Cyr said her heart sank when she heard the news about her husband Greg. There is no indication yet whether the Cyrs plan to take legal action.
Before the operation, Ms. Cyr suffered from abdominal pain and constipation that doctors initially attributed to something else, such as Crohn’s disease.
Midway through surgery to repair a hole in the lining of her colon, doctors discovered she had stage three colon cancer.
Doctors later said her uterus and fallopian tubes were “like cement” from the cancer and needed to be removed.
Ms Cyr was under anesthesia when the cancer was discovered and her husband Greg was told the damage to her reproductive organs was irreversible.
Mr Cyr said: “Okay, so this is happening and it’s become a lot more real,” adding that he feared his wife of six months would “get angry with me and resent me for having to take this decision”. We had talked about having children.
Devlynn was also upset to learn that doctors had failed to collect healthy eggs from her ovaries before removing her uterus.
She said: “Did they retrieve eggs so I can have children in the future? Like, do they even think about these things?
The pain of losing the ability to give birth naturally was compounded by knowing that Devlynn will have to undergo long-term chemotherapy for her stage 3 colon cancer.
She told her TikTok followers: “There is no hope for me to come out of chemo unless I don’t want to survive this cancer.
“They told me that radiotherapy was now something I needed to do given my family history, with my father having had two cancers and his mother having colon cancer.”
A person with a family history of colon cancer is approximately twice as likely to develop it. People over 50 are also more vulnerable to the disease.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men and women in the United States.
An estimated 107,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2023, along with 46,000 new cases of rectal cancer.
Colon cancer rates are skyrocketing among young adults and scientists are still grappling with possible causes, which could include unhealthy lifestyles.
The mystery of the colon cancer epidemic among young Americans
Data shows that diagnoses in this group have almost doubled in 25 years, and now represent 20 percent of all diagnoses, up from 11 percent in 1995.
The American Cancer Society reported in March that the rate of colon cancer among people aged 50 nationwide is now nearly 60 per 100,000.
For comparison, between 1975 and 1979 the rate was about 40 per 100,000, an increase of 50 percent in about 45 years.
About 43 percent of diagnoses were among people aged 45 to 49.
Part of what makes colorectal cancer difficult to diagnose is its symptoms, which can often be attributed to other conditions.
Many younger patients are often misdiagnosed because symptoms may resemble those of other disorders, delaying treatment and decreasing chances of survival.
A 2019 American Cancer Society survey found that more than two-thirds of colon cancer patients saw at least two doctors before getting an accurate diagnosis and some had to see up to four doctors.
The ACS, an influential organization that sets guidelines for appropriate care, decided just five years ago to revise its recommendations for colon cancer screening, lowering the age from 50 to 45.
If detected early before spreading to other parts of the body – stages one and two – colon cancer has a five-year survival rate of around 91 percent.
Stage three cancer means cancer cells have been found in the lymph nodes of surrounding tissue, a diagnosis with a five-year survival rate of 72 percent.
Once the cancer has spread throughout the body, for example to the bones, liver or lungs, the chances of survival drop to 14 percent.