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A 38-year-old female asked:

how long can one have a colon obstruction from cancer (causing pencil thin stool) before it becomes fully obstructed (years, months, weeks?)estimate?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Alves
Emergency Medicine 24 years experience
Likely weeks?: It depends on too many variables--pt's nutrition, weight, body size, other conditions, speed/aggressivity of the tumor, overall tumor burden, etc. However, this is an indicator of at least locally advanced process and need for oncology management with likely surgical intervention with end-of-life planning just in case things do not go as well as desired.
Dr. Natarajan Raman
Radiation Oncology 33 years experience
Days to weeks: It depends on how constricted the bowel lumen is and for how long you have had the symptoms of pencil thin stools. It is always a good idea to speak to your gastroenterolgist about this.
Dr. Allen Kamrava
Colon and Rectal Surgery 15 years experience
Not answerable : There is no good answer to this question. There are numerous cancers with different growth patterns. The location in the colon also affects this as a more distal cancer will obstruct sooner.

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Last updated Apr 8, 2019
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