What Dr. Luke has to Say About Colon Cancer

Meng Mei Hua was 65 years old and had diarrhea over the past month.  She also was slightly fatigued.  She talked to her daughter about this who suggested she go see the doctor at the local hospital.  She did this the next day.  The doctor talked with her and examined her.  Then he suggested they do some blood tests and do a special X-Ray on her large bowel.  This X-Ray was where they placed a special substance in her large bowel through her rectum and then take an X-Ray.  Though uncomfortable the doctor thought this X-Ray was needed so she agreed to do this test and the blood tests.

This test was scheduled for the next week since this was Friday.  After the test the results were sent to the doctor.  The doctor told Meng Mei Hua and her daughter that the special X-Ray of her colon or large bowel or large intestine (all are the same names for the end of the intestines) possibly showed she might have a cancer in her colon.  This really concerned them.  They wanted to know what could be done to know for sure.  The doctor told them that they needed to have several other tests done, one a blood test but the other was the most important.  That test was where a scope was placed through her rectum into her colon.  The scope had a camera on the end of the scope and with this scope they could see for sure if there was a cancer.  But more importantly they take or biopsy a piece of the mass to see if it was really a cancer.  Meng Mei Hua agreed to this test as well.  This test was scheduled for the next week.

The results of the procedure and the biopsy showed that Meng Mei Hua did have cancer of her colon.  She and her daughter and the rest of the family were very upset over this.  The doctor asked them to return for another appointment.  Here he discussed more fully what colon cancer was.  He told them that people who have brothers, sisters or parents with colon cancer, or with genetic susceptibility, are more likely to get colon cancer.  Also, people who have inflammatory bowel disease, women with history of gynecological cancers, and those people who have had a prior colon polyps or small growths in their colon, all these people are more likely to get colon cancer.

The doctor told them that most people with colon cancer were over 50 years of age.  In fact 90% of people with colon cancer were over 50 years of age.  Some people in there 20's, 30's and 40's do get colon cancer but this is not very common.

The doctor told them that it was good they she came in as soon as she did.  He told them that other patients could have different symptoms such as constipation, dark colored stools or even blood in their stools.  Most all patients at the earliest time of the cancers in the colon have no symptoms at all.

Meng Mei Hua asked them if there was a way to pick colon cancer up earlier.  The doctor told them yes.  That was by doing the exam she had with the scope yearly after the age of 50.  This is done in the United States but not in China.  Primarily because in China colon cancer is not as common as it is in the United States and because this would be too expensive for the Chinese health care system.

The doctor told them that the next step was for Meng Mei Hua to have surgery.  This would accomplish two purposes.  First, it would remove the bulk of the tumor and if this was the only place the tumor was present, then it would be a chance for a cure.  The second purpose was that the operation would allow for them to see how advanced or how far the cancer had spread beyond the colon.  This was important for determining future treatment as well as determining how long she would live.

Meng Mei Hua was certainly tired of so many tests but after discussion with her family she agreed that she should have this surgery.  The surgery was scheduled for the following week.  The surgery went well.  After the surgery the surgeon had very good news for her.  The surgeon told her that the tumor appeared confined to the wall of the colon.  If this was the case then she could possibly be cured.  They had sent the part of the colon with the cancer off to the laboratory.  After this was evaluated then they could determine exactly what treatment they should do. 

The news from the specimen sent to the laboratory was very good.  The cancer had not spread outside of the bowel wall so there was a very good chance that Meng Mei Hua was cured.  The doctor did tell them that the overall survival rate of colorectal cancer is about 35%.  However, patients who undergo a 'curative surgery' like Meng Mei Hua can expect to have a survival rate of around 55%. 

Meng Mei Hua and her family were very happy that the news was good and they appeared to have all of this behind them.  The past month or so had very tiring both physically and emotionally.  However, during this time Meng Mei Hua had thought a lot about life and death.  She realized that the doctor could just have easily given a diagnosis that the cancer was spread beyond the colon and she could have died sooner.  Meng Mei Hua already had many friends who had died of not only of cancers but other types of diseases.

She was very glad she was alive and recovering well and probably cured from the colon cancer.  However, what did life mean? A friend had called her last week and had asked how she was.  Meng Mei Hua has always admired this friend because she was so compassionate.  Meng Mei Hua wanted to know why.  She called her friend back and they met for lunch.  Her friend told her that many years ago she was diagnosed with cancer, however the doctor told her he was not sure how long she would live.  Meng Mei Hua's friend thought God might have healed her of her cancer.  However, more importantly she had developed a new relationship with Jesus Christ, which had given her peace and purpose in life. This is what had changed her completely.

Meng Mei Hua wanted to know more about this relationship with Jesus Christ.  She had heard of him but did not know much about him.  Her friend told her that what we know about Jesus Christ comes from the Bible.  Her friend showed her a place in the Bible about Jesus Christ, which they read together.  Her friend read as follows, 'When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.  He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.  When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:  'He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases (Matthew 8.14-17).'

This story intrigued Meng Mei Hua.  Her friend told her that this story showed several things about Jesus Christ.  First, he was concerned about our physical problems, that he is compassionate.  Second, he has the ability to heal our physical problems.  Third, his healing is complete.  After being healed the lady got up and started to work. Most people after being sick are not well at least for several days.  Fourth, he healed people with mental diseases.  Fifth, he healed all of the sick people that is he had compassion on many people.  Finally, this healing was to fulfill a prophecy spoken 700 years before Jesus was even born.  One of his purposes was to take up our infirmities and to carry our diseases.  Jesus was truly an amazing person.  Meng Mei Hua wanted to know how she could get to know this person Jesus  Christ.  Her friend told her that Jesus Christ also wanted to know us and to have a personal relationship with us.  How could this be done?

Before going on further and talking about knowing Jesus Christ, Dr. Luke needs to finish some of the discussion regarding colon or large intestine cancer.  Meng Mei Hua was glad she did have the surgery.  She asked the doctor if after the surgery she needed more treatment and he told her probably not since her cancer was confined to the intestines.  Since it was confined to the intestines then there was probably no need for having further treatment with chemotherapy.  The surgery should have removed all of the cancer.   However, for patients with cancer, which has already spread beyond the large bowel, then those patients do need chemotherapy.  This further treatment will allow the patient to live a longer and better life.  However, the chemotherapy will not cure the patient.  There are fair amount of side effects with the chemotherapy but most people take the treatment to be able to live longer.

The doctor went onto tell Meng Mei Hua that people generally have cancer of the large bowels, which is the last two meters of the bowels.  The small bowel, which is the 7 meters after the stomach and before the large bowels, very rarely has cancer. 

The doctor also re-emphasized to Meng Mei Hua the point that there is not  a 100% guarantee that she will be cured forever.  The cancer could return and if that happened the medicine would not be given to cure but to relieve some of her symptoms. She understood that point and was glad to be able to have the possibility of being cured from her disease.  Meng Mei Hua though had learned an important lesson from this time in her life.  First, good health cannot be taken for granted.  Second, what happens after she dies cannot also be taken for granted.  The doctor told her of a patient who waited to come in and when they came in after several months of symptoms the patient had colon cancer which was spread all over the body.  This patient lived only a few months after seeing the doctor.  This whole time in her life made her think more deeply about what was going on in her life in relationship  to God.

Several weeks after this time she met with her friend again and asked her more specifically about the person of Jesus Christ.  Her friend showed her another place in the Bible which showed why Jesus Christ came to earth.  This place in the Bible stated, ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believed in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved (John 3,16,17).’

Meng Mei Hua’s friend showed her that this showed how much God loved the world.  That is he loved the world so much that he gave His only Son.  If a person believes in Jesus Christ they will have everlasting life and not perish.  This is very important.  Her friend explained that believing in Jesus was the difference in perishing for eternity or having life for eternity.  Meng Mei Hua’s friend told her that she knew Chinese do not like to talk about life after death, but this was a fact, which the Bible explained and cannot be avoided.

Her friend went onto tell that we come to have this life by believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the Cross.  She showed her another place in the Bible which said, ‘If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.  For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified and it is with the mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10.9,10).’

We must believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross-for our sins.  These sins are the wrong doings, which separate us from God.  The Bible says that the ‘payment for these sins are death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6.23).’  We must also believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life. We finally must believe that Jesus Christ not only died for our sins but after he died he was raised to new life to show his victory over sin and death.  If we believe these things we will be saved and live a life with Jesus Christ for all eternity.

Meng Mei Hua wanted a life like this.  Her friend asked her if she wanted to accept Jesus Christ into her life and she said yes.   Meng Mei Hua prayed this prayer after her friend .  ‘Dear Lord I know that I have done wrong and have sinned before you. I confess my sins to you.  I believe that you died on the Cross-to take my sins to that I would not have to bear those sins and their eternal consequences or eternal death.  I also believe that after you died you arose from the dead and are alive today to show your victory over sin and death.  I ask you to come into my life.’  Meng Mei Hua prayed this prayer and became a child of Jesus Christ for all eternity.  You to can pray this prayer and become a child of God for all eternity.