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    How long is colorectal cancer in the body before you see symptoms?
    trinity9029 posted:
    I was diagnosed in 2009, at the age of 31, with colorectal cancer. I had surgery, along with chemo (2 rounds) and radiation, and now have a permanet colostomy. This was very traumatic for me. My body image means everthing to me. I guess I have two questions then. My first is how long can the cancer be in your body before you see symptoms? I'm asking this because I was in the Marines for 4 years and I'm trying to get benefits for this. The VA treated me, and the Marines need evidence that I had this while I was in the Corps. My second question is, is the anything I can do or get (even surgery) to get rid of this colostomy? It really messes with my self-esteem, and I have never had a problem with my self-esteem before. I used to be an exotic dancer, so you know that my body image means the world to me. I am willing to be the trial person for new studies, or equipment. I just want my benefits, and the colostomy gone.
    Angelskye responded:
    Have you consulted with a colorectal surgeon on this? That would probably be a first place to start. When my husband was first diagnosed at age 33, we were told that he would have to have a permanent ileostomy because of the location of the cancer. We went to see a surgeon who was much more recognized and experienced and he was able to do the surgery with only a temporary one (though my husband has had some problems after the reversal that have required a definite change in lifestyle and at times, he's considered going back to the ostomy). You might also want to check out united ostomy association to see if they have any information that might be useful. I know how hard it was for my husband to adjust to the ostomy while he had it, especially in terms of body image and self-esteem...I don't know if it's helpful at all but there is a place online that sells underclothing for people with ostomies that helps conceal it a little bit ( My husband felt much better about doing stuff with an ostomy when he used this type of stuff. We also found that the type of bags and ostomy supplies he was using made a huge difference in terms of quality of life. Not sure how helpful this is...I know how hard it was for my husband while he had his and how badly he wanted it gone...

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