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Author Topic: Bowel cancer  (Read 360 times)

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Offline Lushchicken

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Bowel cancer
« on: February 22, 2014, 03:57:32 PM »
Hey guys, I am female, 33 years old and worried to death about bowel cancer. Last October I suddenly developed discomfort in my lower right abdomen. It was two days before going on holiday, and as I ALWAYS develop some form of physical problem when going on holiday. This come as no surprise to me as I have a long history of severe anxiety, hypochondria and manifesting those psychological problems with physical symptoms. I fear nothing more than my own body and the things it could do to me. So when I woke up with that twinge in my lower abdomen shortly before going on holiday I didn't even worry much, as I know how my body likes to freak out.

But the pain didn't go away. I went to my GP who sent me to the gynae (due to location of the pain, pretty much where my right ovary is). She found nothing. So I waited a bit longer. Back to my GP, who did blood tests. He knows me and my history of anxiety very well and suspected IBS. And then the pain just vanished. Just to return a few weeks later (on day 7 of my cycle). Just before Christmas, when I thought I was going to lose my mind, it disappeared completely. And then it was gone. Until a week ago. And here I am, back to where I started, sad and panicky.  :(

I don't have any other symptoms. My digestion went a bit crazy for a while but I soon discovered that I had been constipated due to not drinking enough. So I upped my fluid intake. I initially thought constipation might have been the cause of the whole issues, as drinking plenty seemed to resolve it. But I am still drinking well and it's back  :fragend005: I don't think there's blood in my stool and I always feel very energetic and am enjoying my food.

The pain is rather strange. Dull and niggling, very localized, often hardly perceptible. Most of the time it's there when I wake up and then vanishes for the rest of the day. This time the pain started on day 8 of my cycle, so I am still thinking my ovary / ovulation might be the culprit. But the fear of it being bowel cancer is always there, eating away at me.

The next logical step would be going to see a specialist but I dread it. I've only had horrendous experiences with specialized doctors in the past. I'm in a wheelchair (nothing that affects my bowels) and they tend to treat me like an obviously defective piece of meat on wheels.

How do I stop worrying.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 09:08:36 AM »
You can either take the next logical step of having a colonoscopy and putting this worry to rest, or you can continue to worry about it.  I know getting the test isn't a fun thing to do, but what are the pros and cons? 

CONS - (1) the colonoscopy prep isn't a lot of fun (2) you need to find someone to take you to/from the test (3) they could find cancer.

PROS - (1) if they don't find cancer you can put this all behind you - no pun intended (2) if they do find cancer you'll get treatment and deal with it (3) either way you'll get resolution

Pros and cons of doing nothing?

CONS - (1) constant worry that you may have cancer which will only increase over time as you fear it spreads and goes unchecked (2) if you do have cancer it goes untreated

PROS - none that come to mind

Seems a simple choice to me.  Get the test
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Offline Lushchicken

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 09:45:48 AM »
Ah crap, I guess you're right. Will call my doctor tomorrow to get a referral. Guess that means the next few weeks will be spent panicking and agonizing.  :( Secretly hoped for one of those 'you're too young for bowel cancer' / 'your symptoms don't sound like bowel cancer' type of answers.
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Offline ceh1354

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 11:58:46 AM »
Well, in reality you are too young for it. But no one is 100% immune for anything. And to me, your symptoms don't sound like cancer. It seems more like an ovarian cyst (benign). I have had them before. And I have also had colon cancer fears and a colonoscopy. The previous poster is right. If you really have it stuck in your mind, nothing will dissuade your fears but getting one.
You may even have a doctor who won't want to refer you for one because your symptoms don't warrant it.

Did your gyno do an internal exam and feel your ovaries? Because your pain sounds just like what I had. By the time I went and had an ultrasound,(2 weeks) the cyst was gone. This really doesn't sound serious, but I do know what the fear is like.
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Offline Lushchicken

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 01:11:46 PM »
She did an internal exam and an internal ultrasound. Didn't see anything. It does feel very ovarian-related. I used to get strong Mittelschmerz pains and it feels just like that, just lighter. Was very surprised she didn't find a cyst. I am sure a specialist will be able to shed more light on it.
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Offline thorn054

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 04:23:58 PM »
I had similar issues for quite a while and was even passing blood (sorry to be gross).  I was so worried that I had colon cancer because I fit many of the symptoms (plus I'm 45).  I went to my GP and he thought it was nothing serious but said that I could have a colonoscopy if I wanted to.  I thought it over and frankly, decided that the peace of mind was worth the hassle of getting the procedure.  My rationale was it's either nothing--which will give me peace of mind--or it's something--which will need to be fixed (and hopefully caught early through the colonoscopy).  I just came back from my procedure this afternoon and it went better than I expected.  It really was a piece of cake.  My issues were not cancer related (or anything serious at all--just some internal 'roids).  I put myself through months of stress and let my bleeding go on for years before I got the scope.  I feel 100% better knowing I'm OK.  My advice--go get it done ASAP so you can put this out of your mind for good.  I'm sure it's nothing but get it scheduled so you'll know for sure.
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Offline Lushchicken

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 03:09:19 AM »
Thanks guys! I called my doctor on Monday...and he's on holiday until next Monday. Of course he is  ::). So the last couple of days haven't been easy. I am very bad with the waiting part and am trying really hard not to go down a dark rabbit hole. It's just horrible to wake up in the morning and feel that the pain is still there. It almost makes me want to stay in bed, which is not normal for me. I am now also constipated (which happens regularly at this time of the month) and this makes me panic even more, of course. All I can think of is tumors and blockages, so I am now agonizing about going to the loo. Trying to stay strong but failing a bit  :(
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 06:03:18 AM »
Quick question.  Did the pain get any WORSE since October?  Are there any extra symptoms since then?  If not, it CAN'T be a tumor because they grow, they don't appear suddenly then go away, then come come back then go away and each time the pain staying the same.
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Offline Nornironhypo

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 06:18:46 AM »
Hey lush. I went through exactly the same thoughts a few years back. I ended up getting the colonscopy and whilst the prep for it wasnt nice it was quite an easy procedure and it certainly helped put my fears to bed. Good luck with it and let us know how you get on. I was diagnosed with stress related IBS by the way.
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Offline Brick5711

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 07:32:26 AM »
I agree with sun. The pain would keep getting worse.
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 09:04:44 AM »
Can't edit my post anymore (I guess after there are more comments you can't edit?)  Anyway, most cancer (especially bowel) never starts with pain, you'd have already had a host of other symptoms
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Offline marc

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 09:14:57 AM »
My internal medicine physician told me that pain is traditionally not a symptoms of colon cancer.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline Lushchicken

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Re: Bowel cancer
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 08:42:46 AM »
Hey guys,

Thanks for your replies. No, the pain never got worse. It actually disappeared completely for two months, which would be rather curious behavior for a tumor I guess. Also there are no other symptoms. The constipation I mentioned only lasted for a few days, I never bleed, am fairly regular and have very normal bowel movements. I know that logically not much points towards cancer but I'll still be glad to talk to my doctor on Monday.

I asked my Dad about his experience with colonoscopies (he's at an age where they do them regularly in this country) and he told me it was a piece of cake. "Stick your finger up your bum, then you'll get an idea of how it feels"  :laugh3: Love how pragmatic he was about it all lol
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