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Worrying about colon cancer

(40 Posts)
Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 10:09:06

Hi just looking for reassurance really.

Been having cramping and alternate bouts od diarrhea and constipation since Sept. Blood tests and pelvic ultrasound showed up nothing but a mild bacteria infection requiring an antibiotic. Also prescribed colofac which hugely helped with the symptoms.

Last week was a very stressful one for me and diarrhea returned. Colofac helped but made me constipated. Woke up with bad cramp and constipation yesterday morning which turned to diarrhea. Later noticed some bright red blood in the diarrhea and went to the doctors.
She thinks it's ibs and also felt what she thinks is an internal haemorrhoid (which the constipation could have caused to bleed).

However because I'm over 50 guidelines say she should send me for colonoscopy. She stressed it was just a precaution, will give me peace of mind etc but have been go ogling and can't stop worrying about colon cancer.
Anyone any words of advice?

Eglantine21 Tue 21-Jan-20 10:31:50

You’ve done everything right in going to the doctor so promptly. She’s done the right thing in referring you for a colonoscopy. It will give you peace of mind.

Colofac works by temporarily paralysing the bowel, so the constipation followed by diarrhoea is normal. And not surprising that it would have caused bleeding in the haemorrhoid.

It all sounds pretty, well not normal as such, but what you might expect from IBS.

Have you made changes to your diet. I tried to live “more healthily” last year, changing to more pulses, beans and grains. Ended up spending my life on the toilet! Back to more meat and the problems have disappeared.

There that won’t stop you worrying I know, but hopefully your appointment will be soon and then your mind will be at rest.

Blinko Tue 21-Jan-20 10:34:05

I think you're doing the right thing, getting these symptoms checked out. From what you say, I'm not sure if you've been referred for a colonoscopy or not. If not, you could ask why.

Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 10:43:24

Yes I've been referred for a colonoscopy and am just waiting for a date.

This particular doctor is extremely 'by the book' and I normally avoid her as she can be a bit anxiety inducing. But she did keep stressing it was my age and guidelines.

I think if I'd got one of the other Dr's they'd probably have said 'no red flags' etc

sparkii Tue 21-Jan-20 10:56:58

Aw sorry you have this worry. The colonoscopy isn't too bad and will put your mind at rest

Elegran Tue 21-Jan-20 11:45:19

The sooner you get the colonoscopy the better, then you will almost certainly learn that it is IBS and made worse by worrying. Of course, when you are worrying aout the symptoms, the worry make them worse, which makes you worry more, which . . etc etc.

However, your GP is very thorough, and wants to rule out the small chance that it could be a tumour - that is a good thing, and you wouldn't really want miss the chance of finding out early and getting it fixed, would you?

Stop Googling, you have found out too much for this moment when you are stressed about the whole thing. Concentrate on what you are eating, and look out for anything that seems to increase yor problems - knowing that could be very useful once the IBS is confirmed.

You could spend the time while you wait for the test (and the results!) in keeping a food diary and a symptom diary, and comparing them. You might find some simple combination of ingredients makes things much worse or much better. Start by only eating very bland things (boring!!!) which are said to not exacerbate IBS, then day by day add more exciting ingredfients and note the effect.

In a couple of weeks, you may find that you can just about diagnose IBS yourself, and also which things you are best to avoid!

V3ra Tue 21-Jan-20 11:50:40

My husband finally sent off his routine over-60s poo test last year. Never got round to doing the first one he'd been sent two years before!
He got called for a colonoscopy as it showed blood in the stool sample. The accompanying leaflet explained the likelihood of it being cancer (9 out of 100 people called).
His results came back clear, with the blood coming from piles, which he knew he had. Bright red blood is less worrying as it's not coming from higher up in the bowel.
Your GP is quite right to screen and hopefully eliminate any serious disease, then you and she can concentrate on the more likely IBS diagnosis.
Whatever is or isn't going on, the earlier it's dealt with the better x

Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 11:54:26

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the replies.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 11:58:44

You’re doing exactly the right thing and it’s great you have such a good GP. Of course you’re worried - nothing will stop that until you have the colonoscopy. Hope it’s soon - waiting is the worst. One thing I would say is when you go for it, get clear information about how long the results will take and the process for your being informed about them.

sparkii Tue 21-Jan-20 12:33:58

Take any knock out meds they offer for the colonoscopy.

BlueSky Tue 21-Jan-20 15:44:26

Beswitched yes that's the problem with having a GP that does check. It happened to me last year, I was sent for a head MRI scan when I didn't expect it. We are not happy if they don't takes us seriously enough and we are equally unhappy if they do in case 'they find something '! But your GP is absolutely correct I would do the same if I was a doctor. Just got to wait, go through the procedure and hopefully all will be fine.

harrigran Wed 22-Jan-20 13:14:07

If you have already had tests which showed nothing sinister then you should stop frightening yourself. It really does sound like IBS following an infection.
I have had bowel cancer so I know how scary it can be.

annep1 Thu 23-Jan-20 07:26:55

Bright red blood is less worrying than darker. Its good that the doctor is being careful.
Good advice about food diary. Will help you to judge how much fibre you need too.
Stress can make IBS worse.

LullyDully Thu 23-Jan-20 07:47:19

It sounds like your doctor is vigilant, which is good. The test a not as bad as it may seem. There was a recent thread by another member who needed a colonoscopy which may be helpful.......All the best.

Beswitched Thu 23-Jan-20 12:42:27

Thanks everyone. I had a colonoscopy about ten years and from what I can recall the preparation the day before was the worst part - and that only because of the need to stay next to the loo!!

Harrigran I hope you've made a good recovery.

silverlining48 Thu 23-Jan-20 13:18:14

I have just had a call to ask if I can go in for mine next weekend. As others have said the day before, the prep day, is worse than the actual event. Well that’s my previous experience anyway. Good luck beswitched, , hope you get your date soon.

Beswitched Fri 24-Jan-20 09:55:17

I've read it's unusual to develop ibs after 50. But I've suffered from bloated feelings and wind for years and also went through a short episode of bad cramping relieved by going to the loo in my late 3ps which has been repeated once or twice since.

Could the bacterial infection have exacerbated things? I've also been on quite a lot of antibiotics recently.

Beswitched Wed 05-Feb-20 06:18:11

Had the procedure yesterday afternoon. Nothing sinister - lesions from a hysterectomy, some diverticulitis and haemorrhoids.
Have to go back in 5 years for another one.

Phew and thanks for helpful posts.

BlueSapphire Wed 05-Feb-20 07:59:46

That's very good news, Beechnut, now you can stop worrying!

Urmstongran Wed 05-Feb-20 08:06:18

Such a reassuring result Beswitched you’ve ‘got your life back’. Bet you are on cloud 9 after all your anxiety. x

timetogo2016 Wed 05-Feb-20 08:10:25

So pleased for you Beswitched.
And you may not realise this but your thread will help others in the same situation you were in.

Alexa Wed 05-Feb-20 10:40:25

Bright red blood is good. It's altered blood tarry stools we need to see doc about.

Alternating loose stools and constipation can be caused by the wrong laxative dose. I am still adjustimg mine also veggy diet twenty years after rectal surgery!

Alexa Wed 05-Feb-20 10:42:06

"good" I said! I don't of course refer to great haemorrhages but even a cupful of bright red blood can be due to piles.

Rufus2 Wed 05-Feb-20 12:31:52

Stop Googling, you have found out too much for this moment
Elegran And I go one step further and advise against reading threads like this. See a doctor, full stop!
Not long ago we were trying to come up with ideas to get MEN to overcome their "natural" reluctance to see their doctor and go "if symptoms persist"
Any nervous person would have a fit reading all the explicit details handed out anonymously by amateurs. Other person' previous experiences are next to useless. we are all different (to coin a cliche) and as with medicines, we are told not share even if we think we have the same affliction.
Sorry if I don't agree with you, but that's my (strong) opinion. smile
OK; Encourage hugs and kisses, but not medical "advice"
Good Health

Alexa Wed 05-Feb-20 13:12:55

Rufus your idea is wrong. Experienced patients are a help to many people with medical problems.