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Bowel Cancer Screening Test positive

(146 Posts)
Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 12:57:13

I had a routine test recently which came back positive. I’m quite an anxious person when it comes to health matters so I’m not coping at all well at the moment.

There is a family history of bowel cancer (my brother was diagnosed10 years ago and was successfully treated) and I’m in the higher risk group being 66 years old so this adds to the worry.

I’m feeling generally quite well but have IBS so it’s difficult to say whether I have other symptoms.

I have to have a colonoscopy and there’s usually a two week wait, but have been told they’re running behind so may be up to six weeks, so I’m considering booking in for a private test as I can’t cope with the waiting

I wondered if anyone had any positive experiences they can share with me that would ease my mind?

I’d be very, very grateful.

dragonfly46 Sun 11-Feb-24 13:02:01

If you have IBS the blood could be coming from that. Don't jump to the conclusion you have bowel cancer it can be a number of things. Best to get it checked out though.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 13:09:00

Thanks Dragonfly. I didn’t know you could get bleeding with IBS.

I know there can be other causes but still my mind runs away with itself. I do actually have haemorrhoids (🥴 sorry), but I don’t think they were ‘actively’ bleeding at the time I took the sample.

Im trying hard to stay positive with little success.

NotSpaghetti Sun 11-Feb-24 13:13:06

All sorts of bleeding (haemorrhoids for example) create a positive with the "blunt instrument" that is the bowel screening test. My husband and mother-in-law both had colonoscopies recently and both were clear.

If you are prepared to travel you could ask where is the shortest wait? My mother in law waited just 3 days!

Cossy Sun 11-Feb-24 13:21:28

My husband’s test recently was positive, after colonoscopy three polyps were found.

Please try not to worry, the tests are to pick up blood, not the actual cancer, good luck.

Even if it is bowel cancer please be reassured that this is one of the cancers, if picked up early, that has a great prognosis.

Knitandnatter Sun 11-Feb-24 13:22:33

Mr K had a positive test recently following routine screening. He had his colonoscopy and the doctor removed a polyp - this is routine if they find them apparently - and the polyp was sent for histology and came back negative for cancer cells.

He didn't have to wait long for his procedure - around 2 to 3 weeks I think.

We are both so grateful that the screening programme is in place and believe that everyone should take it up when offered - there's no better feeling than peace of mind.

Good luck with your procedure Sillyoldbird flowers

VioletSky Sun 11-Feb-24 13:33:19

Hey, I also have bowel cancer in my family, failed the test, had colonoscopy and had surgery quite recently to address issues.

No cancer thankfully

It's impossible not to be anxious, I tried very hard... But try to keep your mind away from it when you can. I hope your appointments come soon for you

MissAdventure Sun 11-Feb-24 13:37:27

I'm pretty sure the test picks up on tiny amounts of blood.
The reasons for that might be anything, particularly conditions that may cause bleeding at times.

My predictive text wrote "contortions that may cause bleeding" grin

biglouis Sun 11-Feb-24 13:38:28

A colonoscopy is not pleasant but it does produce answers. I had one and an endoscopy at the same session a few years ago.

Turned out I had diverticulitis. This is where small bulges or pouches form on the wall of the intestine and they can become inflamed and infected. This can produce blood in the poo and often results in stomach pain and bloating. They are very common in older age groups. The doctor will probably treat them at the same session if this is the cause.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 13:44:43

NotSpaghetti its good to hear that your m-in-law was able to get the colonoscopy so quickly- and that she and your husband had good results.

Cossy and Knitandnatter thanks for your replies and great that you got positive results. I agree with the comment about peace of mind. No better feeling in the world.

Dickens Sun 11-Feb-24 14:03:03


My husband’s test recently was positive, after colonoscopy three polyps were found.

Please try not to worry, the tests are to pick up blood, not the actual cancer, good luck.

Even if it is bowel cancer please be reassured that this is one of the cancers, if picked up early, that has a great prognosis.

Even if it is bowel cancer please be reassured that this is one of the cancers, if picked up early, that has a great prognosis.

Mine was picked up late (stage 3) but I still had a good prognosis... "we are looking at curative treatment" said my consultant.

That was now almost 13 years ago and I'm discharged from Oncology as NED (no evidence of disease) and a recent blood test confirmed that cancer-markers (antigens) were very low (normal)...

;;; so, take heart Sillyoldbird flowers!

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 14:08:44

Thanks everyone. Your positive messages are really helping..

Dickens that’s a great outcome- lovely to hear youve been discharged.

Misadventures, it’s a long time since I did any contortions, so I doubt it’s that 😂

MissAdventure Sun 11-Feb-24 14:12:57

Glad to hear it.

NotSpaghetti Sun 11-Feb-24 15:04:46

I'm so pleased to hear of so many positive outcomes here.

🤞that yours will be another one soon sillyoldbird

V3ra Sun 11-Feb-24 15:32:29

My husband is another who has had to have a colonoscopy twice after his routine bowel cancer screenings. He said the worst thing about it was the preparation drink the night before 😣
No further action required either time. He's convinced it's due to piles.
He's just had the letter to say the next routine screening is due.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 15:41:58

Thanks NotSpaghetti, that’s very kind. 😊

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 15:45:01

V3ra I’ve heard really bad things about the preparation drink!

I know the whole experience will be very unpleasant but it’s a necessary evil and not really that I’m bothered about- just the outcome.

petra Sun 11-Feb-24 15:52:44

When you say you had a routine test do you mean the one that is sent in the post.
My Dr told me they can give false/ positive results.
I wouldn’t hesitate to go private for the colonoscopy.

OldFrill Sun 11-Feb-24 16:00:36

I've had bowel cancer, over 20 years ago. I was too young for screening but it was picked up by an extremely vigilant trainee GP. Just so you know, even if it is cancer it's not a totally bleak outlook as l recovered completely. I've had the odd scare since and they have done colonoscopies as a precaution. I was tested to see if my family are higher risk, they are not, maybe your brother could check this. My brother and sister both had other severe intestinal conditions, frankly l was luckier than them as their conditions were far, far more debilitating than my cancer. Good luck.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 16:03:14

Yes Petra, you’re right, it’s the one sent in the post.

By ‘false positive results’ do you think he meant the bleeding was caused by things other than cancer, or that it showed blood was there when it wasn’t?

I think I may be overthinking things 🙄

NotSpaghetti Sun 11-Feb-24 16:09:23

My husband said wear pull-off underwear such as joggers or leggings (no buttons or zips) and be prepared to just sit on the loo and virtually drink it there as there may be almost no gaps between drinking and the "reaction".
He says - drink the drink (quickly) with a straw so you don't actually taste it.

I'm sure you will be fine.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 16:09:55

Oldfrill, that’s great - my brother recovered completely too. But another, more distant relative didn’t.
I’m not sure if my brother was identified as having the type associated with increased familial risk. I would have thought they would have advised him to speak to us about it if this was the case but he didn’t.

NotSpaghetti Sun 11-Feb-24 16:10:31

I don't mean pull-off underwear, I mean pull-off clothing.

Sillyoldbird Sun 11-Feb-24 16:11:08

NotSpaghetti, thanks for the advice 👍

NotSpaghetti Sun 11-Feb-24 16:11:23

My son, in America says it's a routine test every 5 years after 55. 😬