Colon cancer scare..please respond :(

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Hi,

I’m 29 years old, and have been having digestion issues for years. I put if off out of embarrassment, and now things are unbearable so I’m finally seeing a GI this coming Tuesday. I have severe constipation and internal hemmorhoids (grade 2), along with pencil thin stools at times (and all other kinds of weird shapes), and I am absolutely terrified that I’m going to have colon cancer, mainly because here lately I’ve had weight loss and nausea. My boyfriend thinks my weight flunctuation is “normal” because my appetite is all over the place and I’m stressed, but of course I’m not convinced. 

The only thing I’ve had done so far as testing so far was a CT scan at the ER. I’m not anemic, there was no inflammatory process in my bowels, and they said there was no “mass” on the scan. They tried to calm me down by saying my chances of having colon cancer at my age are “slim to none.”  That’s all I have to make me feel better as of right now, but that’s obviously not much. There was so much stool in me that I don’t know how they would have been able to see a mass if there is one. 

I’m so scared of any procedure and/or test they are gonna want to run on me and am also just terrified that it’s gonna be too late to fix me since I let this go on for so long without getting it addressed. I don’t know how to calm down or stay positive. Any thoughts, comments, or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Nasties show up quickly on scans.  My brother who is a doctor told me this when I was in panic.  This comforted me. Nothing has shown up on your tests so this is very good news for you.  It it was cancer, a CT would show it up.  CTs are very reliable and would pick up a tumour if there was one. The doctors would not have said there wss no mass, anaemia or inflammation if they had found any. You are very young and cancer is very rare at your age.  Weight loss is to be expected if your appetite has been reduced and you are panicking.  Both of these things cause weight loss. So your weight loss can be explained. If you were losing a lot of weight rapidly and were bleeding, these would be red flags.  Explained weight loss with no bleeding is not a red flag.  I can lose half a stone in a week through loss of appetite and panic.  Trust and believe your doctor.

    I panicked in the same way for three and a half months because no one could help and tests showed nothing.  I was 100% convinced something serious had been missed and it was too late to fix it.  I was diagnosed with IBS and my panic vanished and my symptoms greatly improved.

    Although the prospect of further tests is terrifying, it is better to have them because it will help to eliminate possibilities.  As each condition is ruled out, the less you will have to worry about.  Your health anxiety is very common; you are not alone.  Try distraction techniques to help to take your mind off your symptoms; this will help you.  The more you worry, the worse your symptoms will be.  Do not google you symptoms; that will fuel your panic.

    Ask your doctor lots of questions and write down all the explanations. Ask your doctor to disprove your worries one by one.  In this way you will have a wriiten record of the positive things your doctor has told you.  When you are in panic, read this list over and and over again. It will give you something to hold on to.

    One of my doctors told me early on that she didn’t hear any alarm bells ringing when I described my symptoms.  I held on to this explanation every time I panicked and it worked for me.  I was advised by someone to forget what I had been told by my doctor which was very poor advice indeed.  If I had listened to that person, it would have deepened my despair.  Listening to what my doctor had said really took the edge off my hopelessness.

    Constipation can cause haemorrhoids because of straining to pass a stool. Try a laxative or lots of fruit to mske your stools easier to pass. Oranges and prune juice really helped me with my constipation. My stools were either tiny concrete like pellets, or pencil thin and loose.  They also changed colour.

    If you concentrate on all the explanations and tips I have mentioned, it will help you to stay calm and positive.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you sooooooo much for taking the time to type out your reply. You have no idea what it means to me and how much it calmed me down. I’ve spent so much time being in such a panic, and sometimes I forget that alone can burn more calories. My weight has been all over the place just like I have. I should probably just stop weighing myself all together for the time being while I am waiting for all my appointments. Thanks again for your reply and advice smile
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    • Posted

      I am very slim and boney and you can see my ribcage even though I do eat well. I just have a fast metabolism.  When I get stressed, my ribcage shows even more and then people start to comment on it.

      I wouldn’t weigh yourself because it will contribute to your anxiety.  My problem was Dr Google because I wanted to give doctors more to go on.  But it gave me rampant health anxiety.  Although, I don’t know what exactly you have, IBS could be a possibility. If other tests also show nothing, then doctors can diagnose IBS which can be treated and managed.

      Hope you can get a diagnosis soon.

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    • Posted

      I’m extremely petite and have a high metabolism as well, that’s why I hate losing even more weight. Plus I’m about to get my wisdom teeth pulled and will lose even more weight while I recover..ugh! I was quite OVER weight a couple years ago, but I was consuming a ridiculous amount of calories and probably deserved to be even bigger than I was. I had no issue losing the weight what so ever once I started eating right and exercising (my digestion still wasn’t great though sad ). That was the only time in my life I’ve ever been overweight, so I guess I just need to remember that this is my “natural form” and that it takes way more effort for me to gain weight than it does to lose it. I never even owned a scale until I was actually TRYING to lose weight since I was always small and didn’t care about how much I weighed, so I don’t have a good grasp on what kind of fluctuations are considered normal for me. So of course my anxious self assumes cancer, even though I know lots of people who have had cancer and most of them never even experienced the weight loss part. 

      I have an issue with doctor google too. I was 100% convinced my most recent Pap smear was gonna come back abnormal due to the symptoms I’ve been having with that too, but it didn’t. Was completely clear. I need to remember that you can have weird symptoms for reasons other than cancer. 

      My dad always had digestion issues (even though he would never fully admit to it, he was always in and out of the bathroom so it was pretty self explanatory), but no colon cancer in him or my mom, so IBS is definitely a possibility. My mind just always goes to the worst thing because of my anxiety and because I put stuff off for so long instead of getting it checked out when things first got weird. Lessons learned! 

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    • Posted

      I had wisdom teeth removed when they rotted away but I didn’t lose weight despite taking six weeks to recover.  I am naturally very anxious and that’s what triggered my IBS.  IBS and anxiety are linked. However, I found my diagnosis really helped me to cope with my IBS. 
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  • Posted

    I react the same way that you do...I panic and then get somewhat depressed. I just suddenly in the last week became constipated with no urge to go and my bm's were all shapes and sizes...however no blood or change in color of stools. My left side would slightly ache from time to time, so I went to Med. Express and they checked my urine...because I thought my left kidney was in trouble because I have a complex cyst there.  Had miscroscopic blood plus some sugar which means my blood sugar levels are too high. THey took an xray of my stomach and found my left side full of feces. They also found curvature of my spine and arthritis in my spine an left hip. My weight is down some too, however they think that is because my blood sugars are high. So now off to my primary Dr. to make changes in my diabetes medications to get sugar levels down. I just want to have normal and regular bm's like I was having until about a week and a half ago, Tried Miralax but it didn't move my bowels good. So the Dr at Med Express put me on Linzess'''will see how that works. High Blood sugar can affect your bowels. Hope I see some positive results soon.

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