Colonoscopy worry

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi, I've been having pain in my right lower abdomen for some time now and did some tests and all seem clear. Today I went to a surgeon who tested me and said all feels very normal. Since my dad had colon cancer at 56 he suggested I do a colonoscopy just to make sure there is nothing. I need to wait till the 20th April and I'm already freaking out. Will they tell me immediately after the colonoscopy if something is wrong? I'm 39 with 2 kids and always assume the worst that I have cancer. Please give me any advice you can as to whether I should be panicking so much

0 likes, 37 replies

Report / Delete

37 Replies

Prev Next
  • Posted

    Hi. It's quite normal to feel anxious. My surgery was 27 months ago and even though all the follow up tests have been ok, I still worry every time one is due. (They are 6 monthly now, so a bit less worry.) I was so relieved when the nurse told me my CT scan results, that I hugged her and that is not what I do usually! She is rather nice though. Yes, you should be told the colonoscopy result just after having it. In fact, I was told when I was getting off the table. It seems as if yours is just a precaution as everything was normal. But as someone wrote, you might be able to have it earlier. Best wishes! 
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Tks John smile hope I get good news like you! Maybe il have some nice guy nurse to hug too 😝 Can't wait for it to be over and wish my mind was abit more positive with health issues
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You are right to have the test given your family history. As a symptom, it sounds like IBS. Be careful you don't do what I used to do and press your hand on fingers because I used to bruise it internally which became a vicious circle. By itself abdominal ache doesn't sound particularly like a cancer symptom which is much more usually heralded by symptoms associated with stools including altered vowel habit, excessive diarrhoea and bleeding (and even both of these symptoms are more often than not something else). I had appalling pains in my abdomen for over twenty years from childhood. In the end I controlled it by avoiding too much wheat and too many cashew nuts and completely avoiding broad and baked beans (which really set it off) and using a bowel relaxant when I had an attack. I now only have very infrequent trouble and that is when i overdo some of those foods. As to what they tell you, it varies. The consultant may have a chat afterwards about what he found but some prefer to write to your doctor or see you at another time. I understand the panic feelings. Unfortunately, the gut can be sensitive to tension too. It is no accident that we talk about having "gut feelings" when we are following an instinct. I found my first colonoscopy actually stopped the symptoms for ages. Perhaps it is relief that there is nothing wrong. Maybe we all need a good clear out occasionally. Also remember this, the big thing with abdominal cancer is when you catch it and in the very early or pre-cancerous phase, they can zap it during the colonoscopy itself. But, my gut instinct with your symptoms and your age is that it won't be that, so don't get too worried. Good luck. You are doing the most sensible thing. David.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Tks David, I try tell myself if it was cancer it wouldn't have taken so many years and I try tell myself it's Ibs. Hopefully if all comes clear I can have my mind at rest for a few years. Since my dad passed away I have this horrible fear that I'm next and with so many new cases in my age group I keep believing why not me? I really hope I manage to calm down abit. Tks so much for finding the time to calm me down
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I know. I used to do just the same. I think you have a very good point. If you have had the same symptoms for a long time it is unlikely to be bowel cancer. And, like I said, it's a bit of a vicious circle because once you think you even might have cancer, that makes you tense and that never helps any gut problem. You might also try greatly restricting wheat, legumes, baked beans and nuts for a month and see if it improves. They are all common culprits. Remember too that the strongest likelihood is they will find nothing. Even if they find something, the strong likelihood is that it would not be cancer anyway. Your age is on your side, the location (rt hand side) is on your side, the fact that you do not have any of the conventional stool symptoms that go with bowel cancer is heavily on your side. I'm really sorry your dad had it, but he may have been a different age from you and there are a lot of lifestyle triggers with bowel cancer. If you haven't got it, as I strongly believe, then if you have the test every five years, it is really, really unlikely that it will ever be what gets you. So, even though I never listened (lol) don't worry too much. You are doing the best thing having everything checked and then you can get on with your life. And don't press on the area except very, very gently. I used to do it all the time until my doctor got really mad with me...
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Tks again 😄 I don't seem to press on it too much as I worry I feel something so I guess that's something positive lol

      I've tried eliminating so many foods but nothing works. I either end up eating anything in sight or I eliminate so many things I barely can eat anything so now I'm sticking to bland boring food but I'm not even sure if it makes a huge difference.

      I wish the stressful period at work stops soon so I can see if it has anything to do with it

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      These lengthy investigative things can be very exhausting. What seems to be more of a problem for you is the way you are thinking about it. Panic is very natural and we all have "worst case" scenario thoughts, but that reaction can get out of control. So you may want to approach this on two fronts: one, the genuine symptoms you have which you are rightly making completely sure about by having the colonoscopy and two, learning to control the fear which can be assisted by a number of techniques and professionals your doctor could suggest. Fear is an odd thing. People who fear things the most are often the bravest when something unpleasant actually happens. I worried about health all my life. Then 5 years ago I got something really very serious and life-threatening (not C, and thankfully now resolved with surgery). Contrary to what I had imagined I would be like, once I knew, I didn't have any real fear at all. My doctor was very surprised, but so was I. Sometimes fear itself is a bigger problem than illness. And if the fear is put to rest by one test, then your mind starts thinking something else might be wrong or they may have missed something. In reality, it is fear itself which is the real symptom and which needs tackling. Once you get into this state (and I've been there) your mind picks up on every bad story of friends etc and you start thinking it's happening all around you and must be about to happen to you. One day something is going to get all of us. That is nature's pay back for life, but I wish I hadn't wasted so much good life worrying about what might happen if things went wrong. As I say, when they did go very wrong medically, I was surprisingly calm and I don't worry half so much now. As they say, there is nothing more frightening than fear itself. I really hope you can both sort out your genuine and annoying symptoms and not let uncontrolled fear ruin the life you do have. And you may need professional help with both aspects because they are both real. Hope you didn't mind me saying this and the best of luck to you.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You are very very right. I wasn't like this and I do get days when I say I'm wasting my life worrying about what illness I have. Hopefully after this il calm down if all goes well. Since my dad passed almost 10 years ago I keep imagining I'm next.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      A brilliant post. Thanks so much - you've actually given *me* good insight too. After the incidental findings of polyps (read my comments in thread), I've actually enlisted the help of a wonderful therapist. I never really thought about life and death and mortality itself before having to wait around for those histology results. I found that, even after receiving the benign results, I was still plagued with anxiety having visited the depths of fear in my own mind during that week, and I developed a generalised fear of death. Not even just premature death - just end of life in general! I'm now finding mindfulness a wonderful tool. Thanks again for your take on all of this. You seem to have triumphed over your fear.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I wish I did. Just hope I can start enjoying my life if all goes well as I was always a happy go lucky person till these fears took over me, I think having young kids just make me worry more as I see my friends kids suffer the loss of their mum on a daily basis and don't want mine suffering this way
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Much to my own surprise! And thank you for the kind words. I usually don't say something like that because people can misinterpret it as saying the symptoms are all in their heads. I certainly don't think that In any way at all. Quite the opposite! But there is a separate issue about uncontrolled fear which I think you put very poignantly and accurately. And that can be as life wrecking as a serious illness itself. It's the price we pay for imagination suppose! And I'm really glad you tackled it, which is a brave thing to do.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I feel exactly the same since losing my youger sister last year to cancer, I keep worrying that something is lurking in me that I don't know about yet, especially as I am older she was., I'm convinced that I will be next,
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Such a horrible horrible disease. I wish they figured it out once and for all as I think people will b less stressed. I wish I could b one of those that didn't worry so much and live life to the full
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      It's nuts, isn't it? That we are living in an age where there is still no cure... Seems crazy, with all the incredible scientific and medical advances of the last century, that we are still at the mercy of this devastating disease. The black plague of our times...
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up