I think I have bowel cancer.

Posted , 5 users are following.

I'm 19 years old (turning 20 in August), and I've been having a wide range of symptoms in the past 2 years some of them comes and goes, it all started with diarrhea which was present for almost 3 weeks, nothing really helped with it, it just stopped. After that I've had a quiet few months when I was kind of constipated, meaning I could only pass stool once in every 6-10 days. Nowadays I've been suffering from fatigue, changes in my bowel movements (I mostly have a bowel movement every day), sometimes it is sand colored. abdominal pain which is the 'worst' in my lower right abdominal area. When I feel worse (sometimes I'm kind of fine for 2 weeks sometimes for months), I'll have pain in my lower left abdominal area as well as in my lower right back. 4 days ago I haven't been able to pass stool normally, which means, I could pass gas, and I could pass a stool (thin or ribbon-like, or flat, and small amount), but with a lot of straining, also had nausea, and I didn't want to eat because I was afraid I'd blow up (yeah maybe sounds funny). This morning I had watery diarrhea, and I feel I still have to go to the bathroom. I'm afraid to eat or drink. This happened to me back in January too, was the same, went away after a week. Is this the so called 'flare-up' which happens with people that have IBD or IBS, or do I have colon cancer? Very rarely I have a very small amount of bright red streak on the surface of my stool (like 1x in 3-4 months), but my rectum is in pain, and I know I had anal fissure, which was not treated (i think it is still present).

I've been to a doctor already, to consulate, and he said, that I should probably lose weight, also he gave me some kind of capsule (by the name Probium6, I'm from the EU, so i'm pretty sure this does not exist in the US) to help my digestion, since he thought I might have some digestive problem, and nothing too serious, he also examined my abdomen, he did not feel anything 'bad'. He also said, that I should lose weight, since I'm obese (176 cm and 110ish kgs = 5.9 foot and 242 lbs), but when I feel this bad I just can't do anything because of the pain (and of course diarrhea at the moment, lol).

What should be my next step? I'm pretty sure that either I have cancer, and I'm going to die soon, or I have something very serious IBD that will require my intestines removed (i don't want to sad ).

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  • Posted

    First thing you must do is to stop worrying! Worry and stress will only make you worse and will often cause some of what you are experiencing! Bowel cancer is the last thing you should be thinking of. Go back to your doctor, see a different doctor if necessary and request a second opinion on your symptoms. Meanwhile try to eat healthily, drink plenty water and try to remain calm. You have youth on your side and I feel sure your symptoms can be addressed much more easily than you think! Please try not to worry, insist that your doctor refers you for further investigations! Do let us know how you get on. Good luck!
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  • Posted

    As has already been mentioned to you, cancer should be the last thing you should be considering as a cause for your symptoms, mainly because there are so many other possibilities. I've been having digestive problems for the past 4 years, had pretty much every test done and everything seems normal, even though I feel pain and illness everyday, and as such I don't have a life.

    I can think of at least one other cause for each of your symptoms that are nothing to do with cancer. Diarrhoea and/or constipation could be IBS, bought on by stress, worry and anxiety or a traumatic event. Fatigue could be malnutrition due to IBS, or CFS/ME. Sand coloured stools could be blocked bile ducts from gallstones. Lower right abdominal pain could be a grumbling appendix. Lower back pain can be caused by problems with the pancreas. Streaks or red blood on stool and odd shaped stools could be haemorrhoids. Bloating could be diet related, constipation and/or IBS. Yes you might have an IBD, but it takes a long time for it to get that bad that you need bowel resectioning.

    As far as tests that need to be done, firstly I would suggest getting a stool sample tested for faecal calprotectin, faecal elastase and look for signs of blood. If calprotectin comes back clear you shouldn't have an IBD, if elastase comes back clear your pencreas it ok, and if no blood is present then it's extremely unlikely you have cancer. Blood tests to check CBC, liver and kidney function, and to test for H.Pylori and Celiac Disease would other recommendations. Following that an upper abdominal ultrasound to check all your important organs are fine. After that you are looking at colonoscopy, endoscopy and small bowel MRI scan. However, even the first round of tests should be able to give you some piece of mind to begin with.

    All the best and wish you well.

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  • Posted

    Hi, you have my utmost sympathy, however try to think positively, I'm sure your doc/consultant would have seen a red flag if there was any indication of cancer so relax . In the meantime, I would strongly advise you to seek a second opinion sooner rather than later. Good luck, hope all works out for you.

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry you're dealing with all of this.  I experienced all the same things you have back when I was 16 so I know how it feels to be so young and have all these health issues when you just want to live your life!  I know it's easy to think of the worst possible scenario like cancer, but trust me, there are soooo many other reasons as to why you're having these symptoms.  I had so many symptoms and I was convinced that I had cancer after looking online.  I got a colonoscopy and guess what.  It was negative!  Even though I had almost every symptom in the book, including weight loss.

    My advice to you: go back to the doctor and tell him what you're feeling in regards to your symptoms.  Do not let him brush you off and ask if you can at least get a referral to a GI.  What you need is a colonoscopy, because even though you're most likely not dealing with some nasty disease, you want to make sure.  Oftentimes stress and worry can aggravate symptoms, so getting it done will at least give you a peace of mind. 

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