Terrified I have colorectal cancer

Edited , 6 users are following.

My story starts 7 years ago when i had a colonoscopy in january 2017 due to frequent diahrrea. I was 20. Neither me or my GI doctor were even considering colon cancer but he did a colonoscopy and it came up clean according to him. Then, a couple months later, a general surgeon from the same hospital who i was seeing for a seperate reason brought up the colonoscopy saying that I had polyps? I dont remember much else of that conversation, so he must not have emphasized any real concern about them. I just forgot about it.

Throughout the years since then, I continued to have bowel issues like diahrrea and for the last 2-3 years at least ive noticed thin and usually flat broken up stools, often loose in consistency. I forced myself not to worry too much and just figured it was probably due to my heavy drinking problem. However, one morning a couple weeks ago i woke up and strained to push out a pencil thin stool very light in color. At that point i decided to look up my symptoms and freaked out when i realized a lot of my symptoms matched colorectal cancer symptoms. I decided to stop drinking and on the third day of not drinking i pushed out a dense, rather thin stool that was coated in blood. I could see blood in the toilet water. At this point i diagnosed myself with cancer. Not having insurance i rushed to a community health center walk in clinic. The doctor gave me reassurance and said most likely hemorroids and prescribed a fiber supplement. I decided to take metamucil wich definitely made my stool significantly thicker but still misshapen and concave. The doctor i saw for my follow up appoint was much less reassuring so i got state insurance and am in the process of scheduling a new colonoscopy. I requested a copy of the report of my previous colonoscopy and it makes no mention of polyps. In fact it states that everything looked normal and no polyps were noted. So why did the other doctor say i had some? im so confused and worried that something that could have been avoided is now haunting me. i feel like im screwed. im worried sick and cant sleep. help

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  • Edited

    Hello Jordan,

    Just read your story and found it to somewhat related to GI issues I have had for 2 years now. I had a clear colonoscopy and sigmoidscopy but still had issues including bleeding however was diagnosed as having IBS-C. I had several other tests as well but nothing significant was ever found. I know it is hard to live with a worry but you really need to relax. You are not alone with such type of symptoms. People get all sort of symptoms and that doesn't necessary mean it is always going to be something serious. There is alot more conditions which can cause similar symptoms. One thing that you should certainly stop doing is looking up your symptoms continuously, it will make things worse. It also doesnt mean you should just ignore things, It is always good to have things checked but worrying about it will make things worse. Human body reacts to the way we think and yes the brain has a strong relationship with the gut, its not just a theory it is a fact.

    Good luck and hope further tests are all clear.

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  • Edited

    You may have had blood due to haemorrhoids or fissures from straining. Try not to keep looking up your symptoms because you will only worry more. Have you tried a food diary to see if any foods are causing diarrhoea? Have you had any recent stress? Stress can trigger bowel habit change. Have you had any other tests to rule out other conditions? I had shifting, abdominal pain with constipation. loose stools and nausea along with back pain. I had terrible anxiety. I was diagnosed with IBS. Keep going back to your doctor and ask for more tests along with the colonoscopy. You will get answers to your questions that way.

    All my tests were negative or inconclusive. The radiographer doing my ultrasound told me one thing, but my doctor told me something completely different. Talking to my doctor clarified the confusion.

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  • Posted

    thank you for your comments. i think whats worrying me the most is the very thin, low caliber stools. i truly cannot remember the last time i had a normal looking bowel movement. i fear i waited far too long to get tested again.

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  • Posted

    Hi I can understand your worry. When you had the first colonoscopy and if you had polyps they would have removed them with a polyectomy. I had this done. Could it be that the second doctor you saw said you had polyps in the first colonoscopy but as he didnt follow it up is it possible you misunderstood and they were removed? I think its really worth checking out. I cant imagine any GI doctor seeing polyps and leaving them there. You dont feel a polyectomy so if you were not told you wouldnt know you had one if that makes sense. Usually if you have polyps you have to be rechecked in 5 years for further growth. I would definitly get another colonoscopy just to be on the safe side. Good luck.

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    • Edited

      thanks tessygirl

      i have a copy of the report and have shown it to my current physician. the report says the colonoscopy was completely normal. Given my current symptoms, it dawned on me that i remembered the other doctor saying i had polyps. Thats what prompted me to request a copy of the report in the first place. My worry is that the report left out something that the other doctor picked up on and i just never had the polyps removed. It was 7 years ago and despite all my efforts I havent been able to acquire any other notes or information from the hospital where i had the colonoscopy. So now im just left confused, and waiting. I guess im just hoping the other doctor made a mistake.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jordan, ok that explains it, that is strange I wonder how the other doctor knew you had polyps am hoping he mixed you up with another patient. Are you going to get another colonoscopy if I were you I would do that just to be on the safe side. Its true the more you worry the more your gut will be affected. As an example I had an elective surgery last April and it went wrong, it freaked me out so much, I caught an infection and started to worry constantly. I realise now that it seriously affected my bowel habits and movements so much so my doc was convinced that I potentially had colorectal cancer and insisted on a colonoscopy that was completely clear. Having said that please insist on a colonoscopy to put your mind at rest. Let us know how you get on, thinking of you.

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    • Posted

      yes i will be getting another colonoscopy soon. just waiting for the referral to clear with the hospital so i can make the appointment. thanks for listening and responding

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  • Posted

    it's possible you have strained too hard, i saw blood when i did the same thing and although it's really scary, if you take softening medication then it may help your bowel to relax and the lack of straining will hopefully stop the symptoms, good luck.x

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