My husband didn't figure out that he had anemia until his hemoglobin was a life-threatening 6. It took him being in congestive heart failure and unable to breathe to seek medical attention. We found out that the anemia was due to a tumor's perforation of his large intestinal lining. He had been experiencing edema from the anemia for a long while but he had blown off the edema as a consequence of being on his feet all day for work. The edema he was experiencing by the time of diagnosis was due to both anemia and congestive heart failure. In short, he had a slow, unnoticeable bleed for a very long time. I think that you are very very lucky to have discovered this when you have, before it had a chance to get to the stage I just described my husband experiencing.
He has been through a lot, but we went from thinking he had a death sentence to now being very confident he will be "cured" and live a long life. I guess what I am trying to say is that there is lots of hope to be found. You will also find that there is so much support here on this forum. Welcome!
Starr12 wrote:My question is, can iron deficiency anemia and microscopic blood be the only two symptoms one can have prior to being diagnosed with colon cancer?
Lee wrote:Starr12 wrote:My question is, can iron deficiency anemia and microscopic blood be the only two symptoms one can have prior to being diagnosed with colon cancer?
HI and welcome, sorry for the reason you are here.
It can be, butt it can also be caused by many other things. Cancer is just ONE possibility. Prior to my diagnoses, I was not anemia and no blood was found in my stools.
Please avoid Dr. Google, you can diagnoses yourself with anything with Dr. Google. Keep in mind a lot of information on the internet is either outdated or flat out wrong. Hang around here until he get scoped especially if you need to vent. We have all walked in your shoes and get what your are going through.
Does colon cancer run in his family?
Please know, IF he is diagnosed with colon cancer, there has been many advancements in the past decade, and new treatment options coming around the corner. It is not the death sentence it once used to be. I'm a (almost) 14 yr survivor and there are many of us out there.
It's good he is getting scoped, butt during the mean time, try not to worry.
CAGirl wrote:The waiting for appointments and test results is always hard. Try not to worry prematurely. It is good that he's been tested yearly and that the low hemoglobin level is not too low. Mine was at 7 when I found out I had anemia in November 2016. That was my only symptom, and when I was diagnosed with CRC in February 2017 after my colonoscopy, I had a gut feeling I'd had the slow internal bleed for a while. I remembered that my discovery of turnips and radishes as the most delicious thing ever had been a long time before that -- and that, only in hindsight, it was Pica, a sign of anemia. Guess I'm trying to say -- as already mentioned -- if it does turn out to be cancer, there is a good chance it is not too advanced. (I hadn't been tested for anemia in years. Mine was severe once I was tested.)
Are his stools at all "black and tarry"? Also in retrospect -- and compared to how they are since surgery -- mine were. That's a sign of internal bleeding, as well. Mine were a lot darker (not black, per se, but VERY dark) and smooth ("tarry").
Good luck. Your waiting will be over SOON. We are all keeping fingers crossed that your follow-up post will be good news and we won't hear from you again!
Starr12 wrote:..Any words of advice and support would alleviate my mind right now. ..
Starr12 wrote: . . . He’s also gained weight over the past several years. Again, not sure if weight can is NOT a sign of CRC. . .
Weight gain is a good sign that it is not cancer. Weight loss is usually associated with colon cancer. I had weight loss prior to my diagnoses. Know that colon cancer is one of the slower growing cancers, especially in the beginning.
Caat55 wrote:Did the doctor suggest anything for his anemia? I was very anemic.
Starr12 wrote:... he did test positive on all of the fecal slides used to detect the microscopic blood....