Worrying symptoms

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Soscaredandworried
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:24 pm

Worrying symptoms

Postby Soscaredandworried » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:01 am

Hello everyone. I’m 23 (from the UK & I’m black) and I’ve been having worrying symptoms now for about a month or two.

Don’t have a family history of any type of cancer. Both of my parents are elderly with no health complications. My grandad had colitis quite badly!

It all started with abdominal pain which lasted about three days and then disappeared and never came back. I didn’t think much of it at the time. A few days later, I came across an article about a girl not much older than me being misdiagnosed with IBS for over a year when she actually had bowel cancer - I started to see blood and mucus in my poo and started to get constipated! How f**king weird is that! I had never been constipated or seen blood in my poo before prior to reading that article! I went to my GP and discussed my problems and he said it’s NOT bowel cancer (how would she know?)
She did a blood test and everything came back fine. No anemia, iron levels were fine, no inflammation of the blood, my liver and kidney function was fine. I had a blood test the previous month and my hemoglobin was higher in the previous test which scares me as that must mean I’m losing blood somewhere and my platelets slightly increased :cry: but my CRP had gone down to 2. My white blood cells are quite low too. I also did a FOB test which showed no signs of hidden blood in my stool sample. I’m very gassy all the time. I get so bloated after eating and I don’t know why as I have never had this problem before. I do have an underactive thyroid which isn’t being treated but that doesn’t explain the blood loss? Everywhere just aches! I’m just amazed how fast these symptoms have come along after reading the article! My stools are sometimes pencil thin but sometimes normal with no blood or mucus. My stool floats pretty much all the time and I can always see undigested food in it. The once - I only pooped mucus (there was no blood in that though). I actually have also put on weight, don’t have appetite loss and I don’t have a distended abdomen. I have a constant urge to wee, I always empty my bladder but I am peeing a lot more urine at one go than I used to. I wonder how my bladder can hold so much liquid even though I don’t think I’m drinking that much water :shock: I’m thinking, the tumour must be pressing on my bladder!! I try to convince myself of statistics which show a 2 in 100,000 chance of me getting it in my age group but it’s hard believe when you’re displaying classic signs.

My GP doesn’t seem to be bothered by this?! Surely this is a reason for a colonoscopy. I’m going to demand a colonoscopy even though I’m really scared what I think is going to be the outcome :( I’m just amazed at how fast my symptoms have spread. I have always looked at my poo after using the toilet and I have never noticed blood. I just find it all so odd. I’m so scared I’ll walk up from the colonoscopy and they’ll say we found a tumour and it’ll be stage 4 and game over. Oh God. I don’t understand how this can be happening to me when I come from such a huge family and no one else has cancer :( I am crying most days thinking about it. I’m scared chemo won’t work and they’ll say palliative care only. I have looked at crohn’s disease and my blood work seems to match that except you normally get diarrhea - not constipation. I just want someone to hold my hand and tell me whatever the outcome is - it’ll be ok :( I’m sorry that I’ve posted this. Some of you are going through a tough battle and I wish you all the luck in the world. You must get so tired of hearing about people like me moan about their symptoms. I am so scared. I just wrote this because it’s currently stressed out and can’t sleep. I can’t believe I’m worrying about cancer at 23. WHY ME! :(

NHMike
Posts: 2204
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby NHMike » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:55 pm

We have people come in worried about symptoms. If something is big enough to cause a blockage (you sound like you might have blockage issues), then it should show up on a CT scan and it would definitely be found on a colonoscopy. The odds of a tumor, though, are small. If you look at the ages here, I think that most are in their 50s and 60s and then decreasing numbers as you get older and younger. So you could push for a CT or colonoscopy to get a better idea as to what the problem is.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

boxhill
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby boxhill » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:42 pm

And let me add that a diagnosis of Stage IV does not necessarily equal "game over" in any meaningful sense. 8)
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 nodes,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met out
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/4/18 FOLFOX
Neulasta 6/28
7/9/18 CT NED
11/20/18 CT NED. Enlarged spleen.
12/20/18 Liver MRI 5mm liver met? and 2 lymph nodes in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/5/19 Triphasic CT LN and spleen normal, Liver node stable
6/28/19 Pause Keytruda, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Keytruda
9/10/19 CT stable

KimT
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby KimT » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Calm down. I don’t mind questions from people who don’t have cancer but I do mind when people act hysterical as if they are on deaths door when they have not diagnosed. Palliative care is the reality of some of the members of this board. Have a little sensitivity when you come to a board of cancer patients and survivors.

Cancer is only one of the possibilities of what might be going on with you and quite frankly probably the least likely. Cancer is the exception not the norm for problems in the colon. It is far more likely to be ibs or crohns.

I think all of us would encourage you to advocate for yourself when dealing with doctors. Request a colonoscopy. It is the only test that will confirm or rule out cancer in the colon. It can diagnose other problems in the colon.

In the meantime, lay off google and perhaps talk to someone about your anxiety. There really is no reason to assume you are dying of cancer.

Best of luck.
2/10 dx colon cancer
right hemicolectomy 3/19/10
Stage 2a 0/43 nodes
Lynch syndrome
3/14/10 colon resection/ removal of metal clips
Nov 11 dx ovarian cancer

Jacques
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:38 am
Location: Occitanie

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby Jacques » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:08 pm

If you are in the U.K. being treated under NHS, how long do you think it will take to get an appointment for a colonoscopy? Is there a long waiting list?

Maybe in the mean time you could arrange to have a CEA blood test. CEA is sometimes elevated when a person has colorectal cancer metastases. The test might provide some useful information.

Why were they measuring CRP? This test is not found on the usual blood-test panels. They must have had a reason for testing and re-testing your CRP.

stu
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby stu » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:17 pm

Coming from the UK I know how hard it can be getting heard by some GP’s but thankfully most are great .
Saying I doubt it’s cancer and backing that up with medical statistics would possibly have been more helpful . Maybe intensified your feelings of not being heard .
If you go onto Beating Bowel cancer UK you will find a booklet that you can use . I think it’s called “symptom tracker”. It will help structure your position and allow the GP to get a clear presentation of your symptoms .

I too had really odd symptoms and added some Jelly Babies to my diet . The gelatine seems to help bind things up nicely and has removed some issues .

You could use the booklet and see if it helps get a better outcome with your GP .
Take care,
Stu
supporter to my mum who lives a great life despite a difficult diagnosis
stage4 2009 significant spread to liver
2010 colon /liver resection
chemo following recurrence
73% of liver removed
enjoying life treatment free
2016 lung resection
Oct 2017 nice clear scan . Two lung nodules disappeared
Oct 2018. Another clear scan .

stu
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby stu » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:58 pm

stu wrote:Coming from the UK I know how hard it can be getting heard by some GP’s but thankfully most are great .
Saying I doubt it’s cancer and backing that up with medical statistics would possibly have been more helpful . Maybe intensified your feelings of not being heard .
If you go onto Beating Bowel cancer UK you will find a booklet that you can use . I think it’s called “symptom tracker”. It will help structure your position and allow the GP to get a clear presentation of your symptoms .

I too had really odd symptoms and added some Jelly Babies to my diet . The gelatine seems to help bind things up nicely and has removed some issues . I am just using this example to show you not everything is sinister.

You could use the booklet and see if it helps get a better outcome with your GP .
Take care,
Stu
supporter to my mum who lives a great life despite a difficult diagnosis
stage4 2009 significant spread to liver
2010 colon /liver resection
chemo following recurrence
73% of liver removed
enjoying life treatment free
2016 lung resection
Oct 2017 nice clear scan . Two lung nodules disappeared
Oct 2018. Another clear scan .

User avatar
GrouseMan
Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: SE Michigan USA

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby GrouseMan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:11 pm

Jacques wrote:
Why were they measuring CRP? This test is not found on the usual blood-test panels. They must have had a reason for testing and re-testing your CRP.


CRP is a measure of inflammation. See: https://www.healthline.com/health/c-reactive-protein

It is a simple blood test. IBS, and Crones disease usually have high CRP associated with them. Both can result in blood in the stool and colon cancer can also give a high CRP. If its normal then inflammation seems to then be negative. That taken with the fact that "FOB test which showed no signs of hidden blood in my stool sample" seems to rule out a major colon problem. Could be a change in Microbiota. Maybe another not so nice bacteria colonizing the colon. C-Diff for instance. Any number of parasites and other issues could be to blame.

I once swallowed a chewed up sunflower seed shell. Hurt to pass that and yes there was some blood. Never did that again. Changes in diet might be to blame. But the ONLY definitive proof its not colon cancer is to get a colonoscopy. The fact she sees undigested food likely indicates eating too fast not chewing well. Corn is something that if you don't break that kernel husk can pass unchanged. Lots of things like that some that can scratch your rectum lining causing bleeding. So don't panic. If it is colon cancer - as people have said your life is not over especially at your age. They can treat it much more aggressively in a young patient than someone "our" age in most cases. Any frankly probably try harder!

Cancer is everywhere. In addition to my wife who was very athletic and in great health otherwise that I lost to colon cancer over 2 years ago- I lost a friend to Lung Cancer recently as well. Lost a few colleagues to it. One here on this forum who was a fellow anticancer scientist, another I worked with for many years lost to a brain tumor. The lady I am now dating had stage 1 breast cancer 10 years ago discovered during her divorce proceedings and found just this week that her younger sister has a rare form of lung cancer and its very advanced and seemingly aggressive. We've all asked why. No simple answers there, and frankly no sense in dwelling on it anyway. It is what it is. Life goes on.

GrouseMan
DW 53 dx Jun 2013
CT mets Liver Spleen lung. IVb CEA~110
Jul 2013 Sig Resct
8/13 FolFox,Avastin 12Tx mild sfx, Ongoing 5-FU Avastin every 3 wks.
CEA: good marker
7/7/14 CT Can't see the spleen Mets.
8/16/15 CEA Up, CT new abdominal mets. Iri, 5-FU, Avastin every 2 wks.
1/16 Iri, Erbitux and likely Avastin (Trial) CEA going >.
1/17 CEA up again dropped from Trial, Mets growth 4-6 mm in abdomen
5/2/17 Failed second trial, Hospitalized 15 days 5/11. Home Hospice 5/26, at peace 6/4/2017

TinaFish
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:11 am

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby TinaFish » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:23 pm

boxhill wrote:And let me add that a diagnosis of Stage IV does not necessarily equal "game over" in any meaningful sense. 8)


THANK YOU
F 45, single mother to son, 7 and daughter, 3
DX: stage 4 Rectal Cancer June 2019
Tumor Location: ? cm above anal verge
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 5 cm
Tumor grade: ?
TNM code: ?
Stage : Stage IV-B
# of cancerous lymph nodes: ?
Mets: Numerous mets to liver, lungs
CEA: 22 in July; 11 as of August 15, 7 as of Sept 20
MSI status: MSS
KRAS/BRAF status: KRAS mutation
surgery: TBD
Ostomy surgery: TBD
Radiation therapy: TBD
Chemotherapy : CAPEOX+Avastin, 6 cycles, with CT scans after 3rd and 6th cycle.

TinaFish
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:11 am

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby TinaFish » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:28 pm

KimT wrote:Calm down. I don’t mind questions from people who don’t have cancer but I do mind when people act hysterical as if they are on deaths door when they have not diagnosed. Palliative care is the reality of some of the members of this board. Have a little sensitivity when you come to a board of cancer patients and survivors.

Cancer is only one of the possibilities of what might be going on with you and quite frankly probably the least likely. Cancer is the exception not the norm for problems in the colon. It is far more likely to be ibs or crohns.

I think all of us would encourage you to advocate for yourself when dealing with doctors. Request a colonoscopy. It is the only test that will confirm or rule out cancer in the colon. It can diagnose other problems in the colon.

In the meantime, lay off google and perhaps talk to someone about your anxiety. There really is no reason to assume you are dying of cancer.

Best of luck.


Right? I'm sensing hypochondria.
Here's my two cents: I don't know how it works in the UK, but here in California, once I got sick of the PCP and the specialists and a million appointments with everyone telling me that I had everything BUT cancer, and a GI doctor wanting to schedule my colonoscopy FOUR MONTHS OUT (it would have been this October), I finally paid out-of-pocket to see a private GI doctor, and he said, "I can do your colonoscopy this week and charge you $2000.00. Or, you can go to the hospital and describe your symptoms, and they'll do your colonoscopy for free." That's what I did.
F 45, single mother to son, 7 and daughter, 3
DX: stage 4 Rectal Cancer June 2019
Tumor Location: ? cm above anal verge
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 5 cm
Tumor grade: ?
TNM code: ?
Stage : Stage IV-B
# of cancerous lymph nodes: ?
Mets: Numerous mets to liver, lungs
CEA: 22 in July; 11 as of August 15, 7 as of Sept 20
MSI status: MSS
KRAS/BRAF status: KRAS mutation
surgery: TBD
Ostomy surgery: TBD
Radiation therapy: TBD
Chemotherapy : CAPEOX+Avastin, 6 cycles, with CT scans after 3rd and 6th cycle.

Soscaredandworried
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby Soscaredandworried » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:23 am

Guys I’m so sorry if I’ve offended anyone with my post. That was never my intention. I realize some people are going through what I’ve posted and I’m very sorry that they are. Please forgive me and I wish you all the best. So sorry :cry:

I do have bad anxiety and I am trying to cope with that. I’ve spoken to my partner about it and he says nothing serious is wrong with me. I just can’t wait for this colonoscopy so I can move on with my life - regardless of the outcome.

In the UK, your GP has to refer you. It can only be under emergency referral if you meet a certain criteria (rectal bleeding, anemia, weight loss, abdominal pain) and I only have one... otherwise - it could be up to 3 months! Which I think is crazy! I am going to go private if they won’t give me an emergency referral.

Thanks guys for listening to me. :cry: :)

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3327
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:52 pm

I'm sorry you're going through this and I hope you won't have to wait long for a colonoscopy!*hugs*
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18

Soscaredandworried
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby Soscaredandworried » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:39 am

Thanks. I am so stressed I’ve decided I can’t wait any longer and will just go private. I’m trying to add more fibre into my diet and I notice it bulks my stool a lot. Surely my stools would be getting narrower if there was a tumour? I don’t have to push as hard either. Thanks for the support guys

ubiyca
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:27 am

Re: Worrying symptoms

Postby ubiyca » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:45 am

Hello! I also have anxiety issues. I recently myself had a colonoscopy after years of symptoms, with a lot of gas, diarrhoea and sometimes on the constipation side. One symptom was also bladder issues, for me it was like sudden urge to pee, just like the bladder in like 10 seconds was filled and I had to go immediately, and it also was filled so not just a feeling. This is a farily common symptom of IBS and pressure there, bladder issues. Girls can have menstrual issues, and even unable to have sex. I also had very thin stools, without blood and rarely mucous. I feel that I have a hard time to empty my bowels and get it out, even though it's soft. Mucous is common in IBS, blood is not a feature of IBS but it's not uncommon if you have hard stools, which might tear the blood vessels on the way out, and if you have to strain a lot etc. I was also convinced something was blocking my bowels but my colonoscopy was normal, not even a polyp or diverticulitis.

In fact I checked the statistic database for your age group in my county, documented cases of colon cancer. In your age group 20-24 yrs with a 1,3 million population, there were only 22 cases in 50 (!) years. My age group 35-39 had 60 cases, in 50 years. That is, about 1 case a year. So you realize it's incredibly rare, even in my age group, but it does happen.

The reason that your stool floats is either because of undigested fat in the stool, or most likely due to increased gas, which also makes stool float.
I sometimes have undigested food too, it's because the bowels haven't had time to fully digest it, due to rapid transit and also if you have certain food intolerances. Malabsorption syndromes can cause this, but this would come along with weight loss, low iron, etc.

Your "weight gain", is a good sign, not a bad. (generally) People who loose weight due to cancer in most cases loses a lot of weight in a short period of time, or there is a progressive weight loss over time. Constipation or blockage can cause weight gain, due to the stored stool in there. Fluctuations of 1-2 kg from day to day is normal, due to stored stool and water levels in the body.

Also remember that what is "very worrying" to you, in the vast majority of cases, doesn't mean that there is something alarming at all, from a medical standpoint.


Best wishes and good luck!


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