Bowel (colon and rectum) cancer

A support group for anyone affected by colon, rectal or small bowel cancer to come together, share experiences and ask questions.

Bowel cancer worries

Twarny
Posted by

Hello,

So very scared at present. I been having symptoms of bowel cancer for the last 18 months. Left side stomach pains, flat stools + change in stool consistency. Blood which I suspect is from piles. Bloating and gas.

I have had 3 physical examinations on my stomach but nothing was detected. I have been referred for a non-urgent colonoscopy with no date set as yet.

I just feel so alone..

Regards      

Kareno62
Posted by

Hi . Please don’t feel alone - we’re a friendly lot on here and happy to share advice or just listen.

This waiting for tests is a very stressful time. There are many things with similar symptons to Bowel cancer, like ibs, diverticulitis, colitis and there’s really only a colonoscopy and scans that can confirm what’s causing your problems. 

Please do not google while you are waiting as it’s easy to let your imagination run riot and start fitting your own symptoms to a diagnosis. Unfortunately all you can do is wait for your appointment and try and distract yourself by keeping busy if you can.

If you feel your symptoms are getting worse then please go back to your doctor and see if they can fast track things for you.

Take care and let us know how you get on

Karen x

SeekNDestroy
Posted by

Hey Twarny!! first your not alone. I've only just joined this page. I didn't even know it was around. Have you just been to the doctors or to a&e?. 

I would phone back and push for a colonoscopy. PHONE AGAIN AND AGAIN. it will hopefully tell you that all is fine and you can get on with your life and as summer as it should.

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer on the 11th of April (my sons 6th birthday), I went to a&e on Tuesday the 8th of April with trapped wind and constipation ( NO OTHER SIGNS ). I has an emergency colonoscopy early hours Wednesday and had to stay in hospital. on the 11th 2 surgeon's and colorectal nurse came in my room and told me unofficially that there was a mass and they said it was cancer.

I had my surgery on the 10th of may. They found 3 masses and as a direct result of that I have ended up with a stoma. ITS NOT AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE...… 

i now wait on the 24th to find out chemo start dates. I will be having in my own town and then at Christie's as I need a type that my town cant provide.

I'm a 35 year old mum of two amazing boys and married to an amazing husband. I will never except nothing but a clear outcome. I will fight with gloves on or off but I will get there. 

U got this either way. u will be ok xxx

Twarny
Posted by

Hi SeekNDestroy.

Firstly sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I admire you positive attitude and I'm sure you have this..

Thank you for your reply, it means a lot. I too am married with 1 son who is 14 and 2 daughters from a previous relationship.

My wife is not completely supportive of the whole issue due to reasons of her own which in turn makes me feel alone.

I have only visited my GP who has referred me for a non-urgent Colonoscopy (still waiting for a date to be sent).

Trying to cope with work is hard as all I can think about is what may be found and dealing with the symptoms in have. I find my self constantly on Google trying to get answers which are of course terrifying.

I will take your advise and ring the hospital to find out if a date has been set and if it is a to longer period I will push for a earlier appointment.

Keep Strong and Well

Thanks you for reaching out..  

Twarny
Posted by

Thank You for your kind and sound advice Karen62.

I have indeed be on Google 24/7 but will now STOP !

Regards

Antony.

Peacock62
Posted by

Hi Twarny

You are not alone with this  I was diagnosed at the end of Feb and have found this forum a great help

I would really push your GP for the urgent referral.  I too was given a non urgent referral I went back 4 times to try and get them to refer quicker in the end I ended up in A & E where they found my tumour and then things moved quickly. I wished I had pushed the GP surgery more 

I know the waiting is the worst thing but all I can say is the time will pass .

Good luck

Pracock62

Twarny
Posted by

Hi Pracock62

Thank you for reaching out to me.

Could I ask what symptom's you were experiencing ?

Regards

Antony 

Peacock62
Posted by

Hi Tawny

I had some blood . Going to the toilet many times diareah and thin type stools also had pain in my lower tummy GP said I had inflamitry bowel disease because my bloods were ok but my stool sample said it was high in something

Love Peacock62 

Itsy Bitsy
Posted by

Hi ,

Sorry I'm a little late to the party here (was on holiday last week). But you mentioned flat stools. Do you mean really thin stool? You can read more on my profile by clicking on my name, but my symptoms were basically severe left side stomach pains (caused by trapped wind) and very bad bloating. I did notice pencil-thin stool over Easter last year (a few weeks before the pain started), but the significance of that did not occur to me until after the diagnosis. No bleeding in my case, effectively just severe pain and constipation.

One UCC visit (nurse suggested it is just IBS), 2 x GP, 1 x A&E, GP again and then finally A&E at a different hospital where they diagnosed me with a blockage caused by the tumour.

As some of the others said, if your symptoms get worse, go back to your GP (even if you have to go once a week every week). If the pain gets severe, A&E and don't take no for an answer. Ditto if you start vomiting, are unable to pass gas without difficulty or are unable to eat.

And press for a date for that colonoscopy.

Am I right in assuming that you are relatively young? I.e. under 60 (or even 50)? There are many other things that could cause those symptoms, but DO NOT let anyone tell you that you are "too young" for bowel cancer.

All the best and let us know how it goes.

Yolande

"There will always be people who tell you that you cannot do what you want to do. Ignore them."
Dead meat
Posted by

I'm sorry to say but in these times with the doctors having to watch every penny referrals seem to be suffering.

It seems that unless you're in a screening programme you're better off going to A&E and just laying it on a bit thick. 

Where I live bowel cancer is 50% screening and 50% A&E. GP practice just doesn't have the time or doctor's or maybe the will to refer.

Dead meat
Posted by

Hi Twarny,

I've had IBS for 15 years, yes there was bloating, excruciating pain, irregular bowel habits that gave me piles and a bleeding skin tag.

I had to find the food and emotional triggers before it became manageable. I did have a non urgent colonoscopy and have been on routine checks but that is because there in early onset bowel cancer in my family.

And colonoscopy will only give you the state on the day. I had one 4 years ago and another a couple of weeks ago. My first 3 were pristine so much so that they moved from 3 to 5 year intervals. This time they found a cancerous mass and I'm in the process of staging.

My cancer doesn't hurt and really I feel no different except for a terrible sense of foreboding

AndyW4
Posted by

Hey Antony!

Another one late to the party, I'm afraid

I've had piles-related bleeding for some years now, but because of family cancer history, it's been something I've been keen to keep an eye on. Fortunately, reading posts from you and "Dead Meat", I've had a really supportive GP service

Since having my piles stapled a few years ago, I've had the diarrhoea, bloating and flatulence associated with IBS ... altho I've been assured that the stapling didn't cause the IBS, they happened around the same time

I've also had frequent blood-spotting on the toilet paper, and have always associated with my piles, and every now and then my GP has referred me for a colonoscopy. Until the last tests it was always piles and hyper-plastic polyps

What prompted my most recent review was hearing a woman being interviewed on Radio 4. She referred to bright red blood on the tissues which her friends & family insisted was piles. She was unconvinced,  spoke to her GP who referred her for tests which revealed a cancer low down in her bowel. She was treated (I'm unsure how) and is now in remission

My visit to my GP, promoted by that interview, resulted in MY diagnosis last Wednesday of anal cancer. My tests included MRI and CT scans that showed (as is usual with AC) that the cancer hasn't spread. I'm assured that AC is a "lazy" cancer that doesn't usually grow very fast, rarely spreads and is usually "knocked on the head" by a shortish course of radiotherapy

I know it's difficult, but you MUST try to stay positive!

Cancer is not the big killer that it used to be

Treatment is really effective these days, and oncology staff are amongst the kindest, most caring and most efficient in the NHS

Stay strong!

Andy