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Old 03-03-2004, 01:21 PM   #1
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Could it be?

Hello Everyone

Im 26 And Colon cancer runs through my fathers side of the family,Leukemia on my mothers. My uncle had colon cancer at the age of 35, and my grandfather had ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer. I have had stomach problems for a long time now. I dont want to get too much in to detail about it, but i will try to explain as good as possible.In 1999 i had my gallbladder removed, After that i was still having bad stomach problems, Wehn i eat i need to be near a bathroom, because i get the sudden urge and bad stomach pains. When i go it looks oily, and flat alot of times, sometimes it looks Skinny and long like a pencil, and it just looks like diarhea. Sometimes theirs sticky looking stuff like mucous, and its like a yellow oily color(IM SO SORRY I DONT KNOW HOW ELSE to explain I dont want to make anyone sick or to go in to much detail) I dont have medical insurance, I went to my DR and he said it could be IBS. I told him i think that i should be checked for colon cancer, and he told me i was too young, and that i souldnt worry about it. I know im kiond of a hypochondriac but i also dont want to find out year down the road when its too late that i do have it. I always have stomach pain, and sometimes it radiates to my lower back and in the left lower area (which the dr said was where the sigmoid colon is) I dont know if im reading in to things or not, but i dont know what to do. What do you all think? If i had medical insurance im sure my DR would have sent me for the test's, but i dont so i guess im just left to wonder!? iM a litle scared. Maybe im just reading in to it like he said??????
Thanks for listening
Robin

 
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Old 03-03-2004, 02:34 PM   #2
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Re: Could it be?

At your age it is highly unlikely, but not impossible. I am 33 and recovering from a colon resection after finding a polyp that had cancerous cells. The only symptom I had was bleeding with BM's that doctors thought was a hemorrhoid or fissure. I have no family history but luckily had a PA who pursued it for me. Thank goodness everthing was caught super early. If you are worried about it and want peace of mind get it checked, it is the only thing that will make you feel better.

ckd

 
Old 03-03-2004, 05:04 PM   #3
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Re: Could it be?

At your age it is unlikely and cancer usually does not cause pain. The pain you describe sounds like bowel muscles cramping up. Their are certain "triggers" for bowel movement, one of which is food in the stomach. With no gall bladder your digestive system has a harder time digesting fats and oils and more or them will pass straight through where they could cause loose, smelly stools(like anyone smells like a rose ) .

Try a low residue diet for a two days. Clear liquids, boiled rice, pasta flavoured with broth and jello are all ok.(a multivitimin if you are worried about nutrition would be OK) No meat or veg, no bread. See if that helps in any way. If it does you can experiment with eliminating certain foods. Try a dairy-free diet or a vegetarian diet for instance. Do each for at least two days and see if it helps. This will give you a better idea of what might be triggering your symptoms.

However, if it continues you may have to ask for a colonoscopy. I am Canadian so I am covered by healthcare but I am told that in the USA a colonoscopy costs about $1200. There are other tests that don't cost as much , an occult blood test is a test of a poo sample(which you have to collect and turn in. Not a lot of fun but very simple and much cheaper) This looks for small amounts of blood in the feces which is an indicator of various problems including colon cancer. That is probably the least expensive.

The next up is a barium enema in which you have to prep which involves taking something to clean you out(induced diarreha) the day before and on the day of the test they give you an enema with a liquid barium solution. You are rolled around a bit on the X-ray table to have the solution coat the inside of the colon and thenm they take X-rays. The barium allows for better contrast of the colon on the film. This can detect growths and blockages in the colon. It isn't as expensive as a colonoscopy.

The colonoscopy however, is a camera on a tube that goes up the out door if you get my meaning , and is slowly pushed all the way up to the area of the appendix at the transition between small intestine and the colon. It is the best view of what is happening in the inside wall of the colon but takes place in an operating room or at least ina room close to the O.R.'s. It costs the most and although tens of thousands are performed with no problem every year, it does carry some risk of perforation of the colon(hence the proximity to an O.R.).

Hope this helps somewhat.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 12:35 PM   #4
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Re: Could it be?

Hi there. My husband was diagnosed this past fall with rectal cancer - he is 38 years old. The doctors said that our boys should start getting colonoscopies starting at age 28 - the general recommendation is to start getting checked 10 years before the onset of cancer for your family member. For that reason alone, I would recommend you get checked - not necessarily because you may have cancer now, but simply because you have a family history.

As others have said - you are young and it's not likely to be cancer. However, you do have a family history and if nothing else, getting checked would certainly ease your mind and it could help you find out what really is wrong.

Best of luck to you. You will be in my thoughts.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Could it be?

A good friend of mine had quite bad colitis since she was 11 or 12 and last year she died last year of colon cancer at 21. It had run in her family, but no one thought to test her for it since she was so young. They didn't know she had colon cancer until after she died when the doctor tested her colon because he was confused as to why her condition deteriorated so quickly after an emergency colon removal when it ruptured. The worst part is that she was supposed to have her colon tested the year before, but she was doing really well then so they didn't do it.

I'm sorry if this worries you, but I just want people to know that young age doesn't mean they are completely safe.

From what you've said though, it sounds like your situation is quite different from hers, so I'll just leave this here as my story and let you decide for yourself.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 01:48 PM   #6
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Re: Could it be?

I agree. Get tested. I am having a hard time convincing my GP to refer me for a test even though my mum, grandmother, father and uncle and cousin's son have died from bowel cancer. I am 39. My GP thinks I am hyper-sensitive about the whole cancer thing as my husband and mum are both going through this at the moment. Well of course I am hyper-sensitive. I am also an educated, intelligent woman who works hard for a living and is quite capable of analysing our family history and coming to the conclusion that I am a high risk candidate for bowel cancer. Doesn't take a genious does it? I was appalled when I quizzed an oncologist at local hospital and the response was "if you get tested you might not like what you find".

I cannot fault the care and treatment that both my mum and husband are receiving from their health professionals. But wouldn't it be great if we could have some health screening and benefit from preventing the spread of this desease at the earliest possible stage.

Sorry this is another ramble but I am sooooooooooooooo annoyed by this apathy. Flipping 'eck !!! You can just imagine the scenario in 10 years time can't you.........
Doctor to Ktee: I'm so sorry Ktee but you have bowel cancer
Ktee to Doctor: I told you so.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Could it be?

Ktee, that is unbelievable....one minute we are being told that it is our responsibility to get tested, the next that you are being "super sensitive" With your family history, of course you should be tested. Hope you are OK otherwise and that your husband and mother are doing as well as can be expected. Talking about being super sensitive, I am so afraid of getting ill myself and not being able to look after my husband that every little pain I have, I decide it must be cancer of one form or another! Oh, the stress of all we are going through.
__________________
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 02:37 PM   #8
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Re: Could it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alison hamilton
Ktee, that is unbelievable....one minute we are being told that it is our responsibility to get tested, the next that you are being "super sensitive" With your family history, of course you should be tested. Hope you are OK otherwise and that your husband and mother are doing as well as can be expected. Talking about being super sensitive, I am so afraid of getting ill myself and not being able to look after my husband that every little pain I have, I decide it must be cancer of one form or another! Oh, the stress of all we are going through.
Yes a constant worry. Husband worries about me worrying about mum. Mum worries about both of us. I worry about about both of them. I am ok most of time. Just take out my frustrations on this board instead of bottling everything up. Husband on 2nd cycle today. His parents took charge of him whilst I was at work. Will be climbing into nurses uniform ready for weekend.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: Could it be?

Well, it goes to show how important these boards are. Anxiety is one of the most exhausting emotions one can have...that much I have learnt. I realized today that it is when I get most anxious that I get irritable and take it out on my husband (because I guess he is the cause of the anxiety!) Then I feel guilty about being mad at him. Now I think I understand where all that is coming from, I hope to be able to contain the feelings in future. I do know that I am beginning to feel like a nurse, doctor, urologist, oncologist and psychiatrist, as well as continuing to manage the home and all the stuff that goes along with that! All these specialties without having been professionally trained! Have a good weekend.
__________________
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.

 
Old 03-06-2004, 07:27 AM   #10
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Re: Could it be?

I agree, Ktee, that is unbelievable! The doctors around here were very insistent that my boys get checked starting at the ages of 28 (10 years before the age my DH was diagnosed). They also suggested that DH's brothers and sisters get checked. His mom even went for one!

And not having one because "you might not like what you find"????? That's a bit of an ostrich approach, is it not? And appalling coming from a doctor!

And yes, Alison, I hear you on both the anxiety and the not wanting to get ill part. For me, it's not so much because I think I have something serious, but because who the heck will run things around here if I get sick???? We have two boys 6 and 9 - no time for getting sick!

Take care everyone.

 
Old 03-06-2004, 07:10 PM   #11
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Re: Could it be?

"Might not like...." ????????? I know if I had been told that I would likely have been so taken aback as to be speechless.

As a Canadian that participates in a few forums I have been assailed by comments about our "socialist" health care system. However, I have never had that kind of dismissive attitude from a doctor. Does the ability to charge a patient directly for services breed this?

 
Old 03-07-2004, 05:23 AM   #12
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Re: Could it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydees
"Might not like...." ????????? I know if I had been told that I would likely have been so taken aback as to be speechless.

As a Canadian that participates in a few forums I have been assailed by comments about our "socialist" health care system. However, I have never had that kind of dismissive attitude from a doctor. Does the ability to charge a patient directly for services breed this?
Hi Jaydees
I am in England so rely on national health service so we pay through our taxes. I could (if I could afford to) pay to have treatments/scans done privately. I have found in the past that for myself one can usually be successful in getting a referral on the 2nd or 3rd attempt of asking your GP. Screening however is not something I have asked for before and my GP perhaps is just not used to asking. If I dont manage to get him to do something then i will talk to my mothers GP who will hopefully be more sympathetic and have the sense to look into our family hstory.
If all else fails, then I will just have to call the newspapers in and stage a "sit-in" until I get something done. How "un-english"

 
Old 03-12-2004, 01:25 PM   #13
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Re: Could it be?

Thanks everyone for your replys, Im sorry i did not reply sooner


 
Old 03-20-2004, 03:56 PM   #14
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Re: Could it be?

Listen to everyone above! My husband has a very aggressive form of FAP (genetic mutation) that has followed 4 total generations now. After his last colonoscopy at 18, and thousands of pre-cancerous polyps, he was told if he didn't have surgery soon, he would be dead by 30. Not a good prognosis. It can happen...

HOWEVER, his case is unusual...and there is a syndrome that some of your symptoms could be from. It is called Post-Cholecystectomy Dumping syndrome, and it is caused by scar tissue to the bile duct. I have it too, many of the stool problems you describe could be related to this.

Dumping syndrome can be managed with cholestyramine (pretty cheap prescription), and I find even Pepcid helps. Don't discount your symptoms though, get tested, even if you go in debt to do it. Some of the hospitals in my area are self pay. And this may sound terrible, but if you MUST have something done, and find yourself unable to pay later, it is better to save your life and have to file bankruptcy.

Cari

 
Old 05-03-2004, 07:10 AM   #15
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CancerDad HB User
Re: Could it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin213
Hello Everyone

Im 26 And Colon cancer runs through my fathers side of the family,Leukemia on my mothers. My uncle had colon cancer at the age of 35, and my grandfather had ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer. I have had stomach problems for a long time now. I dont want to get too much in to detail about it, but i will try to explain as good as possible.In 1999 i had my gallbladder removed, After that i was still having bad stomach problems, Wehn i eat i need to be near a bathroom, because i get the sudden urge and bad stomach pains. When i go it looks oily, and flat alot of times, sometimes it looks Skinny and long like a pencil, and it just looks like diarhea. Sometimes theirs sticky looking stuff like mucous, and its like a yellow oily color(IM SO SORRY I DONT KNOW HOW ELSE to explain I dont want to make anyone sick or to go in to much detail) I dont have medical insurance, I went to my DR and he said it could be IBS. I told him i think that i should be checked for colon cancer, and he told me i was too young, and that i souldnt worry about it. I know im kiond of a hypochondriac but i also dont want to find out year down the road when its too late that i do have it. I always have stomach pain, and sometimes it radiates to my lower back and in the left lower area (which the dr said was where the sigmoid colon is) I dont know if im reading in to things or not, but i dont know what to do. What do you all think? If i had medical insurance im sure my DR would have sent me for the test's, but i dont so i guess im just left to wonder!? iM a litle scared. Maybe im just reading in to it like he said??????
Thanks for listening
Robin
Hi Robin:

I hope you are still checking the board... 26 is NOT too young to have cancer. So many people (including physicians) are under the mis-impression that only people over 40 can get cancer. I'm here to tell you that I am now 31.. began bleeding when I was 28 and my Internist gave me the same garbage story... and have undergone 3 surgeries and a couple rounds of chemo and two months of radiation. I have stage IIIC Rectal Cancer.

PLEASE, PLEASE go to a gastroenterologist and get a colonoscopy. It's no big deal. Especially when the GI finds out your family history, he/she will agree that you should be screened. The general rule is 10 years prior to familial diagnosis. My grandfather, though, was diagnosed at about 50.

I wish you luck, and please keep us posted.

 
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