My main question is - does an abdominal CT scan detect colon cancer? I got the impression that with negative CT results I am clear, but keep seeing that colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are used for diagnosis, so a little confused.
For background in case anyone has other suggestions (especially for pain alleviation!):
I went to a GI after having 4 months of constant LLQ pain (varies in intensity but always there) that sometimes radiates to my groin. Not crampy, feels like a nerve is being pressed on or something. Also had change in bowel habits, like 1 in 2 days and then 7 in one day, sort of random and either thin, small or what looks like lumps of small stools stuck together in a larger piece (they used to be very normal looking). Also have frequent brown mucus in stool that I didn't before. I had a decent amt of bright blood 6 months ago, but think it was a fissure and haven't had any since and not anemic. My fiber is up to 30mg/day, but it did not alleviate the pain (though maybe affected BMs). I had a transvaginal ultrasound that showed a normal left ovary too.
The only thing I really want is to get rid of this pain - pain relievers do not help and it is always there and starting to drive me nuts. The GI gave me Zelnorm but that is more problematic than the pain and didn't help either.
Just going on what happened to me.. I had a colonscopy done first, and they could only get up 20cm before there was an "obstruction". I went then to have a CT scan adn yes they confimed there was a "mass" that had to come out!
Not sure if that answers your question or not. It did end up being cancerous and have had a op, going to have a reversal of ileostomy and chemo as a follow up to come yet.
Thank you for the responses, and I hope things are ok for you both.
The GI said diverticulitis would have shown up on the CT and that it didn't (that was my first thought too). Maybe it is IBS, but the pain is generally unrelated to bowel movements - though sometimes having one brings a sharper pain with it that gradually dissipates over time. I had thought pain relieved by BMs was the main feature of IBS before, and with all the fiber I ingest nowadays it seems it would solve the IBS-C type. The gyn said probably not endo because it didn't vary with periods at all, but I am not sure that rules it out? I think the GI is set on IBS at this point and doesn't think I need a colonoscopy (although apparently if I start having blood in my stool I can get one - so comforting to know THEY can wait for such things - grrr).
I am late 30's and had been healthy up to now. What frustrates the hell out of me is how time-consuming the whole healthcare process is and how dismissive doctors are (I get the sense they all think I am a hypochondriac). I think it is a major reason that people let symptoms slide until things get bad - it is a pain in the butt to do otherwise!
Mazerose....My aunt had your same prob but she didn't go get mass removed!!! She went through denial and just never went back to doctor...........she has IBS and she says that's the cause of her discomfort...she is 80 years old and said she wouldn't go through all that surgery and chemo....so she now just suffers with anything she eats, she gets the runs, her stomach always hurts............and she can't sleep....
I was 37, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was lucky, and it was caught early, but If I hadn't gone in for the colonsocopy and not listened to my family doctor, I would be dead. Please ask for this test. It is your right. Young people get colon cancer too. It doesn't mean you have it, but, please get the test.
I would echo with previous posters in that you need to get more investigation done. If a colo-rectal condition is suspected then colonoscopy is one of best ways to take a loot inside and see for sure. CT scans are often used to verify what has already been seen and also if a mass is present they can sometimes see whether it has spread to a greater or lesser extent.
If your problems are gynaecological ( thats the best spelling i can manage !! ), then please push your docs for more tests too. Both endometriosis and adenomyosis can cause severe pain and bowel problems even if the endo/adeno is very small. Pain associated with these conditions whilst associated with your menstrual cycle can vary throughout the month and some months be worse than others. A hysteroscopy/laparoscopy would be method of investigating and also enable removal of some endo at same time.
Not much new but noticed my stools are sometimes flattened but then sometimes normal - can they be normal sometimes if the flattening is from a tumor/polyp?
I have a followup appt with my GI next month, so I have been diligently trying to eat fiber / drink water / cut dairy / cut stress / exercise / etc so that I can ask for a colonoscopy without feeling like there is something else I should have done beforehand (at least a sigmoidoscopy although from what I read I think I prefer the colonoscopy! I fainted in my pelvic ultrasound, I think I NEED sedation if a camera is going in the other end...).
Thanks for the advice about getting the test, it is so nice to have people take me seriously and to talk ***** to without grossing them out
LLHD - I hope you find a solution - if you do please let me know!
Flintrock, I feel for you, but at your aunts age, perhaps shes thinking she doesnt want to go through all this and I can understand as it is a big process. Maybe the doctors can do something else for pain relief though.
I just read your reply. I hope you have now followed up with your GI and are set to get a scope. You will surely feel better, just knowing what is going on.
I have had a colonoscopy before, and don't worry -- you will definitely be sedated!
There are so many things that cause your symptoms, and I'm sure you're stressed it could be the worst... Otherwise, you wouldn't be on this message board. And, while you are taking your health seriously (a very good thing, 'cause the only one who really can), you may be "over analyzing" or stressing yourself out by thinking about it so much.
Again, I can attest to this, because it is exactly what I do, too! In fact, I even refer to myself as an "internet doctor" -- even when I'm talking to my doctors. I think they actually get a kick out it! It's definitely somewhat dangerous for someone like me -- a smart but not medically trained person -- to get hold of a medical dictionary or search engine.
In any case, you are the only person who knows how you feel. Therefore, you have got to trust your instincts. Get the test to rule things out... You deserve to wake up every morning, ready to start your day, looking forward to what you can accomplish. And, to do this, and really enjoy life, you need to wake up and not have to be worried what is happening to your body when you and your doctor could hash this out. You are worth it. You deserve peace of mind.
I am also on the hunt for good health. I will check in later, hoping to hear your good news.