I'm a 38 male, a little overweight but healthy. For the past week or so my stool has been thin, flat or narrow, though normal in size, (which for me has always been on the big side). No change in frequency pattern and no other symptoms to speak of.
I feel perfectly normal, but the stool business has been bothering me so I went and saw my doc today and got an exam. He also checked out my sphincter and said everything looks good and at my age and good health he doubts it's colon cancer and could even be something I ate. None the less he is scheduling a colonoscopy "just to make sure". So, of course I'm a little on edge now and to make matters worse I probably can't have it done for at least a couple of weeks as they are very busy.
I'd like your input as I've read conflicting things..
A thin stool, if cancer related, would mean it was caused by a tumor and it's likely the cancer
is at an advanced stage.
Though I've also read that there would likely be more symptoms, such as pain, nausea, bleeding, fatigue, weight loss etc., if in the advanced stages.
I read where people with the same symptoms as me (flat stool) where told the cancer was detected early and had a complete recovery via surgery. In fact one women was told her tumor was very large and aggressive, still she was told it was caught early and she went on to have a complete recovery.
I've also come across many accounts of people who claim to have had flat stools for several weeks to several months but in time their stools went back to normal on their own. Now, if a tumor is causing their flat stools I don't see how their stools can go back to normal again, that would mean the tumor magically shrunk.
Should I have waited a little longer? One medical website I visited listed "flat stool" as a symptom of colon cancer, but only if it's prolonged. How long is prolonged? a weak, two weeks, five weeks?
All in all I would say my last five or six stools have been thin. I don't normally have a bowel movement everyday. To top it off, I no longer have insurance as I just went into business for myself and it wasn't tops on my list. I'm not about to put money over my health, I'm just wondering before I dip into my not-so-big savings to pay the thousand plus dollars for the colonoscopy should I give it another week or so and see if my stools go back to normal?
Last edited by Myscreenname; 09-14-2006 at 05:51 PM.
Hello! First of all, please be proud of yourself for getting right into the doctor and scheduling that colonoscopy. A lot of people sit around and worry themselves sick for months instead of doing what you did.
There is NO way to 2nd guess the results of the colonscopy and DO not cancel it - it's worth every penny as a diagnostic tool.
That said, remember that tumors can BEGIN as polyps - and some of them can be quite large...
Try really hard to jampack the next couple of weeks with things to do and think about. The worry will cause you more grief til then than it is worth!!
Do read through some of the threads hear about the Prep procedure, and ask all the questions you can think of.
People here have been through this with people they love, or they have gone through it themselves.
Just a head's up that this is a great bunch - there are none better...
A thin stool can be caused by an anal stricture, or anal stenosis. The muscle tightens up. I have had this and it was because I had an anal fissure. It is a tear in the membrane and the muscle gets tight to try to protect the tear. I have had this and had no bleeding and no pain. Scar tissue formed and my stools were about the size of a man's pinky finger. The opening was so small and I never had a colonoscopy until I was 62 and anemic. I was afraid of the size of the tube. I thought it would tear me apart. Thankfully my wonderful doc used a pediatric size tube on me about 10 mm in size. Six weeks after my colon resectioning, I had an operation for it called a lateral internal sphincterotomy. It has helped some but the muscle seems to be closing up again. I think the doc was very conservative in the cut because he thought I would have diarrhea from the folfox chemo. Instead, I have to take laxatives, metamucil, eat raw green veggies. As they say "everybody's different". I hope your problem is something simple, but it is a good idea to get a colonoscopy just to be sure.
I ALSO HAD THIN STOOLS FOR MONTHS.I FINALLY WENT TO THE DOC. HE DID A COLONOSCOPY AND ENDOSCOPY,THEY WERE BOTH NORMAL. HE SAID I HAD SLIGHT DIVERTICULOSIS.MY GALLBLADDER DOES NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY EITHER,BUT NO CANCER.SO I THINK YOU WILL BE FINE.
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