It sounds like there are many bowel & colon disorders that present with similar symptoms. I am a 51 yr old male, 40 lbs overweight, don't smoke or drink. Yesterday, I again had bright red blood on my stool and dripping in the water. This has been occurring for a number of years now, and doctor has told me it was hemmeroids, but I'm going in for a check-up today. 4 weeks ago, I had severe pains in my lower left abdomen. The doctor couldn't even touch my belly without tenderness & severe pain. Went to the emergency room for a CT scan, checking for diverticulitis I believe, and the ER Doc said everything looked normal. Bloodwork was also normal, whatever that means. However, the dull pain in my lower left abdomen has remained off/on for the past 4 weeks. My bowel movements have been loose to runny and sometimes thinner than usual. I've been going 3-4 times a day, and I seem to have gas more than normal. These are what have had me worried, since these are all symptoms of colon cancer.
Question - would a tumor in my colon have showed up on the CT scan? I've read where polyps might be difficult to see if the proper colon prep / cleansing was not done prior to the CT. But you would think a tumor (cancer) would have been visible, correct? Also - would the blood test have showed anything? What in the blood test would they have been looking for to rule out anything bad? I had a colonoscopy done 5-6 years ago, and everything was clean. No polyps. I thought that 5-10 years is what it takes for polyps to grow and turn cancerous, so if I was clean back in 2002/2003, is colon cancer unlikely? Either way, I want to get another colonoscopy soon just to get an exact & clear diagnosis.
For those hesitant about getting a colonoscopy because of what you've heard or read about the prep & procedure, don't procrastinate!! It's not bad at all and you'll sleep during the entire procedure. so you spend the day before on the pot getting cleaned out. NO BIGGIE! I'm fighting with my wife about getting her's checked, and she has the same fears about the test! It's not worth gambling your life away when this type of cancer is easily cured if caught early. GO GET IT DONE!!
PS.. I've also ordered the fecul occult blood texting kit so that I can get it checked as well. you can order on-line and do it yourself at home. There are supposedly good & accurate testing kits out on the market for you to screen yourself annually.
I have somewhat similar symptoms as you. However, I don't pass stool more than once per day on the avg. The blood I excrete is actually on the feces itself, not dripping into the bowl. I'm getting a scope next week to ease my anxiety.
I had a CT scan back in December for possible appendicitis. The scan came back clean, except for where the appendix attaches to the Large Intestine was inflamed. I was treated with antibiotics and released the next day, as the pains subsided. I'm guessing the CT scan must not be as good test for checking the colon for polyps, as you colon is not cleaned out.
I also had blood test done within the last couple months, all came back negative or normal I guess.
First of all, a CT scan will not necessarily pick up colon polyps or tumors. The only concrete way to ascertain what is going on in there is to have a colonoscopy. For reference, do NOT settle for a flexible sig. as this test does NOT screen your entire colon.
As for it taking 5 - 10 years for a polyp to grow, well that depends on the individual. As you know, everyone is different, so what might be normal for 'Joe' might not be normal for 'John'. As for your blood work, many people end up with colorectal cancer and have nothing out of the ordinary on their blood tests. What they will be looking at would be things like your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels to see if you are anemic. That is one sure way of knowing that there is either bleeding somewhere or the tumor is diverting some of the patient's blood supply. Keep in mind, however, that many people are anemic and don't have colorectal cancer. Other tests they would want to be looking at are all the liver function tests.
Your symptoms could also be attribute to Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, etc. so getting a colonoscopy soon is the best way to know. As for the fecal occult test, if you know you are bleeding, it won't tell you much. Those tests really aren't that great. I had a fairly large rectal tumor and no bleeding whatsoever. The test didn't pick up anything but I was anemic! If you already are seeing blood the fecal occult test is not necessary. Actually if you are experiencing rectal bleeding, they don't want you to do the test as it won't be accurate.
I did one of those fecal occult tests and it came back negative (no bleeding). So you're saying this really doesn't mean anything? I do have a prescription for a colonoscopy from my doctor, due to some of my on-going abdominal pains, as well as being 51, and almost 6 years from my last colonoscopy. So I guess I might as well get it done to be sure. Then if negative, I'll be good for 5-10 more years.
I was hoping the FOBT test would come back negative and that would simply be the end of it. DRATS!!!!