I purposely signed up for this board so I could post my experience. I read many of your posts prior to my sigmoidoscopy today and told myself I would share with everyone here my results, good or bad. My only symptom was seeing what appeared to be a indented line down one side of my stool or, at times, a flat sided stool. I also had a couple "pencil thin stools". I did not experience any abdominal pain or rectal bleeding. I gave it a month to clear up as I tend to worry over my medical situations and thought I was again, overreacting. After a month with no change I went to my primary doctor who ordered both a pelvic ultrasound and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. I appreciate my doctor's realization that my symptom warrented some further testing. So, today I had my flex. sig. (although my GI doctor had me prep for a colonoscopy "just in case"). Well, nothing. Not even an inflammation or hemmoroid, just a clean, normal colon.
I do not say this because I think the symptom of "thin or narrow stool" is to be ignored; the exact opposite. For some, this is the first clue that something isn't right. I absolutely believe you need to see a doctor. I am just letting you know that there is hope that it's nothing, as was the case with me. Prior to my procedure I was freaking out, sure I had colon cancer. My advice is, don't panic prior to the knowledge of a diagnosis (easier said than done, I know).
Just wanted to share my experience with those of you that are worried about similar things.
I too had thin stools. I cannot understand given your symptoms why your GI did not do a colonoscopy. A flex/sig is pretty limited in the area it can check. My tumour was at the junction of my transverse and descending colon and probably would not have been discovered if not for a full colonoscopy. I live in Australia and flex/sig is no longer performed it is always a full scope from annus to ilieum. Please stay vigilant. Ron.
I want to just say this in reply to your response. First, thank you for your information. I will stay vigilant to any changes. I actually was prepped for a colonoscopy so if the GI doctor had found anything in the 60cm he inspected, he could continue on. From my understanding a change in stool shape would be caused somewhere in the descending colon, sigmoid, or rectum because that is where the stool is in solid form. In the transverse colon and ascending colon it is more liquidy and would just flow around any blockage that my be there. However, I realize that was not the case for you, Ron.
Also, I am only 31 with no family history of colon cancer. I understand that age and family Hx do not necessarily rule out colon cancer, as many people can still get it at my age. I think the doctor performed the test that he felt was best given my situation. I have to trust that now.
Oh- I misread your post, I thought it said that your tumor was found at the junction of the ASCENDING colon, not descending (thus my confusing writing about where stool turns solid). My GI got the scope up the to the transverse colon with the flex. sig., so he could have spotted a tumor in that area. I know that some sigmoidoscopies do not go that far up, but mine was able to get all the way up the descending colon to the transverse colon.
I have flat stools, not thin, like its being squeezed out that way, flat both sides. Had a colonscopy and nothing was found. Cant find much info about flat stools, but am worried. Only thing i can find is enlarged prostate, so thats got me worried, wondering whether I should get it checked out....