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Old 07-14-2011, 03:39 AM   #1
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beetheb HB User
Another scared symptom sufferer

Okay, here's my scenario: I'm 29 years old, no history of Colorectal cancer on either side of my family that I'm aware of. Since late 2008-early 2009 I've had difficulty passing stools, oftentimes (but not always) flat, narrow stools and sporadic rectal bleeding (bright red and on top of/around the stool and on paper when I wipe, though not dark red, black, or in the stool that I can see.) Haven't had the rectal bleeding in some months, but past occurences still obviously worry me.

Sometimes my bowel movements are normally formed, sometimes watery, sometimes clumpy, the form pretty much runs the gamut, the only constant is difficulty passing them and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

I've been the the ER twice over the past 3 years for this. The first visit over a year ago was a finger test for hemorrhoids, which weren't detected. The second was last week with another finger test for hemorrhoids, which were again not detected, but this time the doctor took my symptoms a little more seriously and ordered a CT scan (with contrast), which detected no blockages/nothing out of the norm.

So I guess I have a few questions: 1) How accurate are CT scans in detecting/diagnosing colorectal cancer without a colonoscopy?

2) After 3+ years exhibiting these symptoms with pretty much no treatment, wouldn't cancer either have killed me or messed me up pretty bad by now?

And 3) If it isn't cancer or hemorrhoids, what the heck else accounts for all my symptoms??

I'm hoping I can get some sound answers from some people with a lot of experience with the disorder and bowel disorders in general. Thanks in advance for any replies.

 
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #2
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Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Okay, I've been officially diagnosed: I have anal fissures. Just thought I would give an update, maybe help alleviate a little anxiety others reading this may be having, because I'd utterly convinced myself I was dying of colorectal cancer and wasn't even close to correct.

The lessons I take from this are twofold:

1. If you're under the age of 30 and have no family history of it, colon cancer is EXTREMELY rare. Not unheard of, but very, very rare nonetheless. Any younger person worried about this should be able to take some measure of comfort in that, I hope. There are many ailments that mimic the symptoms of colorectal cancer, don't consign yourself to any fate till you know for sure which it is.

2. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE ON THE INTERNET. If you have a problem, see a doctor. They go to school for many years to know what's going on with your body. WedMD IS NOT A DOCTOR.

Good luck to everyone.

 
Old 07-30-2011, 03:13 AM   #3
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gynks HB User
Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Is colon cancer very rare in those under 40 as well?

 
Old 07-30-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Quote:
Originally Posted by gynks View Post
Is colon cancer very rare in those under 40 as well?
Keeping in mind I'm neither a doctor nor an expert on the subject, from all the research I did it seems to fairly rare in pretty much anyone under 50 with no family history of the disease.

That said, I know it's not much comfort to hear "Go see your doctor" when you're waiting on/can't get an appointment and are looking for ways to alleviate your anxiety, but that's really the only way to know for sure. Sorry. Just remember, as I said above, there are many ailments that mimic the symptoms of colon cancer, and all of them are much more common and a lot less serious. Keep that in mind.

Does the disease run in your family?

 
Old 07-31-2011, 04:37 AM   #5
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Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Quote:
Originally Posted by beetheb View Post
Keeping in mind I'm neither a doctor nor an expert on the subject, from all the research I did it seems to fairly rare in pretty much anyone under 50 with no family history of the disease.

That said, I know it's not much comfort to hear "Go see your doctor" when you're waiting on/can't get an appointment and are looking for ways to alleviate your anxiety, but that's really the only way to know for sure. Sorry. Just remember, as I said above, there are many ailments that mimic the symptoms of colon cancer, and all of them are much more common and a lot less serious. Keep that in mind.

Does the disease run in your family?
No it does not run in my family but I had 2 buddies from my High School die of colon cancer, one at 30 and one at 34 and I only graduated wiht 250 people, so when I hear it is rare in those under 40, it makes me wonder. I have weird symptoms for about 6 months now, haven't seen any blood but have had pain in my abdomen, lower left side and don't feel like it all comes out when I go #2, sorry for being graphic. I had a colonoscopy about 7 years ago for some blood in stool but everything was clear, no polyps or anything.

 
Old 07-31-2011, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Quote:
Originally Posted by gynks View Post
No it does not run in my family but I had 2 buddies from my High School die of colon cancer, one at 30 and one at 34 and I only graduated wiht 250 people, so when I hear it is rare in those under 40, it makes me wonder. I have weird symptoms for about 6 months now, haven't seen any blood but have had pain in my abdomen, lower left side and don't feel like it all comes out when I go #2, sorry for being graphic. I had a colonoscopy about 7 years ago for some blood in stool but everything was clear, no polyps or anything.
Well, the fact that you know two younger guys who died of it doesn't really say anything definitive about the rarity of it, anecdotal reasoning can be tricky. They may have had GI problems their whole lives, it may have run in their family, there are a lot of factors involved.

Go see a doctor man. If you don't have insurance, sign up with any low income public health programs your city or county may offer and get into a doctor. You will eat yourself up inside worrying about it, trust me. And until you CAN see a doctor, stay off the internet. You'll convince yourself you have every life-threatening disease under the sun trying to diagnose yourself.

Odds are you have something a lot less serious, but only a doctor and a lot of tests can tell you that for certain.

 
Old 08-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: Another scared symptom sufferer

Diagnosis over internet is dangerous but I see where you are coming from. 29 is young to get cancer but it happens and alot younger too. You are not a statisitc but a person. If CT was the choice of diaignosis, Colonoscopy would be obsolete but it isnt, nor is sigmoidoscopy because they clearly see inside bowel after alot of preping by patient to clear bowel for visuals. Hopefully yours is less serious.

best wishes

tony

 
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