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Cancer: Colon Message Board
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:27 AM   #1
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concerned... any help appreciated

Ok so the history on me. I am 29a years old. No immediate family members with colon cancer or polyps. I am also almost 30 weeks pregnant.

So for the last year and a half or so I have had severe bouts of diarrhea. Maybe once to twice a week. I was tested for celiac disease and it came back negative. That was the end of that.

So I just resolved to live with it.

Well a week or two ago I went to get out of the car and couldn't stand up. I had pain so bad in my lower left pelvic region that my husband took me to the ER. The doctors said it was just pressure from the baby and that I was fine. I got a second and third opinion. The second opinion did a rectal exam and said he felt nothing that warrants concern.

My stools are usually soft and mostly no blood. (The other day I passed a bigger round stool than usual...still soft but big in diameter and wiped a bit of blood but this has happened before. I have had several bms since then with no blood)

I have been going a little more than usual- 3-4 times a day but I just started a new prenatal vitamin too.

With everyone on this board with experience I was hoping you could tell me what you all think? With the symptoms I have had (bouts of diarrhea, the pain, the blood the other day) oh and this morning's stool was regular diameter until the last bit came out. Much softer and thinner ... also has been yellowish to greenish lately (vitamins?)

If it were cancer would the stools be consistently thin? These were 'marker' thin and soft... not pencil. Also would the pain on my left be constant? Sometimes the pain goes away (mostly with rest)

Could the pain really just be the baby? Are these bowel habits concerning? What are my chances of having a bowel, rectal, or colon cancer?

Thanks in advance :-)

 
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: concerned...any help appreciated

Have you ever had your gallbladder removed or checked? I know all my symptoms started when I was pregnant. Do you notice the symptoms after eating certain meals? I also remember that the vitamins do affect BM's. There's a couple possiblities for you.

 
Old 01-09-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: concerned...any help appreciated

no I've never had anything with my gallbladder tested.

 
Old 01-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Gallbladder symptoms would be in the upper right quadrant, under the lower ribs, so it is highly unlikely with left sided pain that it would be due to gallbladder. Do you have any cysts on your left ovary or endometriosis that might be causing the pain? Greenish stools are due to bile's rapid transit through the digestive system and not having yet turned brown. This would be consistent with diarrhea and nothing to be concerned about. How has your blood work been? Are you anemic? Symptoms of colon/rectal cancer are variable depending on what part of the colon/rectum is involved. Some people have no symptoms at all and it is detected on the first colonoscopy or not until there is a complete blockage.

If your symptoms persist or you develop new ones, see yur MD and/or get a consultation at a teaching hospital.
Good luck.

Leslie
Lynch Syndrdome (HNPCC)
2003 Colon cancer Stage III
1995 Endometrial Cancer Stage I

Last edited by LESLIETOO; 01-10-2012 at 12:57 PM.

 
Old 01-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #5
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Hi- The blood work has been that I am anemic -- however I am pregnant and before I was pregnant I was not anemic and anemia is common during pregnancy. My liver enzymes are also elevated.

Yes I do have a cyst on that left ovary BUT I am 30 weeks pregnant so my ovary would be located under my ribcage at this point and would not be causing me pain.

The pain happens after a long day of walking... It's been gone for days. Comes back after a hard day.

I bought ez-detect occult blood test at Walgreens and it said there is no blood in my stool.

I have an appt with a colon/gastro doctor on friday to assess my symptoms...

Most people I have talked to think I have IBS.... Does it sound like that to you?

 
Old 01-10-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

You could have IBS. Its good your seeing a gastro doc. That way you will find out if you do have it and if not, what you do have. A single fecal occult blood test is very unreliable. If a person has polyps in the intestinal tract, some may never bleed, some could bleed intermittently, but not on the day you test for it, and some bleed frequently. A colonoscopy is the gold standard for examining the entire colon from the ileo/cecal junction (where the small intestine joins the large intestine)to the anus. A sigmoidoscope only covers the lower third of the colon, but can't see what might be doing higher up.

Leslie

 
Old 01-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Yeah I can't have a colonoscopy because I am currently pregnant. From what the nurse said I will be having a rectal exam and discussing what other procedures I am able to have while being pregnant.

The occult test had 5 tests in it. Regardless, hopefully it was right and just didn't pick up any blood :-)

So do my symptoms sound more like colon cancer or more like Irritable Bowel?

 
Old 01-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

There is nothing to be gained by guessing whether it sounds like this or that. You need to follow up with your MD as you said you are going to and then hopefully you will have an answer. Our voting for one disease vs another is irrelevant. Try to stop worrying until and if you do have something to worry about. Concentrate on your upcoming birth of a child and the joy he or she will bring into your life.
Leslie

 
Old 01-13-2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

I went to the doctor today and he did a digital exam on me... He said he didn't feel anything.

I really liked this guy because I feel like he is taking me seriously.

He said he is about 80% sure that my symptoms are going to prove to be a lactose intolerance... with the other 20% being unknowns including cancer but that he doesn't think so. He said it wouldn't be impossible but that with no blood in my stool (that he can sense from what I've told him) that he doesn't think cancer (although not ruling it out)

He said ideally he'd want to give me a colonoscopy but that being pregnant, he can't.

they gave me some tubes to collect some poo in for a stool culture--but not an occult test... I don't know what the culture is for but whatever.

He also said in his experience that MOST times clinical colon cancer presents itself as constipation and blood--- not non-bloody diarrhea.

Does this sound correct to everyone? thanks

 
Old 01-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Also, what do coffee grounds in stool look like? Is it a lot or just specks?

I have what look like specks but I think it might be because of my prenatal vitamin...not sure. I forgot to mention it to my doctor today.

are those colon tests at walgreens reliable to check for hidden blood?

I hope those specks aren't blood :-( they are very tiny and feel grainy (glove test)

 
Old 02-04-2012, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Did you find out anything from the stool sample?

 
Old 02-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #12
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

no-- just that there are no parasites...

 
Old 02-04-2012, 07:38 AM   #13
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

They can't do a colonoscopy until I have the baby.

He wants to do one 4 weeks after I give birth so....it's just a waiting game

He said he'd like to lean towards malabsorption so... we'll see

 
Old 02-04-2012, 08:27 AM   #14
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

I see. I'm worried about colon cancer too and I've been told that there isn't always blood in the stool in the earlier stages of the cancer.

Just based on your description, it seems unlikely that you have colon cancer but I'm definitely not a doctor and you should definitely get that colonoscopy when you can even if just for the peace of mind.

When you have a bowel movement, does it feel like you still need to poo more?

 
Old 02-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #15
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Re: concerned... any help appreciated

Well if you mean it feels like I never went Poo in the first place then no definitely not. If you mean sometimes I don't know if I am quite finished right at that moment then yes sometimes.

My doctor seems to think I would have blood... especially since I have been experiencing this for 2 or so years. (At least over a year and a half)

So you don't think it sounds like I do?

If I refrain from having raw vegetables the diarrhea seems to go away. And from what I know, cancer wouldn't pick and choose what foods give diarrhea...it would be diarrhea no matter what food. It can also revert back to constipation but either way... any food would cause it... not just raw veggies.

What are your symptoms? And you really don't think it sounds like colon cancer in my case?

 
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