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Cancer: Rectal & Anal Message Board
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:55 AM   #1
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looking for deinitive answer on changing stool shapes

I have experienced a change in stool shape, characterized in part by consistently thin (the standard "ribbon shaped" warning sign) that has lasted for weeks to months (I can't be exactly sure). After taking a soluble fiber supplement I have had a few days of more normal stools.

If 'ribbon' stools were caused by a tumor or polyp is it reasonable to assume that any change back to a normal, thick rounded stool would be impossible? In other words if one day or for a few days I get 'normal' stools does this mean it is unlikely that there is a tumor present?

...and beyond this, if a growth were present in the sigmoid colon and the stools were soft enough, could they 'reshape' into something rounder and thicker while sitting in the rectum after squeezing past the tumor?

Has anyone ever had their thin stools go back to normal and still ended up having a tumor somehow?

I have an appointment with a GI, so I won't use the answer as a diagnosis. I'm just trying to get as much information as I can.

 
Old 07-16-2005, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: looking for deinitive answer on changing stool shapes

I'm no doctor - but - I have an anal cancer polyp and possible rectal tumour. I had constipation. I had skinny stools. I now have textbook perfect stools I think as a result of better diet and more fibre. In a few day I will be having surgery, most likely a colostomy.

Hope you get good news, but do continue the investigation.

 
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: looking for deinitive answer on changing stool shapes

Piranesi:

I recently learned by reading online, and through ongoing personal experience, that contractions and convulsions within the colon or rectum can cause pencil thin or flat ribbon-like stools when the stool material is soft and pliable. Thus, these signs can present themselves even when there is no colon-rectal disease present. Therefore, to answer your question, such signs can come and go, alternately with days when there are more solid, normal-like stools. However, and this is of paramount importance, all such signs demand a colonoscopy be performed, at least among adults. Otherwise there is no way of knowing for sure whatís what.

Consistent abnormal stools coupled with other signs such as bleeding and physical discomfort are more cause for concern. Even when the colonoscopy-biopsies indicates no colon-rectal disease is present further investigation may be required, such as a CT scan.

As an update to my pals in this forum, this is where I am at momentarily. Much relief when I was told, after the colonoscopy, that the biopsies were benign. Yet, the symptoms persist and I will have a CT scan soon. The doctor is not satisfied he saw all that there is to see in the cecum -- the opening into the colon from the small intestines.

As our dear friends here will tell you, try not to worry. Demand a colonoscopy and continue you online search for information. Feel free to post all your questions. These folk are wonderful. Regardless of their own pressing problems they always find the time to help others. Bless them.

Best Wishes,
--RD

 
Old 07-16-2005, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: looking for deinitive answer on changing stool shapes

Piranesi:
RD is right on track. Shape of stool can change depending on the consistency of the stool, what kind of polyp is present if there is one (it/they can bend to the side allowing a normal looking stool). So, don't be fooled. Bottom line is if you have symptoms of ribbon like stool, bleeding, a change in bowel frequency, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, you MUST have a colonoscopy. If necessary, for your own piece of mind, demand one.

RD.. I haven't caught up with you in a while...why does your gastro feel he/she did not get a good assessment of your cecum? and why does he/she feel more will be learned with a CT scan? What symptoms persist? It's great news the biopsies came back normal. PS.. You're very sweet to speak so kindly about us regulars. We try to help as best we can... as you know, for me, helping others helps to take my mind off my own problems. I would agree that there are some wonderful people here.

So Piranesi... welcome to our little family.

Regards,
CancerDad
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ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

 
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