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Old 05-14-2008, 02:06 AM   #1
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geezgeez HB User
Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

Hi there,

I had an excellent conversation with a 62 year old GP (UK), he was a friend of one of my family and sat next to me at a dinner.

We were discussing lots of medical things, and the topic of colon cancer in young people came up. It is well known that younger people who have colon cancer typically do not get diagnosed until quite an advanced stage. I asked why he thought that was.

He said it was difficult to diagnose a person under the age of 30 with colon cancer when nearly every person that came to him with rectal bleeding because of hemmeriods, or constipation because of poor diet or an upset tummy thinks they have colon cancer.

He also summarised the rarity of cancer in someone under the age of 30. In his 35 years practising, he has only seen 3 people who have then gone onto be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

There are 16,000 people diagnosed every year with colorectal cancer in the UK. That is 65 in every 100,000.

Only 0.5% of those people will be under the age of 30, which does summarize the rarity of this type of cancer in someone so young.

It seems this is a double edged sword, you have the frustration of the GP's when so many people come to them with non serious conditions thinking they are dying. And then the issue of if you are one of these people who do have cancer, unless you have very obvious symptoms then a late diagnosis is very likely.

Thanks

Leigh

 
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:28 AM   #2
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Re: Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

I don't think most people go to a dr with rectal bleeding and think they have colon cancer. THey just think they have hemoroids. I will give you another example though. I was almost 34 , a couple months out and had been having pain in my leg{knee} for over 10 yrs. I put it down off and on to the fact that I was a heavy runner. I was very fit for yrs and weighed 130 and at 5'6" was right on fopr my height plus I walked our Golden REtriever 3 times every day. Long story short I would cry in the hottest water I could stand in the tub til my husband said go to the dr. I had already been and they said it was nerve damage from the ruptured discs in my back. They had made me quit running yrs ago. A few days before I went I felt my knee which was swollen and I noticed I couldn't walk up slight hills when walking the dog.
So I went to the primary care dr and he laughed when I told him I thought I had a tumor in my knee. Now why I thought that I don't know. I am a twin and I kind of have this "thing" , where I know things. ESP whatever you want to call it. Anyway this jerk bent my knee and broke it!! My Ortho dr was so mad. I ended up with an above the knee amputation. Now I always tell people go with your gut. THat's what my GI dr told me when I came in for my first appt and I had my 1st colonoscopy and they found polyps. I was 38 and he said if I hadn't they could've "cooked" for a few more years and become cancerous. But because I had really bad bleeding to the point where the bowl was full of blood , I got scared. Now I am just having a few episodes again. THis will be my 3rd in less than 8 years.

Bonnie

 
Old 05-14-2008, 04:46 AM   #3
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Re: Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

Wow, that is a terrible thing regarding your knee. Was the amputation done because of the tumour? Or was the knee so badly broken that it could not be repaired?

Also your symptom of a bowl full of blood I would call quite an obvious symptom of a serious underlying condition. I would hope that a GP would take that as a serious sign rather than a little bit of blood on the toilet paper accompanied by a hemmeriod and/or anal fissure.

 
Old 05-14-2008, 04:58 AM   #4
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Re: Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

yes my tumor was quite large and was actually all that was left of my femur. When I say I was in pain I was not kidding. It is truly a wonder I functioned at all but I had 3 children, 1 barely out of diapers and 1 in Elemetary and another just starting High School. So you can imagine what my life was like. I didn't work outside the home, but I kept busy enough. WE are Military so we moved often.

Yes my symptoms were pretty obvious. Just like when my daughter lost 20 lbs and was so nauseaus all the time. When they did her US they found not only a kidney problem{which we were expecting} but a large ovarian mass! That we weren't expecting. Thank God it turned out to be benign, her dr was talking complete hysterecomy {sp} at the age of 11! Scary. THey were able to preserve all her organs. But her kidneys are in bad shape. Not a lot we can do about them.


Bonnie

Last edited by lilsunshine46; 05-14-2008 at 04:59 AM.

 
Old 05-15-2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsunshine46 View Post
yes my tumor was quite large and was actually all that was left of my femur. When I say I was in pain I was not kidding. It is truly a wonder I functioned at all but I had 3 children, 1 barely out of diapers and 1 in Elemetary and another just starting High School. So you can imagine what my life was like. I didn't work outside the home, but I kept busy enough. WE are Military so we moved often.

Yes my symptoms were pretty obvious. Just like when my daughter lost 20 lbs and was so nauseaus all the time. When they did her US they found not only a kidney problem{which we were expecting} but a large ovarian mass! That we weren't expecting. Thank God it turned out to be benign, her dr was talking complete hysterecomy {sp} at the age of 11! Scary. THey were able to preserve all her organs. But her kidneys are in bad shape. Not a lot we can do about them.


Bonnie
Oh my god!! How you keep going in your every day life is beyond me. Just when I think I need to talk to someone about my own early,and misdiagnosed, bowel cancer (at age 33), I read your horrific story and realise I complain about trivial matters compared to yours. I was told that I had Haemroids for four years before they stumbled across my secondary cancer in my liver during a gall stone opperation. I have been having chemo since 2004 and theres no let up in sight.

Anyway, I hope you keep strong for those wonderful children you have been blessed with, for my own two beautiful girls and patiant, caring husband are the ones that keep me getting out of bed on those terrible sickly days when I wish everyone would just go away and leave me there.

stay strong. madbeth

Last edited by madbeth; 05-15-2008 at 08:52 PM.

 
Old 05-16-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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Re: Young people and Colorectal Cancer diagnosis

You want to hear something else sad? I was widowed at 26 when my 1st husband was killed in a helicoptor accident in the Army. Now that was a mess. I had already been having symptoms with my knee which thinking about it I just ignored since I ran 5 miles a day at 7 1/2 mins a mile. I was in great shape and looked it. Then my back started to go out on me after my husband died , I know the drs thought I was drug seeking but I was in PAIN! I could hardly stand up my back hurt so bad. I actually left the Army ER after 5 hours and went to my husbands Aunts Chiropractor because they wouldn't treat me. Turns out my L5S1 was ruptured from Degenurative Disc disease. {sorry my spelling is lousy} I was misdiagnosed with back pain afdter that for my leg for yrs when I would go in with leg pain, they all said it was refered pain.

THat is why I never mess around with my health or my families.

 
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