View Full Version : Being sure it isn't colon cancer (and ?? about need to repeat colonoscopy)

07-21-2013, 11:56 AM
I posted on another board about GI problems and my concern with colon cancer. I fit the symptoms of IBS, but wonder how you can tell the difference between IBS and colon cancer since the symptoms are so similar? I am a 47 year old female with no significant health problems other than these ongoing GI issues which have been going on for about three months. It seemed to start after a bad stomach bug that I had that never truly went away. I went to the GI a few months ago and he thought taking probiotics might help, but after six weeks, it has not done much of anything. He tested me for celiac, which was negative, and I had a colonoscopy and endoscopic exam 18 months prior, though I don't know if those tests should be repeated or if anything serious could have developed since taking those tests. They did find a small polyp, but nothing else. I will go back on Friday, after waiting for another six weeks for an appointment. Things have gotten worse and was hoping to get some feedback here.

Symptoms: I have had three months of pain in the abdomen in the area across my ribcage, cramps in that same area, loss of appetite, and diarrhea that will last for days, go away, and come back a few weeks later. When it goes away, I have regular bowel movements. As noted above, I had a colonoscopy 18 months ago with a small polyp removed, as well an endoscopic examination and test for celiac disease. Nothing remarkable on any of these tests.

This week, I went to my family practitioner for something else and they did some basic blood work, which came back showing high EOS of 49 (range is 0-5%) with absolute OS of 8.9 (range is 0.0 - 0.7). Everything else was normal except WBC slightly elevated (18.1). They tested for iron, thyroid, and general CBC. I plan on taking this to my GI visit on Friday.

My questions:
1. How can you tell the difference between colon cancer and IBS with symptoms being so similar
2. Can I eliminate colon cancer as a concern since I had the colonoscopy 18 months ago?
3. Is it possible that I am dealing with a parasitic infection, which is listed as one of the notes in the lab work? I never thought of this and wouldn't have until this lab work drawn for something else came back with these results.

Thanks in advance for any feedback :)