How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by Captain59 on Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:00 AM
A few years ago I had a bad bought with diarrhea and constipation, which also included narrow stools and abdominal pain. My doctor put me on Citrucel and in a week I was fine. About two weeks ago, I started having diarrhea where I couldn't even go to work for a couple of days because I was in the bathroom so much and throughout the night, and then that lead to constipation, and now I'm having abdominal "uncomfortableness," if that's a word, but not really pain. My stools, now that the diarrhea is gone, are again narrow like before (although a few days ago they actually looked pretty normal), and I also feel some aching in my upper thighs and even in my scrotum (which I always test, and there are no lumps). Today, it seems like the diarrhea may be coming back, and it's uncomfortable to sit in a chair...although, that could be from all the time I have spent on the toilet the past two weeks and the straining to try and move my bowels. What I feel in my abdomen is more like pressure than pain...like there is a softball in there. It's very strange and unsettling. Throughout these two weeks, there have been times I thought I had turned the corner, only to feel things come back. I have not had any weight loss, and have had no blood in my stool...and my appetite certainly has not been affected!
A couple days ago, I started on Citrucel on my own. That seemed to ease the constipation. But what alarms me, and the reason I am posting this, is the possible return of the diarrhea and the mild uncomfortable pressure I feel in my abdomen.
I am a light social drinker and have no health problems, so being 35 years old makes me think the chances of this being colon cancer are remote. But I am a worry wart, so I can't help thinking about it. I supposed it's time to call the doctor. The last time I went he did a very quick rectum probe, told me that was OK, and sent me home with the Citrucel as mentioned.
by Oncrx on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:00 AM
by Patsy_V on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:00 AM
by Jen61 on Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:00 AM
by Wongwey on Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:00 AM
by Aleda on Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:00 AM
by semmes on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:45 AM
On Feb 11, 2006 12:00 AM Jen61 wrote: Hello,
My suggestion to you is to get right on this. I was 43 years old (one year ago) when diagnosed with STAGE IV colon cancer (metastisized to a blood vessel in my abdominal wall). The prognosis I was given a year ago is 18-20 months.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had 2 years of severe constipation, gas, narrow stools, but never did notice blood in my stool. My appetite was still good as well. My mother died of colon cancer in her 40's and I had asked my doctor for a colonoscopy when I was 40. He said I was too young for colon cancer. When I started having symptoms at 41, he sent me for a barium enema (thinking that this was a great procedure for colon cancer detection)...the results came back saying I had irritable bowel syndrome.
As the months went by, the pain started getting worse and worse. By September 04 I was in emergency a couple of times with a bowel obstruction. They even did xrays, a CT Scan etc. and still nothing showed up ... unbelievable. Finally, in December I was hospitalized for another obstruction for a week. They did more tests, gave me laxatives etc. and the obstruction worked itself out.
By the end of December, I did notice some blood in my stools and went to my family doctor. He did a rectal examination to confirm ... also, I had noticed an abdominal mass in September which I had pointed out to him, and he said it was just inflammation. In December when I went in about the bloody stools, I pointed to my abdomen again and told him that the mass was getting larger. After those 2 things, he finally became worried. He sent me to a surgeon for a colonoscopy and they stopped the colonoscopy as soon as it started. The mass was preventing them from going further. Immediately, the surgeon said I had a tumor, and performed surgery on January 29th 05. So, Stage IV colon cancer, metastisized. Who would have thought, after all the tests I had done.
Colon cancer is the most curable kind of cancer IF IT IS FOUND EARLY ENOUGH. They just resect your bowel. But once it has spread to other areas, it is too late. The most common places for colon cancer to migrate to is the liver and lungs. Luckily, it's not in my liver or lungs at this time, but my oncologist says that it goes there in 99.9% of metastisized colon cancer patients, hence the poor prognosis.
I am begging you to ask your doctor to do blood tests for anemia, and to send you to a lab for a stool sample kit. It's not fun, but necessary. I'm sure that if I would have done the stool samples early, there would have been blood. In my case, even when I did see blood, it was hardly noticable. I looked for it ... it was just streaky blood mixed in with everything...not obvious at all. I now wonder if I had blood in my stools all along, but it just wasn't noticable.
I don't want to scare you here, but the faster you get to the doctor AND INSIST on testing, and even a CT scan, the better off you will be. My surgeon told me that if he would have even waited 2 weeks longer to perform my surgery, it could have easily been in my liver. It is an agressive cancer.
Please, please tell the doctor that you know your body and that something is wrong.
I kept thinking I had a parasite after getting food poisoning in a restaurant ... kept thinking "I'm too young....can't happen to me" and kept making excuses to myself for the constipation etc.
If you want to chat further, please don't hesitate to send me a message.
Best of luck to you .... please take this seriously and call your doctor immediately. It could save your life.
On Feb 11, 2006 12:00 AM Jen61 wrote:
It's been almost 7 years. I wonder if she survived.
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Did you or your loved one seek a second opinion before starting cancer treatment?
No, but we got a second opinion after we started treatment
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