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Colon (or nearby) cancer - terrified, worry is out of control

blueberries

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I’m going thru a bad colon cancer scare and thanks to Covid creating a back log at the endoscopy center I have a two month wait for my colonoscopy (I’m on a wait list but told it is highly unlikely I’ll get called in sooner). I’ve been struggling with very thin stools and bad constipation for a few months. X-rays show I’m very backed up. I’ve been taking lots of doctor prescribed laxatives but still struggle terribly just to get a tiny bit out. I am extremely concerned, worried, scared, depressed, etc and that is putting it mildly.

On the positive side my blood work is okay and ct scan was okay and I haven’t seen anything to make me think there is bleeding. On the bad side I’m at the perfect age for it, my symptoms are worrisome and I read ct scan has about a 50% chance of being read correctly. Retrospective studies show that cancer is missed as often as it isn’t. At this point I am a basket case and don’t even leave my house as I feel horrible both physically and mentally. The fatigue I have is unlike anything I’ve had before.

Any encouraging words would be appreciated. Nothing scary, please.
 

bigjetplane6

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Ok, first off. Your CT and bloodwork was fine, that’s great!
Second, anxiety/stress and bowel movement have a huge connection. Every heard of the “stress shits” as some people refer to them?
It’s when you’re so stressed that you have diaherra from it. Crazy right? Hormones are crazy. They can totally mess up your digestive system.
You’re so stressed and fixated on this problem that you’re literally messing up your digestive system.
How’s your diet? Drink plenty of H2O?
I’m sure you’re fine, don’t worry!
 

Belizz

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Hi Blueberries, I understand how you feel. I went through similar fear a while ago.
I think if you don't have severe pain in your abdomen also radiating to your back then you are fine.
You said you don't have blood, which is good.
I know a person who had thin stools, they made tests and colonoscopy and he was totally fine. So I think it can also happen because of inflammation of the colon etc.
I experience constipation from time to time and sometimes it can be hard to strain out a small piece even. Then I have all types of digestive symptoms because I have IBS. I tend to get lots of colic pain also.

But I suggest you really think about your diet and water, lots of water is very important.
Waiting can be so stressful but try to shift your focus until your appointment comes. We are here for you, just pop a msg.
 

blueberries

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Thank you for your encouraging words. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare, trying to keep busy but I'm so tired and worn out and assume I'm so tired because I have cancer. I keep reading thin stools = cancer. Now I've had chest pain for a couple of days. I don't usually worry about heart but this pain doesn't seem to be going away so lucky me, now I can worry about cancer and heart attack. So sick of this worry. I want to be normal once again
 

Bobnnat

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Blue..I’ve posted about this before here. Thin stools are NOT a sign of CC. About 100 years ago, that was theorized and found its’ way into medical texts as well as, eventually the internet. However, subsequent study disproved any correlation. So why do some articles still list that? Pure laziness and poor research. Copy and paste. I know Google is a no no, but I suggest you consider searching “thin stool not sign of colon cancer”. You should see where very reputable sources refute this and you should find that same info I stated above.

5 years after clean scopes and the realistic worst case scenario is a small polyp that is easily removed well before any problem. People who DO have polyps found are typically told to have the next scope in 5 years.

You are fine. Constipation is of course incredibly common, and so very connected with stress and the mind, even with laxatives.

Actually, search this: “Low caliber stool" and "pencil thin stool" are not signs of colo-rectal cancer. Pub-Med article.
Here’s the abstract!

Over the past several years, primary care providers have been referring a large number of their patients to gastroenterologists for colonoscopy because of "low caliber stool" or "pencil thin stool." Most textbooks of internal medicine and gastroenterology consider "small caliber stool" as one of the presenting signs of colorectal cancer (CRC). A review of the literature reveals that this rather lay misconception-i.e. presence of tumor results in narrowing of the colon, which in turn decreases the caliber of the stool-was conceived late in the nineteenth century. In the absence of reliable data to support this concept, the authors of gastroenterology textbooks in the mid-twentieth century practically dismissed the concept. Nevertheless, this misconception somehow permeated the standard textbooks of medicine and even the newer editions of text-books of gastroenterology. Our own everyday experience shows that low caliber stool is noticed whenever we have loose stool. Since diarrheal states are much more common than CRC, in the absence of authentic symptomatology of CRC, such as rectal bleeding, change in the bowel habit, tenesmus, left-sided abdominal cramps, anemia, etc., the referral of these patients for colonoscopy based solely on "decreased stool caliber" is unwarranted. Such unwarranted referrals expose the patients to unnecessary risks and discomforts and put a strain on an already over-stretched healthcare resources.
 
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Givethanks82

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I was having that issue. Luckily a good friend of mine is a gastroenterologist. He said thin stools ARE not an indicator. He had me start adding more fiber to my diet and within a few days my stools bulked up. He also had me take miralax and purchase a squatty potty. After Chadwick Boseman died I convinced myself I had colon cancer!
 

Suzannenightmares

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Happily, if your blood work came back normal, there there is another reason and not cancer, because if it was cancer, your white blood cells, were be considering compromised, which is why they first take blood samples, because they tell a big picture of what is happening inside.

Try super enzymes and probiotics. They help to loosen up stools.

I had a fissure once and had to get my stools softened, to reduce the pain. I ate dates, which really helped.
 

blueberries

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Blue..I’ve posted about this before here. Thin stools are NOT a sign of CC. About 100 years ago, that was theorized and found its’ way into medical texts as well as, eventually the internet. However, subsequent study disproved any correlation. So why do some articles still list that? Pure laziness and poor research. Copy and paste. I know Google is a no no, but I suggest you consider searching “thin stool not sign of colon cancer”. You should see where very reputable sources refute this and you should find that same info I stated above.

5 years after clean scopes and the realistic worst case scenario is a small polyp that is easily removed well before any problem. People who DO have polyps found are typically told to have the next scope in 5 years.

You are fine. Constipation is of course incredibly common, and so very connected with stress and the mind, even with laxatives.

Actually, search this: “Low caliber stool" and "pencil thin stool" are not signs of colo-rectal cancer. Pub-Med article.
Here’s the abstract!

Over the past several years, primary care providers have been referring a large number of their patients to gastroenterologists for colonoscopy because of "low caliber stool" or "pencil thin stool." Most textbooks of internal medicine and gastroenterology consider "small caliber stool" as one of the presenting signs of colorectal cancer (CRC). A review of the literature reveals that this rather lay misconception-i.e. presence of tumor results in narrowing of the colon, which in turn decreases the caliber of the stool-was conceived late in the nineteenth century. In the absence of reliable data to support this concept, the authors of gastroenterology textbooks in the mid-twentieth century practically dismissed the concept. Nevertheless, this misconception somehow permeated the standard textbooks of medicine and even the newer editions of text-books of gastroenterology. Our own everyday experience shows that low caliber stool is noticed whenever we have loose stool. Since diarrheal states are much more common than CRC, in the absence of authentic symptomatology of CRC, such as rectal bleeding, change in the bowel habit, tenesmus, left-sided abdominal cramps, anemia, etc., the referral of these patients for colonoscopy based solely on "decreased stool caliber" is unwarranted. Such unwarranted referrals expose the patients to unnecessary risks and discomforts and put a strain on an already over-stretched healthcare resources.
I'd like to believe that thin stools are not a sign of crc but I know very well they can be. However, I do appreciate the time you took to quote the article for me and I thank you so much for your encouraging words. There are things both on my side and not on my side for this and the only way I will ever know for sure is to have the colonoscopy. If this was just a temporary symptom I would feel better about it, but it started in April or May and only gets worse (thinner and more constipated). If it's not my colon than it's something else in my abdomen.
I was having that issue. Luckily a good friend of mine is a gastroenterologist. He said thin stools ARE not an indicator. He had me start adding more fiber to my diet and within a few days my stools bulked up. He also had me take miralax and purchase a squatty potty. After Chadwick Boseman died I convinced myself I had colon cancer!
Thank you Givethanks! As I said in another post I'd like to believe thin stools are not an indicator. I've been eating high fiber for a long time and drinking plenty of water so I know that's not my problem. And I've been taking miralax for about a month and added psyllium earlier this week. But now things are worse it seems. It seems as if all of that bulks me up but because I have a tumor all that bulk can't get by and it's backing me up more. Of course, the tumor hasn't been proven yet, but I can't imagine why else all the stool softeners and laxatives aren't helping. My abdomen feels so full and heavy and nothing is moving out of me.
Happily, if your blood work came back normal, there there is another reason and not cancer, because if it was cancer, your white blood cells, were be considering compromised, which is why they first take blood samples, because they tell a big picture of what is happening inside.

Try super enzymes and probiotics. They help to loosen up stools.

I had a fissure once and had to get my stools softened, to reduce the pain. I ate dates, which really helped.
Thank you Suzanne. I had blood work done twice in the last month and both times most everything was okay. Hoping that is a good sign. I wish dates worked for me. I've been pushing prunes but they haven't done anymore than all the laxitives that have been prescribed.

I also had a fissure one, ouch, that is the worst, isn't it?
 
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blueberries

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I continue to feel miserable, physically and mentally. This is all I think about every waking minute. I can't simply think about something else or do something to take my mind off the worry. I took a laxative last night hoping it would help but it has only made me feel worse and provided no relief at all. Now I feel more backed up than before. My abdomen is so full and uncomfortable. But at least my chest pains finally went away. :):arghh:
 

vinbaker

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I continue to feel miserable, physically and mentally. This is all I think about every waking minute. I can't simply think about something else or do something to take my mind off the worry. I took a laxative last night hoping it would help but it has only made me feel worse and provided no relief at all. Now I feel more backed up than before. My abdomen is so full and uncomfortable. But at least my chest pains finally went away. :):arghh:

My friend, living your same fear. If you need help, i'm here, maybe you can help me too. Repeat your symptoms, i will tell you mine lOL.

How old areyou?
 

mollyfin

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Have you tried laxative suppositories? I once had an issue that left me with something the size and shape of a baseball in my colon. I thought I would die during the process of passing it, but I eventually got it out with the help of Dulcolax. The suppositories, not the pills. The pills just make me sick.

Also if you're trying prunes/prune juice, make sure it's room temperature. Apparently cold negates whatever makes you poop. Honestly the most useful life advice I've ever gotten.
 

blueberries

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My friend, living your same fear. If you need help, i'm here, maybe you can help me too. Repeat your symptoms, i will tell you mine lOL.

How old areyou?
Hi Vinbaker - I read your post about colon cancer. Funny that we have opposite symptoms but we are both afraid of the same thing. Reading what you wrote, it really doesn't sound too ominous. You are young, your symptoms are mild and have been happening off and on for some time. And your doctor doesn't see any cause for alarm. Yet still, it's hard not to worry because there's always that what if that lurks in the back of our minds. This fear has really taken over my life and I won't feel any relief until I get the colonoscopy and then, only if it shows negative. And it by some lucky chance everything is clear, then what the heck is wrong? That will still have to be figured out. My symptoms are mainly bad constipation and when I do go it is very thin. Alarmingly so. Plus a few other distressing symptoms. Here's hugs to you with hopes that this fear can be put behind you.
Have you tried laxative suppositories? I once had an issue that left me with something the size and shape of a baseball in my colon. I thought I would die during the process of passing it, but I eventually got it out with the help of Dulcolax. The suppositories, not the pills. The pills just make me sick.

Also if you're trying prunes/prune juice, make sure it's room temperature. Apparently cold negates whatever makes you poop. Honestly the most useful life advice I've ever gotten.
Mollyfin, I bought some dulcolax suppositories but after reading reviews I'm afraid to try them. Just about everyone says they have unbearable cramping and worse. Not sure if I want to go there. So the suppositories sit in my bathroom cabinet along with the ducolax tablets that I won't take for the same reason. Did the suppositories bother you?
I have tried fleet enemas, but all I ever pass with them is the enema itself. Nothing else!! Sorry, probably tmi. Thanks for the hint on the prune juice, didn't know the cold negated it, good to know that.
Baseball sized is about what I have inside of me also, miserable feeling. Can't wait for this nightmare to be over.
 
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BenAnxiety

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Hi Vinbaker - I read your post about colon cancer. Funny that we have opposite symptoms but we are both afraid of the same thing. Reading what you wrote, it really doesn't sound too ominous. You are young, your symptoms are mild and have been happening off and on for some time. And your doctor doesn't see any cause for alarm. Yet still, it's hard not to worry because there's always that what if that lurks in the back of our minds. This fear has really taken over my life and I won't feel any relief until I get the colonoscopy and then, only if it shows negative. And it by some lucky chance everything is clear, then what the heck is wrong? That will still have to be figured out. My symptoms are mainly bad constipation and when I do go it is very thin. Alarmingly so. Plus a few other distressing symptoms. Here's hugs to you with hopes that this fear can be put behind you.

Mollyfin, I bought some dulcolax suppositories but after reading reviews I'm afraid to try them. Just about everyone says they have unbearable cramping and worse. Not sure if I want to go there. So the suppositories sit in my bathroom cabinet along with the ducolax tablets that I won't take for the same reason. Did the suppositories bother you?
I have tried fleet enemas, but all I ever pass with them is the enema itself. Nothing else!! Sorry, probably tmi. Thanks for the hint on the prune juice, didn't know the cold negated it, good to know that.
Baseball sized is about what I have inside of me also, miserable feeling. Can't wait for this nightmare to be over.
You should give syrup of figs a shot, it worked wonders for myself.

Hope everything turns out well. :)
 

Gooze17

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This is by no means me saying you for sure have this issue. But, I had this exact set of symptoms, went to the doc and found out I am pretty gluten intolerant. Took about a month of being gluten free. But after that my bowel issues almost completely subsided
I still have mild issues that are probably related to anxiety and panic attacks. But, something to look into if nothing else!
 

Izthewiz

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Ct scans would show a tumor in the area and if it's causing you to be backed up it possible that it is something else and not a tumor or cancer.
You may have ibs or something else minor.
If they ran blood test and thought cancer your ferritin levels would be low and possibly anemic.
But your levels are normal so means something else non cancerous I believe.
Stop reading into the CT scans missing things.
My client has stage 4 colon cancer and the only way he knew something was wrong was extreme weakness and bloating.
The CT scan of abdomen showed tumor.
 
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