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Seeing Colon Cancer specialist today - advice on what to ask him please?

(10 Posts)
4hoursanightisnotalright Mon 24-Jun-13 10:33:26

Hi,
Apologies in advance for TMI but such is the nature of the thread I guess.

I have been having problems with my bowels for around 9 months now, I was initially fobbed off with an IBS diagnosis as I had been a bit stressed, however it all seems to be getting worse and worse. I haven't eaten meat for around 5 months as that definitely triggered symptoms and for the last 3 I haven't had dairy, gluten, or caffeine either as they all seemed to trigger bloating and constipation or the runs. It has gone from something that bothered me a bit to something that is a constant pain or uncomfortable feeling. I had chronic runs recently (with blood too) that lasted for nearly a week and I could hardly keep any food in. I saw my GP a week ago who had a quick feel around inside and asked lots of questions. She referred me immediately to this Colon Cancer specialist saying that although I was presenting symptoms in line with CC not to panic but that we just have to rule this out first before trying other tests.

I also had my gallbladder removed 4 years ago when my kids were newborn and nearly 2 after suffering for months with stones passing and eventually one getting stuck and nearly killing me. I'm not sure if this has any bearing on my current probs. I have also been tested for coeliacs and it came back negative.

I would love any advice from anyone who has had a similar experience, I tend to just go mute at these things and just take what they say and would love to go in armed with some useful questions. I'm sure it is just a flare up of IBS and am trying to think positively.

Thanksx

pleasegoaway Mon 24-Jun-13 10:46:48

Hi, sorry, I haven't had similar experience but wanted to reply anyway.
I would definitely write down all questions as you will forget. Mention all symptoms you have had/ have even if they seem unrelated. Mention any recent changes, stresses, changes you have made to your diet etc.
Can you take a friend or relative in case you do get nervous or forget to mention anything? Obviously someone who is calm and supportive only.

Also it could be worth looking at Macmillan website as they often list suggested questions. I'm assuming from your post you haven't had a colonoscopy yet or any other tests?

4hoursanightisnotalright Mon 24-Jun-13 10:51:19

Thank you..I will write some things down now and take them along. I haven't had a colonoscopy yet just initial bloods for coeliacs etc around 9 months ago, they also checked my liver bloods due to my previous gallstone episode.

Hello,

I'm having treatment for bowel cancer at the moment, but I was found to have an undiagnosed genetic pre cancerous condition, chances of which were less than 1 in a million, which had developed into cancer. I had previously been diagnosed as having IBS but the cancer didnt really have many noticeable symptoms, just cramps and then I passed a large blob of mucus and blood once. Apart from that, and a small amount of blood on the outside of stools about six months earlier, I had no idea there was anything wrong. From what I've heard, and no idea how true it is, inflammatory bowel disease is more likely to cause lots of symptoms similar to yours. You don't say how old you are, but bowel cancer is incredibly rare under the age of 50. My oncologist, one of best bowel oncologists in the country, has only treated about six people under 50. So don't panic yet!

Have you had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy? If not, that should be your first question, when will you be having one.

Also have you had blood tests and stool sample tests? If not, ask about those too.

I would ask what other conditions it could be, how long the test results will take, when will you next see the consultant, who should you contact if your symptoms get worse while you are waiting for results, are there any medications to reduce your symptoms.

Please do ask if there's anything I can help with, or message me if you'd prefer, I'm happy to share more of my experience if that would help but didnt want to ramble on about it!

I hope the specialist is able to put your mind at rest and that you get some answers soon smile

evelynj Mon 24-Jun-13 10:54:48

Hi only thing I can think of is to ask how to make sure it's not cc. My dad had it-started 2.5 yrs ago & all ok now but a long process.

Ask what sort of tests they'll do & how long until you get results.

Look at website for suggested questions sounds good too.

Good luck

Cross-posted, definitely ask for a colonoscopy smile

4hoursanightisnotalright Mon 24-Jun-13 11:16:13

Thanks all of you for writing back to me. I am nearly 36 so well under the usual age, but I have read that having had your gallbladder removed places you in a higher risk category for this due to the bile drip leaking over extended period of time causing irritations etc..

Definitely going to ask about the colonoscopy and am not taking no as an answer on that one! With my gallstones I was in and out of a&E with awful pain (labour style) every other week for around 3 months after my second child was born and never once did they diagnose me. Eventually I had to go into my GP and tell her I felt like I was being poisoned and I couldn't look after my kids properly, they took my bloods that morning and called me into hospital immediately that afternoon and I didn't leave for 2 weeks, by this point I was totally yellow with jaundice and in a terrible state. I sort of learned my lesson to be more pushy with that situation, but I do get intimidated by doctors stupidly and just need to man up and make sure I get all the tests I need.

GoodbyeRubyTuesday - I agree it is super unlikely to be cancer as I am the wrong age and so on, but I am hopeful that this will lead to a diagnosis of what is actually wrong. I really appreciate you all taking the time to write back to me.

pleasegoaway Mon 24-Jun-13 13:51:57

It sounds horrendous what you've been through already.

Hopefully you will soon know what's the cause and try not to think the worst just yet.

Do let us know how you get on today!

4hoursanightisnotalright Tue 25-Jun-13 13:45:45

I had the appointment and the guy was ever so nice. He gave me an initial search with a small camera and has booked me in for a colonoscopy next Weds. They took bloods etc as well. He also suspects Imflammatory Bowel Disease so we will see! GoodbyeRubyTuesday I wish you the best recovery and hope it is over soon!

Good news that he thinks it's not cancer and that the colonoscopy is booked. But IBD can be troublesome too, I hope it's easily treated whatever it is smile

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