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Freaking out - this is probably colon cancer isn't it?

(24 Posts)
trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 09:06:45

I have a doctor's appointment today at lunchtime and I haven't slept all night. I have had intermittent diarrhoea for several weeks. I'd be fine for a few days last week and then at the weekend it started again. I blocked myself up with Immodium which meant I was able to get to work on Mon/Tues but last night, I needed the loo and I passed this awful pinky/reddy brown mucus (nothing solid). This morning it's just pinky mucous in tiny amounts - no stool. I am absolutely freaking out as I know this is blood and as it's not bright red it can't be haemorrhoids and yes, I've "doctor googled" it and now I'm certain it's colon cancer. I don't know how I would cope. I am a single mum, 2 young girls and we rely on my job. I can't "not" work. I've had to ring in sick today as I'm totally exhausted and I've been given an appointment at lunchtime by the docs. OMG. Someone please help me.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 15-Jun-16 09:10:52

It could be any of a number of things, including IBS or an anal tear. Dehydration and constipation both lead to increased mucous in poo and if you've had diarrhoea and have been taking immodium then it's likely you're suffering from both (immodium is basically a chemically-induced constipation).

Try not to panic, go to the doctors - is it possible to take someone with you?

WannaBe Wed 15-Jun-16 09:11:26

Google is not your friend. Nobody, including Google, is able to tell you what it is. Go to the GP, tell him/her about your symptoms, and let them take it from there.

And stay away from Google.

notfornothing Wed 15-Jun-16 09:11:37

I'm not a doctor or even close so can't really help much.
Only thing I can say is that i have misdiagnosed myself several times with the help of doctor Google and been certain that i was dying. Well I'm not dead.

Try to be calm and just go and get it checked out. It could still be something else

magicboy79 Wed 15-Jun-16 09:13:20

Don't obsess on the worst scenario it could be any number of things and you won't know for sure until you get tests done but you are doing the right thing getting it checked as soon as.
You will worry but try to calm down and take a step back and remember you haven't been diagnosed yet so it might be anything

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Wed 15-Jun-16 09:15:27

No, it's not "probably" colon cancer. How old are you? Colon cancer is very uncommon under 50, so it is not the most likely explanation.

There are quite a few possibilities. Cancer should, of course, be ruled out. But it could be something harmless like an infection, or irritation from the large amounts of Imodium.

I hope that the GP is able to put your mind at rest a little. They'll probably want to do a rectal exam to check for piles and fissures, and may well refer you urgently for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Don't be alarmed if they do this, it just means they want to rule out the nasty stuff first.

All the best flowers

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 15-Jun-16 09:17:38

Oh lord, I had that in Greece once and was properly terrified just as you are. Turned out that I had an anal fissure, which still occasionally gives me trouble 14 years later.

Look at it this way: the quicker you get checked, the quicker you can start treatment. That is true regardless of disease type. However I will also say that outcomes are significantly better for pretty much all cancers if you catch it early and start treatment early, so even if it is bad news you will benefit from checking sooner rather than later.

Courage thanks

trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 09:19:56

Thank you everyone. I am absolutely convincing myself of the worst. I am soo scared it's ridiculous - not for me - my kids. I realise I'm obsessing on the worst case. I just can't see how this can be innocent when I've had so much diarrhoea recently. :-(

MrsEricBana Wed 15-Jun-16 09:20:09

Oh poor you. Of course not "probably cancer". Huge number of other things it could be - internal piles, tear, polyps, infection, Crohn's, Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis etc. Even if it if it cancer, bowel cancer caught early is very treatable. Try not to worry too much and excellent that you have GP appointment later. Please let us know how you get on. xx

trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 09:23:24

LaContessa - didn't the anal fissure give bright red blood rather than pinky/browny red? Sorry to ask.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 15-Jun-16 10:04:48

It occasionally gave bright red blood (if I strained on the loo, which you swiftly learn not to do) but otherwise I'd occasionally poo mucus and there would be streaks of pink in it. I had it in pregnancy a lot, weirdly.

Is it at all possible that you're eating something that your body doesn't tolerate very well? Could explain both diorrhea and internal irritation of gut lining leading to bleeding and mucus formation.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 15-Jun-16 10:08:28

I had an awful time before I cut out gluten and now I feel better than I have in years. Not saying that is what is wrong with you but it could be something straightforward.

trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 10:43:43

I have definitely wondered about some sort of food intolerance. I kept a food diary for a week but couldn't see anything obvious (wine was a definite issue though!!)....so I cut out all alcohol. I've noticed that I have diarrhoea mostly in the mornings. It can settle down over the day. Not sure if that's relevant though!

ThornyBird Wed 15-Jun-16 10:48:24

Not strictly relevant but maybe a bit reassuring, my female friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer by Dr Google... I hope all goes well with the GP today flowers

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 15-Jun-16 10:51:29

The trouble with the gut is that it can act up when you're tense, thus making you more tense, thus exacerbating the symptoms. I was convinced that I had something seriously wrong for a couple of months before summoning the courage to go for a scan - turned out to be trapped wind! I only get that when stressed so it was clearly a direct result of me worrying myself into a state. I started calming exercises, took some probiotics for safety and it magically subsided hmm stupid mind-body link!!

grannytomine Wed 15-Jun-16 10:54:56

I had this panic earlier in the year. Strong family history of cancer of bowel/ovaries and sudden change in bowel habits with weeks of constipation and then horrendous diarrhoea. Had various tests and ended up with colonoscopy. Nothing found and everything suddenly settled down. I have made diet changes but Dr also thought the whole process of the colonoscopy preparation had helped. Not the most fun but terrific weight of my mind now. I hope you get a similar result.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 15-Jun-16 11:22:53

You should have a coeliac blood test before making any changes, but for me having been gluten free for 6 months, I accidentally ate a tiny amount of wheat in something unexpectedly. I thought that I had got away with it for the first 36hrs until the diarrhoea came. I think that a diary probably wouldn't detect a pattern if it was a major food group such as dairy or wheat. You have to be obsessive at first checking every label. Get other possibilities checked out first but if nothing sinister turns up then an elimination diet might detect something.

trickynicky Wed 15-Jun-16 13:39:17

Just back from the GP - had a rectal exam and felt my tummy - couldn't feel anything sinister. However, she has referred me for a colonoscopy under the 2 week rule (ie it could be cancerous). Dear God. I don't know how the heck you wait for 2 weeks without going completely mad. I'm already not sleeping.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 15-Jun-16 14:17:53

Ok op, that is good news! You're getting investigated, always a positive first step.

I suggest you get yourself some probiotic tablets (I think Boots sell them) just in case your symptoms are brought on by some sort of microbiological imbalance in the gut. Eat boring foods (no spices), limit alcohol and try to be calm. Easier said than done I know, but worrying will stress you and your gut further. Do it a favour and try to find soothing things to do.

Tanfastic Wed 15-Jun-16 14:48:42

Just wanted to say op I had something similar a few years ago. Diarrhoea, mucous in my poo and only passing mucous. It lasted about a week. I also felt a bit unwell with it. I never went to the docs because I assumed it was a tummy bug.

Anyway it got better on its own and I've had nothing like it since. The mucous was pinky coloured also. Tmi but there we go!

mumof2kiddos Wed 15-Jun-16 20:37:17

Last year I had this constant runny mucosy poo, upper abdomen discomfort, acid reflux, tiredness and the whole lot for 2 months straight. Although tested positive for H Pylori, however the medicines did nothing for my constant need to run to the toilet. As one would be, I was extremely stressed and anxious. My wt dropped a bit too.

Then I went to visit my family abroad. 1st thing which I did was to get an endoscopy done...which was all ok. Miraculously from then on, slowly but surely. my guts got better and better and all my problems vanished in a month!!!

Goes on to show what anxiety and stress can do to your body! Emotional condition strongly controls the digestive system...it is a very well known fact.

Hope you get better very soon.

Simmi1 Thu 16-Jun-16 05:25:58

OP I suddenly developed bowel problems 9 months ago including bouts of diarrhoea which lasted for ages. I had a colonoscopy - no cancer. I have officially been diagnosed with IBS - not pleasant but not deadly and very common! Please let us know how you get on. 💐

JeanSeberg Thu 16-Jun-16 05:40:57

Hi op, sorry to hear you are having to wait for tests. I'm in the same situation having just been referred to the breast clinic following discovery of lumps. Hopefully you will get your date soon - I saw my GP on Tuesday this week and got a call first thing Wednesday with a hospital date for next Thursday so just over a week for me.

It's horrible waiting and I hope you get your appointment soon. You will get a lot of support on here in the meantime. Good luck!

Hopelass Thu 16-Jun-16 05:45:34

OP I work in Gastro and actually directly with the 2 week wait clinic. The vast majority of patients seen in that clinic i.e. 90 odd percent have something totally benign. They have to check ASAP in case you are in the small percentage that needs treatment quickly. Please don't panic. My own step dad had a colonoscopy under the 2 week rule last month and it was nothing sinister. They are being cautious to give you the best treatment and a sudden change in symptoms is a trigger for the 2ww clinic. As pp have said its most likely irritation or inflammation but they'll be able to get a great look with a colonoscopy to diagnose you properly.

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