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To think this doctor was wrong - bowel cancer related.

(35 Posts)
DafferDill Wed 09-Mar-16 17:30:15

Today DP's friend confessed to him that he has been passing quite a lot of dark blood in his stools for a month. No pain.

He has a family history of bowel cancer, he is 29.

DP made him go to the doctors for an emergency appointment.

The doctor tried to examine him but it was too uncomfortable.

He was told to go back in a few weeks if the bleeding persisted...

AIBU to think it should be getting taken a bit more seriously? Or is this the correct protocol?


LineyReborn Wed 09-Mar-16 17:32:45

No it's not the correct protocol at all. Maybe the story got a bit 'lost in translation'?

Cinnamon2013 Wed 09-Mar-16 17:36:08

i think there's a tendency to assume young men are unlikely to have bowel cancer, which is why he may not have had his symptoms taken seriously. I wish I didn't know this, and I do for very sad reasons. He should insist on being seen again.

ChatEnOeuf Wed 09-Mar-16 17:40:48

I don't know the current protocol, but I would have expected an urgent referral if it were me on the couch. I would suggest returning for a second opinion.

Confused59 Wed 09-Mar-16 17:44:30

Should be an urgent referral to be seen within 2 weeks

PitilessYank Wed 09-Mar-16 17:44:35

It depends on which relative(s) had colon cancer and at what age.

dodobookends Wed 09-Mar-16 17:46:13

He needs an urgent referral. Didn't the doctor ask for a sample?

PitilessYank Wed 09-Mar-16 17:46:34

Frankly, most colon cancer presents as microscopic amounts of blood in the stool, not visually apparent, picked up on fecal "occult blood testing."

Maturecheddarcheese Wed 09-Mar-16 17:49:44

He could have ulcers (I have ulcerative colitis) I was only diagnosed after becoming dangerously anaemic. He maybe needs to make an appointment with another GP in the practice and make a strong case for getting further testing with a specialist.

PitilessYank Wed 09-Mar-16 17:49:45

The lack of referral is not immediately worrisome to me, unless he has a history of colon cancer at a young age in close relatives, a known family history of polyposis syndrome, or constitutional symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, night sweats.

The doc prob took blood to look for anemia and a stool sample to test for blood.

Wizzysmum1 Wed 09-Mar-16 18:05:59

Don't want to scare in any way but an old friend of mine did have bc at age of 30 though I understand he had stomach problem months before it was diagnosed. He did have a history of cancer in his family. No harm I a second opinion though

Goingtobeawesome Wed 09-Mar-16 18:12:34

He isn't too young. I know of a man who had bowel cancer early 30's. Please have him seen again.

MadamDeathstare Wed 09-Mar-16 18:12:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maudofallhopefulness Wed 09-Mar-16 18:21:36

Get him to go to another doctor, and take a stool sample.

angielou123 Wed 09-Mar-16 18:24:37

The doctor's thinking he might just have piles. The most likely explanation. If it doesn't clear up in a couple of weeks, go back. Would cancer spread that fast? Sounds reasonable to me. Unless he'd already thought of that and had got something from the chemist that hadn't worked.

shinynewusername Wed 09-Mar-16 18:27:58

If there is one thing that a career in medicine has taught me, it's that what people tell you the doctor said and what the doctor actually said are not the same thing wink. There could be all sorts of details that your DP's friend hasn't shared that would explain a decision not to refer immediately - for example, the GP may be getting bloods done to help decide whether to refer to a gastroenterologist or surgeon.

Having said that, if the plan is to do nothing at all for several weeks, it does sound odd. The friend could see another GP at the practice.

IAmNotAMindReader Wed 09-Mar-16 18:29:02

My Step BIL was treated for piles for 18 months before insisting more investigations were undertaken. It was discovered he had stage 4 bowel cancer. If he had been taken seriously when he first began having symptoms his prognosis would have been much better.

LIZS Wed 09-Mar-16 18:30:17

I was thinking same as Shiney. Are you sure he told the Dr the full story or reported the outcome back accurately?

laughingGnomette Wed 09-Mar-16 18:35:12

Oh IAmNotAMindReader, that is tragic sad

DafferDill Wed 09-Mar-16 18:40:24

Just spoken to him, no stool sample or bloods taken.

Skiptonlass Wed 09-Mar-16 18:40:31

Dark blood implies bleeding further up, not piles. Bleeding from piles or tears in the anorectal area tends to be bright red.

Yes most does present as occult, but you'd be surprised how much some lesions can bleed (I used to work on familial adenomatous polypodis /FAP.) you can lose a frankly shocking amount of blood and become anaemic very quickly.

He needs proper investigation, especially if he has a family history of young onset bowel cancer.

Hopefully it is just piles, or a polyp they can whip out, but never ignore bleeding from the bum. Most lower GI tumours are slow growing, so I'd not panic at the two weeks but he does need to get this investigated properly. Examinations can be uncomfortable but they can give him something to relax him a bit.

Well done your dp - don't let his mate let this slide.

Skiptonlass Wed 09-Mar-16 18:41:19

Polyposis... Bloody keyboard.

Anyway, needs full investigation.

DafferDill Wed 09-Mar-16 18:42:28

Sorry it wasn't bowel cancer it was prostrate cancer in the family and his father was 70.

DafferDill Wed 09-Mar-16 18:44:15

Thank you smile

So he should go back? I would've thought a doctor should know what to do, can't think why they wouldn't investigate it?!

Skiptonlass Wed 09-Mar-16 18:50:37

Well, doctors are like the rest of us. Some are great, some are crap.

He needs to go back in a week or so and request follow up. I have no idea why a GP would tell someone to wait a bit when they've already been experiencing bleeding for a month...

If it's piles, it's fixable. The biggest likelihood is piles or a fissure or something like that. But as I said bleeding from the bum needs investigation.

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