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Bowel cancer- a cautionary tale

(49 Posts)
tallulah Sat 05-Mar-11 16:37:44

This week I have been dx with bowel cancer following a CT Scan. I have been seeing the GP monthly since July (3 different ones) because of having to go to the loo 10+ times a day, and up till now they have been convinced it was IBS.

The only symptom has been the excessive toilet visits. No bloating, no pain and no bleeding. I have had 3 blood tests and been told that "if it was something serious it would show up in the bloods". But it didn't.

I am not in the "at risk" age group (55+). I have never smoked and rarely drink. I haven't eaten meat for 30 years. I have fruit and veg every day.

I would say to anyone who has a change in bowel habits , don't wait for symptoms, or be fobbed off with "it won't be anything serious". Ask for a referral.

Buda Sat 05-Mar-11 16:41:00

How scary for you. I do know that if diagnosed early it is VERY treatable.

I am actually about to book myself in for a top-to-toe and all bits in between health check and will be having the test for bowel cancer too. You have reminded me I need to do it!

Fingers crossed for you.

cabbageroses Sat 05-Mar-11 16:41:36

[sorry] I hope you will be okay.
A helpful post.


Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 05-Mar-11 16:44:31

I'm very sorry for you tallulah, it must be an awful blow for you and a lot to take insad

Have they given you an idea of treatment options?

I had cancer some years ago, thankfully treated and gone. I was also assured I was too young for it give anything serioushmm

Take care of yourself.

tallulah Sat 05-Mar-11 18:38:36

I'm having surgery this month. It hasn't spread and they are confident this will sort it out. Haven't seen the consultant yet so if there is any follow-up I'm assuming he'll tell me.

I'm feeling quite positive, but my entire family are having hysterics I've been pretty impressed with the speed once I started having tests.

Thanks for your good wishes. Buda I'm glad I've prompted someone to check grin

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 05-Mar-11 18:41:12

DH had this two years ago. Caught early, operation, removed some of his colon, and he is fine (touch wood). And the great thing is he has very regular check ups which mean that any recurrence would be easily spotted.

Agree, very treatable when caught early. They thought DH had an ulcer at first

Best of luck.

lancs2000 Sat 05-Mar-11 18:48:12 you mind if I ask what sort of healthcheck? I'm considering something like that for myself but don't know how to go about it.

Elibean Sat 05-Mar-11 18:48:43

very helpful post, tallulah - am glad you have such an excellent prognosis, and sorry you have a diagnosis, iyswim. Also sorry your family is so distressed - imagine thats not easy for you at this point sad

My bf's mother had bowel cancer years and years ago, also caught early, also treated with surgery and been fine ever since - must be well over 10 years now. Definitely one to catch early!

Bearcat Sat 05-Mar-11 21:20:59

DH diagnosed with bowel cancer 2005.
Had surgery to remove left side of colon.
Is now 55, very well and still playing 5 a side football once a week!

Eleison Sat 05-Mar-11 21:27:20

tallulah, thank you for the warning. I'm so sorry that you have this, but so pleased for you that you were persistent enough to get the diagnosis you needed. That will make all the difference for you I hope. And I hope that you will be fully well asap.

Mu mother died of bowel cancer. She saw doctors a lot wioth bowel problems, for a very long time. It wasn't diagnosed until it spread to her liver, and she died a few weeks later. So getting the timely diagnosis means everyhting.

belledechocchipcookie Sat 05-Mar-11 21:28:35

I'm so sorry, this must have been such a shock for you.

My ex-mil has had this. She was diagnosed from a routine test which she received in the post. She also has no symptoms. After a course of chemo and an operation she's been given the all clear now.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Sat 05-Mar-11 22:04:43

how did you get him to listen in the end? I have had no end of problems with my GP fobbing me off with its just IBS
I have just done the beat test and have 4 of the 5 signs of somehting horrible but he refuses to refer me for any testing what so ever and just loads me with more tablets

Buda Sun 06-Mar-11 00:27:16

lancs - I am overseas with private health insurance. It's So different!

Here in Hungary they recommend smear tests and mammograms every year.

Will just book myslef in to local clinic for complete MOT. They are used to it and recommend it.

Eurostar Sun 06-Mar-11 00:34:25

Good luck tallulah - I know several people who have lived many, many years after successful treatment for bowel cancer caught early on so the prognosis is good. Glad you were so persistent. I've also had friends who were fobbed off with IBS when they had Ovarian problems actually.

Strangely, colorectal cancer appears to be the one cancer that vegetarians have a higher incidence of while having a lower incidence of other common cancers, have read several studies to that effect.

WideWebWitch Sun 06-Mar-11 00:37:11

Hi tallulah, best of luck with your treatment.

tallulah Sun 06-Mar-11 13:55:25

lisad I just kept telling them that it was getting worse.. we moved house and my new GP had been waiting for my notes but when they didn't arrive said she thought it was time for a referral. She still felt it wasn't serious but we both agreed the situation couldn't continue (by now getting up twice a night for a poo- sorry if TMI- as well as 10+ times a day).

She sent off the referral about 5 weeks ago. Within 2 weeks I'd had a barium enema, then the hospital called me to say it had picked up something from that and I needed a CT scan. Had that just under 2 weeks ago, then they called me in this week to say it was cancer.

I don't know if I've been really lucky that we moved to the right area or whether anywhere is this fast once you are referred, but I'm very pleased we moved here.

Eurostar I didn't know that. I always thought vegetarians were at lower risk of bowel cancer because meat takes longer to pass through?

Eurostar Sun 06-Mar-11 22:54:55

Here's one link from an article

Here's one talking about the confusion from other research

Definitely no research to show that vegetarians are at lower risk of bowel cancer so it is important that vegetarians with a change in bowel habits don't think they they don't need to be checked out.

You must have been really ill with going so much. Sounds like you are in a good area for treatment. Wish you well.

nikki1978 Sun 06-Mar-11 23:04:02

Lancs2000 -just google full health check up and you can find lots of clinics to do this - usually cost a fair bit though!

ThingOne Mon 07-Mar-11 10:23:32

Sorry to hear this tallulah. I was dx with colorectal cancer nearly five years ago. Like you I didn't really fit any of the boxes and after I had been asked "have your parents had bowel cancer?" just once, and given the answer "no", it disappeared off the radar.

There was a lot of publicity last week about the problems GPs have diagnosing cancer in the earlier stages. You are not alone, sadly, in suffering for so long.

I wish you all the best with your treatment. Keep in touch. I don't post much but I often check this topic.

electra Mon 07-Mar-11 10:39:49

Poor you tallulah - I am so glad it hasn't spread and you're feeling positive. Bowel cancer seems to be one of those that can target anyone. We've lost dear friends and family to it and my dh had a work colleague who died of it aged only 25 sad

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Mon 07-Mar-11 11:11:17

Thanks for advice will go back.
I hope things go well for toucans glad they caught it early

Highlander Mon 07-Mar-11 14:07:53

BUDA - mammograms every year are dangerous, as you are exposing your breasts to excessive radiation. if you need surveillance, then ultrasound is safer, and more accurate.

Buda Mon 07-Mar-11 18:06:22

Interesting Highlander. They do ultrasound too i.e you get booked in for mammogram and ultrasound.

cornsilkee Mon 07-Mar-11 18:10:53

Thanks for posting this tallulah
I hope that you get good news soon

TheRealDarkMavis Tue 08-Mar-11 16:57:12

Thank you for the warning. Good luck and hugs x

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