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Really scared of bowel cancer now :(

(7 Posts)
Kat101 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:59:57

This was my previous thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/1719939-Stomach-bug-or-more-serious-Scared

Well I went to the GP today and told him that for the past 4 weeks I had weird stools. Sometimes completely normal form/colour, some very soft with a little white mucous and spots of blood on the paper. No diarrhoea in the last 3 weeks though.

I have been going a bit more than usual, maybe 3 times a day but small amounts. Colour looks normal though, mucous and the spots of blood are not mixed in.

GP says no piles, and has ordered a signoidoscopy, about a 2 week wait. The reason I am anxious is that I have been offered a dream job but am scared of accepting it and losing my sick pay entitlement that I would have in my current (though temporary contract) role. But I cant keep everyone waiting 2 weeks before making a decision!

GP has also given me steroid suppositories, last time these got rid of the bleeding and mucous. But last time I didnt have the intermittent softer more frequent stools.....

Very nervous. My Dads GP at his health check said when you have bowel cancer the symptoms are really really obvious. Are they? Am I worrying unnecessarily?

Thanks for reading..

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Apr-13 13:25:55

I think there's probably lots of other things apart from bowel cancer that it could be. Did the GP mention cancer, or is this just something you are worried about in general? Or from family history since you mention your dad?

I think if it was me, I'd be going back to the GP and asking what he thinks the possibilities are and how likely/unlikely it is to be cancer. He may not be able to say, since he's not an expert, but he might at least be able to reassure you that it's a long way down the list of possible causes.

Kat101 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:35:14

No family history, it was discussed during my Dad's routine check (think the checks are for the over 70s').

I think the bleeding is from some kind of irritation, probably also the mucous. Feels irritated and itchy. It seems to be key whether the blood is mixed in or not, and how much of it there is?

Asked GP directly whether it was anything drastic but he didnt commit (basically avoided the question by saying they might find nothing but he'd rather be on the safe side).

Kat101 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:36:16

Oh and I'm in my late 30's if thats relevant....

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Apr-13 13:55:53

I'd think statistically it's not very likely then. Its routinely checked once you get older (50 maybe?) but its not that common even then. Much more likely to be something else, but I can't guess what. I'd think its pretty unlikely that you'd need an op or any serious treatment, more likely they'll have you in and out for a few tests and then it'll be pills if its some kind of infection, or advice on diet etc if it might be food related.

The "mixed in" part is that blood on the outside of the poo is most likely from something near the end of your digestive system, like an irritation or piles. With bowel cancer the blood is getting mixed in much earlier, further back in your system. They basically cut one up and test for blood in the middle of it. That would mean that there is damage further up, not necessarily cancer but that's one cause.

Once you're past 50 you'll get exciting letters from the gp asking you to cut your stools up and send them samples for testing hmm They come complete with a little wooden spatula...

Kat101 Wed 17-Apr-13 14:55:03

Thank you so much for replying. I feel a little calmer now. Given that the symptoms started well over a year ago, I can only think that if it was C it would be really unmistakeable by now.

Also the people I know who have had bowel cancer have all had unusual white blood counts, and I dont appear to, though not sure how relevant this is.

edwinbear Wed 17-Apr-13 15:29:39

I had similar symptoms in my mid twenties, passing mucus and blood with my stools, sometimes it would be more mucus than poo. I was diagnosed with proctitis, which is a form of ulceritive colitis affecting just the rectum. It is a chronic condition, but I had a course of suppositories for about 6 months and it cleared up. I had a flare up when I was pregnant which was treated with suppositories but have been clear for about 4 years now.

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