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can gp refuse to refer for colonoscopy?

(19 Posts)
hildaogden99 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:30:47

Ok.I'm off to the gp tomorrow to request referral for colonoscopy as I'm worried about bowel cancer. Although I don't have any red flag symptoms I do sometimes pass small amounts of mucous with my poo (sorry!) which I've heard can be a sign. Also my dad plus his aunt & uncle all had bowel cancer. I've asked about screening before but told I don't meet criteria. So worried I'll be fobbed off.I could go private and assume they can't refuse that? However, I'm loath to do so as £500 excess and I've just used for another problem so can't really afford. I'll admit I'm suffering from health anxiety at the moment triggered by the other problem (bleeding that turned out to be fibroids) so worried they'llthink I'm neurotic. Any tips how to play this?

Thanks. Gah I'm never i'll now 2 things one after the other....

awaywego1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:33:31

I think they could refuse to refer you as you have no symptoms. However if you explain you are v anxious they sometimes refer for reassurance..but colonoscopys are to be avoided unless necessary. Health anx is awful.. my dp is really struggling at the moment due to bad IBS..which he fears is cancer. It might be helpful for you to address the anxiety if you can.

hildaogden99 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:07:49

I really need the reassurance, especially with the family history and the fact I'm in my 40s. DH (ex health anxiety sufferer) had one privately a few years ago and he had similar symptoms to me. The reassurance it gave was well worth it. If I have to pay £500 then I will I guess as the worry is driving me crazy.

adagio Thu 16-Jan-14 10:15:42

Surely only you know your symptoms, i.e. the GP will only go on what you tell them. If you are genuinely that worried, perhaps you have seen more worrying things than just a bit of mucous?

FWIW< I always have mucous in my poo (sorry) and also had dark blood in it…so I had a colonoscopy 4 years ago, it was horrible, but they said I was fine.

...and since having a baby occasionally huge amounts of fresh blood too. I am still here and due to previous investigation saying I am basically fine, I now ignore my issues grin The ostrich approach to health management.

awaywego1 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:29:30

hilda-it makes sense that you feel you need the reassurance especially with the family history..the only problem is that health anxiety tends to shift so you might get reassurance around your bowels and then start focusing on another symptom but if you don't think that would happen then it might be worth paying for the colonoscopy.

hildaogden99 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:32:45

Good point Adagio! Maybe a little exaggeration won't go amiss. However I have read of people who have had mucous as their only symptom & I do have a family history so I don't think my fears are groundless...

hildaogden99 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:05:34

I don't think I will awaywego, my anxiety was fueled by a genuine health symptom that turned out to be non serious. I'm not usually one to get anxious over health symptom(never ill) so think I'll be fine once I hopefully have reassurance that my bowels are normal.

LovelyBath Thu 16-Jan-14 12:38:00

I had a colonoscopy a few years back (along with an endoscopy at the same time- quite an experience). Only after having bad diarrheoa for months though and losing a lot of weight. They found signs of possible coeliacs, but not cancer.

It is not a pleasant thing. However they give you pethidine which knocks you out for most of it.

I'm no expert, but aren't there other screening tests for bowel cancer? Some kind of test of your poo? Or could they do a blood test? maybe you need to discuss it with your doctor, and highlight your family history too. Good luck

awaywego1 Thu 16-Jan-14 13:27:45

That's good Hilda hopefully the gp will be supportive. smile

Elibean Thu 16-Jan-14 13:46:16

I've just been to see GP with slight increase in IBS symptoms, and he hovered over the options but decided it wasn't justifiable cause for NHS colonoscopy - even though I'm over 50. I have no close family history, though, I would have thought father and two other relatives would be enough to justify a check?

In the event, I have insurance so am going to talk to a gastroenterology consultant who specialises in both colon screening and IBS - so will pick his brains and act accordingly. If he thinks a colonoscopy is worth it, so be it - if he doesn't, yippee!

I think family history is enough to cause bad anxiety, tbh, so if I were your GP I would let you have a one-off check for the mucous on that basis alone. Good luck smile

hildaogden99 Thu 16-Jan-14 14:56:58

I was told my family history wasn't strong enough?!? You have to have 3 first line relatives and I only have one, although the aunt & uncle were brother & sister - my grandad's ( dad's dad) siblings. The uncle was only early 50s and my dad was 59. Don't get the logic! They did say to come back if I had symptoms and I do now don't I?! ;-)

PennySillin Thu 16-Jan-14 15:39:07

I think it's a reasonable decision not to refer but I understand your anxiety. sad

hildaogden99 Fri 17-Jan-14 13:55:04

Getting anxious about the appointment now, don't feel comfortable about exaggerating symptoms but unsure what else to do to make sure I get what I want.....

mummyto2boysandagirl3 Fri 17-Jan-14 14:55:40

I completely understand why u r worried my gran (mums mum) had bowel cancer and I have ibs which gives me some of the "symptoms" do u think it could be ibs causing the mucous? Absolutely go c ur gp as I'm in no way medically qualified just putting it out there smile I find stress is the biggest cause of my ibs also if I eat too much wheat/dairy/spicy food personally I couldn't exaggerate my symptoms I'd b too worried about bad karma and it coming back to bite me in the bum but I understand y u want to and ur so stressed. Hope u get the reassurance u need

Elibean Fri 17-Jan-14 16:55:25

How did it go, hilda?

hildaogden99 Fri 17-Jan-14 19:32:26

My GP is fab! I decided not to exaggerate and told him as it is. He said that while he doubted it was anything to worry about (the one & only time he referred someone with mucous it was nothing)he could see how anxious I am so thinks I would benefit from a specialist's advice. As I have no red flag symptoms,the NHS wait would be VERY long which would not help my anxiety. Therefore he recommended I use my insurance. He recommended a gastroenterologist and I see her Wednesday. Will keep you posted.

hildaogden99 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:14:38

So I saw the consultant today - lovely woman. She said that occasionally polyps can cause mucous and taking into account my family history recommends I have a colonoscopy. I'm all booked in for next week. She said the likelihood is she will see a healthy colon, at worst a polyp(s) that will be removed. She also said "this is not colon cancer". So glad I went.

Elibean Wed 22-Jan-14 19:42:17

smile well done for going, and hurrah for the consultant. I'm sure all will be well, but there's nothing like peace of mind! Hope the prep and scope all go smoothly.

smee Thu 23-Jan-14 15:43:40

hilda, your GP and Consultant both sound lovely. Glad you got some good news.

Waving to Elibean. smile I've never been diagnosed, but always thought I have low level IBS, but mines escalated over past few weeks so will be heading to the GP too. Hope yours will settle soon. Just saying hi really!

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