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Is a bowel obstruction always cancer?

(15 Posts)
balia Thu 27-Mar-14 22:45:09

Lovely FIL has been rushed into hospital today with a bowel obstruction. He's on a drip and has a nasal tube. They've X-rayed him but aren't seeing him re the results until tomorrow. Have consulted Dr Google and scared myself daft - are there other things it can be aside from cancer (please) and how likely are they? He has recently been having treatment for high blood pressure and some of the tests showed something funny about his white cell count but can't remember if it was high or low. Don't want to ask DH as he seems to think it is just bad constipation and isn't worried - don't want to scare him if I'm just over-reacting.

NurseyWursey Thu 27-Mar-14 22:48:15

Oh lovely I'm sorry about your FIL and hope he's going to be okay.

There are other things it can be, depending if it's the small or large bowel - do you know which? Scar tissue, hernias... there's lots of reasons.

Don't worry until you've got more information thanks

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Mar-14 22:50:53

Yes it could be this, amongst many other things of course:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/diverticular-disease-and-diverticulitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Try not to worry too much though, even if it is bowel cancer it has a very good success rate. My mum made a full recovery.

Best wishes to you all. thanks

Stokes Thu 27-Mar-14 23:02:44

It may well be something else, but if it is bowel cancer there is an excellent chance of a full recovery. Please try not to panic.

balia Thu 27-Mar-14 23:06:53

Thank you so much - very reassuring. I should really know not to look on Google! No, I don't know whether it is small or large bowel, MIL was v tired when she rang so didn't want to ask lots of questions. Although she has had Diverticulitis so would be likely to recognise symptoms/understand what Dr's were talking about if it was that for FIL? Oh God, think I'll just keep my worries to myself and try to think positive until we hear more tomorrow.

Dontlaugh Thu 27-Mar-14 23:07:59

It could be many many things.
If Dr. Google worked for the NHS, she would be fired, please bear that in mind.
It could be hernia, piles, chronic constipation to mention a few.
If it is something like a tumour, then it's been caught early and chances of recovery are excellent.
Infections can raise white blood cell count.
Try not to worry until you get definite results, but if it is something more challenging then that is manageable too, usually.

Bugsylugs Thu 27-Mar-14 23:12:27

Try not to worry or Google there are lots of reasons for bowel obstruction. Hope he is feeling better soon

FightingFires Thu 27-Mar-14 23:35:17

Could just be polyps, or fecal impaction. There are lots of things that aren't life threatening.

Hope all is well flowers

Christelle2207 Fri 28-Mar-14 15:23:38

My fil had this and it turned out to be a polyp. Because of his age (80) they have decided to do nothing for now- causes some discomfort but it's benign so not a serious worry.

tb Fri 28-Mar-14 17:24:32

My mil had this, and it was due to active tb. When her elder brother died of tb in the 1920s, she also had tb, but it had never been diagnosed. It was found to be active, and had produced scar tissue that caused the blockage.

balia Fri 28-Mar-14 17:52:26

He's had an op, is in intensive care. Waiting to hear from MIL with any news about cause, prognosis etc. It's tricky as MIL isn't very medical and doesn't always ask if she doesn't understand what the docs are telling her, specially when she is flustered/anxious, like now. DH is organising to travel down there tomorrow.

susie199 Fri 28-Mar-14 18:30:10

My bowel obstruction was caused by a fibroid on a stalk - the size of a grapefruit. Obviously not the cause with your FIL, but not all obstructions are cancers, not all tumours are cancers and not all cancers are fatal. Sending love in meditation

Dontlaugh Fri 28-Mar-14 21:13:54

Hope the news is positive Balia, at least the surgery is over now and he's getting good pain relief (ICU v good at that).

balia Sat 29-Mar-14 13:41:39

Phew - apparently they have removed a large section of bowel but no sign of cancer! They aren't sure what caused the problem originally, but there was a very bad infection (Dontlaugh you were right); if he'd left it much later it would have perforated and that would have been life-threatening. So DH has headed down there and hopefully the worst is over. Thanks so much for all the words of reassurance and support.

LovelyBath Tue 01-Apr-14 21:37:50

That must be a relief. I've had large sections of bowel removed too and the outlook is good- there are metres of it so it shouldn't be missed. the surgery they can do nowadays is amazing. hope he has a good recovery.

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