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Is Bowel cancer very unlikely?

(28 Posts)
Looseleaf Fri 11-Jul-14 18:07:27

I saw the GP last week as had blood in my stools (I'm fairly sure I've had this before but thought nothing of it rather like when a poo might cause a slight scratch on the way out? Sorry yucky conversation).
This time it hurt deep inside and I can still feel it slightly 3 days on and still getting slight blood on poos but not as much.

Our GP is great and was v thoughtful- not dismissive- and decided after weighing the risks as im only in my 30s versus putting me through rectal examination/ colonoscopy etc it was best to leave it for now.
I know he's right and wonder if anyone's been in a similar boat?

I have had gut issues for years from not realising I can't tolerate grains/ maybe coeliac so ate damaging foods for a long time. And am pooing a bit more than normal and very tired but the tiredness isn't new.

I'd pay not to have a rectal exam (!!) but also feel v cautious as have young children

Looseleaf Fri 11-Jul-14 18:10:35

I mean this week! Lost track of days

domoarigato Fri 11-Jul-14 18:14:04


domoarigato Fri 11-Jul-14 18:15:25

You could have internal haemorrhoids or an anal fissure. But if it's been going on for a while and are worried it wouldn't hurt to send a poo sample off for testing.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 18:17:51

If you're not happy, push for the colonoscopy. The docs tend to prefer to wait until you're over 40 but you can force it along, I think, especially if there's a family history of bowel cancer.

If you're tired, then you might be losing blood in your poo - is it dark to almost black in colour? You GP could get it tested for faecal occult bloods (hidden blood in the stool) to see if there is any blood; loss of blood via the bowel could cause anaemia, which would contribute to tiredness.

I presume you're off all the damaging foods, now, are you?

callow Fri 11-Jul-14 18:17:54

If I had your symptoms I would like to have a colonoscopy to make sure everything was alright. You have several red flag symptoms.

If it is something, it could be inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, hemorrhoids then something can be done. Equally it could be nothing and at least it will put your mind at rest.

Looseleaf Fri 11-Jul-14 18:20:30

Thank you! I couldn't be too sure so think I will leave it and be vigilant. Our GP did say if it was worrying I'd notice other symptoms but it's easy to worry anyway!

winnybella Fri 11-Jul-14 18:22:43

It doesn't really matter what the odds are, any rectal bleeding should be investigated. You being tired all the time could also point to anemia from slow intestinal bleeding. Young people get bowel cancers as well.

winnybella Fri 11-Jul-14 18:24:32

Any family history of bowel, uterine or ovarian cancers?

Looseleaf Fri 11-Jul-14 18:31:35

Thank you all so much for your replies.

There is no family history

Yes in super-careful about not eating the foods I shouldn't now I know.

I did have a blood test not so long ago and wasn't anaemic (I'll have a look as had a printout but iron was in the right range).
Thanks again as helps to hear other thoughts on it not just mine

dontknowwhat2callmyself Sat 12-Jul-14 09:37:33

Not sure what the "risks" of a rectal examination would be except slight embarrassment. Apologies for bluntness but I don't think your GP sounds great - he should have investigated.

BsshBosh Sat 12-Jul-14 10:04:59

You can have a blood test to check for inflammatory bowel disease markers. Ask your GP. Colonoscopies can be painless with sedation and worth having to check for internal hemorrhoids, fissures, IBD, precancerous polyps, colorectal cancer (which does affect younger people and sometimes without family history.

BsshBosh Sat 12-Jul-14 10:07:38

I do agree that rectal bleeding, rectal pain and any persistent changes in bowel movements should be investigated.

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Jul-14 10:44:38

If it's any comfort, I had a colonoscopy just before Christmas last year under light sedation - didn't feel a thing, didn't know anything about it. The worst bit about it was drinking the crappy clear-out stuff beforehand! It's brilliant to set your mind at rest, and to pick up any potential issues.

My mum died of bowel cancer at 63, so I'm supposed to be checked every 5 years after age 40 (I missed the first one because of changing countries and having babies and so on)

Looseleaf Sat 12-Jul-14 21:40:41

Thank you all. I am taking DS in next week anyway so will mention would rather investigate to be 100%.

I wasn't clear, i didn't mean the GP said there was any risk to a rectal examination- he meant he was mulling over the risk of anything serious versus embarrassment factor for me as thought I was low risk

pinkfrocks Sat 12-Jul-14 22:19:51


You ought to be investigated for coeliac- it can make you tired due to lack of absorption of minerals.

pinkfrocks Sat 12-Jul-14 22:21:09

NHS diverticulitis symptoms

Pagwatch Sat 12-Jul-14 22:28:30

My DH is currently reeling from his friend being diagnosed with bowel cancer in hs 30s.
Get it checked.

PJ67 Sat 12-Jul-14 23:08:42

Could be an anal fissure which can cause pain when doing a bowel movement. Mild laxatives for a while can allow it to heal but I think the GP should at least do a rectal examination to see if it could be this.

TotallyAddictedToLurking Sat 12-Jul-14 23:13:30

A young family member had the same symptoms, she was told the same thing. Very low risk due to age. Two years on she has just finished a course of chemo.

Please fight for a colonoscopy. I hope it's nothing and I don't want to scare you but I've seen the damage done by a GP assuming you are too young to have bowel cancer.

Thumbwitch Sun 13-Jul-14 03:11:45

Yes, and although this is probably going to be seen as adding to the Fear factor, there is an MNer who has just died of bowel cancer, Knittingnovice. She was 34 and left behind 3 tiny children (the oldest had his 6th birthday 4 days after his mum died), but she was diagnosed 3 years ago when she was only 31.

I hope very much indeed that there is no problem like this for you, Looseleaf but I do agree that you need to back and fight for your colonoscopy, to be reassured that there is nothing to worry about (or, if the worst were to happen, that it can be treated as quickly and hopefully successfully as possible).

I have also known several people who have survived having bowel cancer, through surgery and treatment, and gone on for many more years - but "wait and see" is not an approach I would take for this, and I'm cross with your GP for even suggesting it, really. sad

isitnearlytime Sun 13-Jul-14 08:00:36

to echo everyone else's comments I would push for further investigation as although it's unlikely to be anything nasty it's not impossible for the reasons stated. I had a colonoscopy privately as I was concerned as my dad died from bc age 60. It wad not that bad and worth it for the peace of mind. Thumbwitch, I was told I don't need another before 10 years even though I'm 46 and have family history. Interesting you were told 5 years. Whereabouts are you?

Thumbwitch Sun 13-Jul-14 08:18:08

Australia, isit smile

MontserratCaballe Sun 13-Jul-14 08:26:12

Bowel cancer is one of the most easily treatable cancers if caught early. I would go back and ask for a rectal exam as that will spot the anal fissure / internal piles if they are the problem (I had this after 3rd baby. It really was like pooing glass). If not, then a colonoscopy will put your mind at rest and allow you to stop worrying. Not a pleasant day out of course, but worth doing for the peace of mind it will bring.

You will be back with your son next week so make an appointment for you too. Good luck - I am sure that it is likely to be nothing but get it checked out so that you can get some reassurance flowers

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 13-Jul-14 08:48:12

I apologise in advance for my bluntness.
My friend died at 39 after 4 years of horrible treatment for bowel cancer, never being able to have the babies she dreamed of, because she was palmed off.

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