My 35 yr old husband and bowel cancer testing

(8 Posts)
ChristmasiscomingJonSnow Sat 07-Dec-19 07:52:25

My 60 yo FIL died from bowel cancer this year. His father had bowel cancer as did his father. My DH had a colonoscopy 4 yrs ago and they found a polyp which was removed. The NHS have arranged to check him every 5 years. He's 35 and this seems like too big a gap to me, given the family history.

We've tried to get private medical insurance for him but, unsurprisingly, none of the insurers will cover him for bowel cancer.

Does anyone have any advice / experience on what we can do? I personally think he should be screened on a more regular basis but how can I get this actioned? I keep getting served ads for home stool kits, but are they reliable?

OP’s posts: |
Lieinrequired Sat 07-Dec-19 07:58:29

Home kits can be reliable. It should be a FIT test to be the most sensitive.
I have a family history of bowel cancer. My screening is done privately and consists of me taking samples at home using a kit I am sent. I then post the tube of samples and the FIT test is done. This happens every 2 years.

HitthefloorforTaintedLove Sat 07-Dec-19 21:29:19

Hi @ChristmasiscomingJonSnow

Sorry to hear about FIL.

Regarding DH you and he need to piece together the family history of bowel cancer with a view to checking for any genetic issue - is he sure his great-grandfather had bowel cancer? What age were the individuals affected by it?

There is a lot of information on www.bowelcancer.co.uk including information on genetic testing for Lynch syndrome.
If he does have Lynch syndrome then 5 years is too long to wait between screening appointments.

Be familiar with the symptoms:
The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
Unexplained weight loss
Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
A pain or lump in your tummy

My DH was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year. Obviously hope that doesn't happen to your DH but if there is any increased risk screening can save lives.

HitthefloorforTaintedLove Sat 07-Dec-19 21:32:06

Hi @Lieinrequired sorry you have a family history too, can I ask if your FIT tests are as well as colonoscopies and endoscopies or instead of them?

Lieinrequired Sun 08-Dec-19 07:14:33

Currently I just have FIT tests.

HitthefloorforTaintedLove Sun 08-Dec-19 14:00:00

I posted the wrong link yesterday, it should have been www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/

@Lieinrequired I don't know your particular case but DH and relatives all have colonoscopies and endoscopies every 2 years or more frequently.
Perhaps for the variant in your family history combined with your age or other factors things are different and I'm not trying to scaremonger but it may be worth checking with the charity above or an independent person if that is the best and most effective screening available to you.

The best outcome of course is an all clear every time and I wish you that.

faelavie Sun 08-Dec-19 20:00:02

Hi, endoscopy nurse here.

It may be that after the polyp was sent for histology it was found to not be the type that can turn into cancer. Some polyps can be very slow growing hence the 5 year surveillance.... Depending on the type of cancer your FIL had and if your OH is asymptomatic he may not need more frequent colonoscopies than this. For more information you may want to speak to the the endoscopy department he went to regarding their reasoning for this surveillance period. The endoscopist that performed the test should be able to answer this for you.

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ChristmasiscomingJonSnow Sun 08-Dec-19 21:16:56

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful comments and advice. I'm going to sit down with husband and go through the advice to evaluate the options and suggestions

OP’s posts: |

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