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Please tell me i am too young...

mnicole
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

i have not been diagnosed with anything yet but i am very scared. i have been having abdominal pain for over two years now that has gotten worse over time and gone from just bein gin my stomach to radiating to my bottom. i have always had a hard time with bowel movements and notice i never feel i am done no matter how much i go. the thing that really is concerning me is the bleeding. it started as light, like spotting, but has gone to filling the toilet with bright red blood. i went to the dr today to have it checked and he said i do not have hemmeriods but that there is a lump internally. my uncle died due to colon cancer. i have been scheduled for a surgical consult next month. i am sure that thi sdoes not make a whole lot of sense but i am just so overcome with fear and anxiety. i am only 21 i can't have colon cancer right? i really need some reassurance. Nicole

toddpern
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2002

Nicole,
Try to stay calm. I know it's tough, but right now, worrying will not get you anything - but sick. Wait until you know for sure what the situation is, then plan accordingly.

No, you are not too young to have colon cancer. My best friend was diagnosed last year (2002) with stage III colon cancer at age 26. It's rare, but it can happen.

You don't know if it's cancer. It may just be a mass. And, you don't know (if it is colon cancedr) the stage. Colon cancer is very curable when detected early.

Good luck and keep us posted. We'll be praying for you.

Todd

mnicole
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

thank you todd iam just really worried i suppose i should stay off the internet and aviod "self diagnosing" but i can't help it. i just worry that if it is too much time has gone by i have had the abdominal pain for over two years i wonder if that means it could have spread already or is bleeding one of the first symptoms? i just don't know and the not knowing is killing me. nicole

mnicole
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

by the way how is your friend? good i hope..

livin
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

No you are not to young for Colon Cancer, but you have not been diagnosed yet. I know its hard not to think about it, the mind can play tricks on you.Sometimes you can have similar symptoms and it doesn't have to be it at all. Has your Doctor did stool for Occult Blood. Have you had a Colonoscopy? Any other Abdominal exams where you had to drink something before the test. Did your Doctor explain the possible diagnois. Meaning it may be a tumor or we want to get a biopsy first. I understand your fear. No disrepect to you but Cancer has no age limit. I wish you well.

toddpern
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2002

Nicole,
My friend is doing well. He had surgery on February 13, 2002 and had chemo from June through October. Now he's back to work full time and busy pursuing the things he's wanted to pursue from the get go. If you want to read his story, go to www.helpalex.net. He documented his experience with cancer. It's very enlightening.

I think you're right on saying you should avoid the internet and quit reading on this. The more you read, the more worked up you can get. Now is the time to take some time for yourself and find something calming. Do something you love and enjoy and don't think about anything else. Join a yoga class, meditate, go for a long walk. Be with friends. Try to not focus on this so much until you know the diagnosis.

Take care,
Todd

cp1264's picture
cp1264
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi mnicole,
You do not say whether you've had a CT scan or not. I'd highly recommend that IMMEDIATELY. Make sure it is a contrast CT Scan. Have you had a conoloscopy? You do not say what kind of test(s) you have undergone to investigate this problem. Don't let your doctors put you off on this. It may be something else, but who wants to chance it? Be methodical about your treatment - make sure you are very vocal about your family history. Ease your own mind, get appropriate treatment, and go from there. Methodical approaches can save a lot of anxiety. But, "Don't worry until you have to worry". Print that out in big letters and put it where you can read it each day.
Cindy

vcavanagh
Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

Dear M.,
If you have been having trouble for two years, it is very very unlikely that you have cancer.You would have been in serious trouble long ago. It is possible at 21 but very unusual. It sounds more like irritable bowel syndrome. what age did your uncle get colon cancer. Nowadays it would be advised to have a check of colon done at 10 years younger than the youngest sufferer in the family history. Could I suggest that you phone your doctor and tell him/her your worries. He should have a good idea what the problem is likely to be. Blessings - and let us all know how you make out. I think it will be O.K.
V.C.

allenman23
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

Nicole,

My name is Allen and I was diagnosed with colon cancer in March 2000. I was 20 years old then. I had pains in my abdominal area for a few weeks and then I was woken late one night when the pain became unbearable. I was rushed to hospital where I was given pain killers until further tests could be done. Well, it turned out that after a colonoscopy that I had a tumor the size of a baseball that was touching my intestines. Immediately, I had surgery to remove the tumor. I was diagnosed with Level 3 colon cancer since the tumor was touching my intestines and a couple of lymph nodes. Other than the tumor, no other traces of cancer was found. For man at the age of 20, my emotional state was crushed. I chose to have chemotherapy done for 6 months as a precaution to rid any cancer cells in my body that can only be seen on a molecular level.

It is now March 2003, and I ended chemotherapy in January 2001. It has been 2 years and I have been consistently going for checkups that include contrast CT scans and more colonoscopys... I have been fortunate to not have any reoccurences in the time being...

I hope my condition has helped you in whatever way... I feel a special bond with all cancer patients and specifically you... You have yet to be diagnosed so, there's a good chance you may not experience what I have. However, I offer any advice, help, or encouragement that you may need. Do not hesitate to ask me anything.

Allen

mrslacsr's picture
mrslacsr
Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Nicole,
I went through the same problem that you are going through January of last year and mine got to the point that I quit eating all together because I felt that if I didn't eat then I wouldn't hurt. I had bleeding and problems having bowel movements,too. I am not a doctor but you have the same symptoms as I did and they found a golf ball size tumor imbedded in my rectal walls. It was stage 3 rectal cancer. I was 36 years old and like you I was scared and thought that I was too young. Believe me when I say that you did the right thing by going to your dr. I hope that everything will be ok. Maybe if it is this, than they caught it on time and anything won't happen to you? I won't scare anymore than you already are by telling you what I went through until you are ready to hear it,ok? But I am here for you if you need me,ok? Good luck and best wishes;hope to hear from you soon. Let me know how it goes,ok?
Michele:)

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

dear mnicole,
Before I give any reaasurance (which you asked for) I have to BEG you to NOT wait until next month for a surgical consult. With the severity of your symptoms and the time that has passed (two years) this sounds like it needs expediency. I do not mean to alarm you,but I really do not think you should wait. My sister was diagnosed with colon cancer in her 20's. she was sick for a few years. She had pain in her stomach area. She started throwing up. The doctors pooh-poohed her insinuating she was annorexic (she wasn't) and I am sure her age worked against her. They kept treating symptoms and not digging deeper to find out her problem. It was too late by the time they found her tumor. She survived four years after her diagnosis. Now I have had the same cancer and I got right in after my initial abdominal pains. I didn't have symptoms for years. After the first week of symptoms I called my doc, contacted Mayo to set up an appointment right away and within 2 months had my surgery. Mayo figured my tumor could have been there for 5-10 years with no obvious symptoms. Please DEMAND immediate testing to determine your pain and bleeding. Age means nothing. I am floored that your doctor is not jumping on this yesterday!!! Now for the reassurance. IF you have colon cancer there are ways to beat this. If you don't then you can breathe a sigh of relief and take care of yourself and your colon to alleviate your constipation and bleeding. There are simple colon cleansings and diets to heal your colon and increase your bowel output. If you have any questions about this go to www.curezone.com because they have wonderful articles on colon health. Please keep us posted on your condition, okay?
peace, emily

joe08536
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2003

MNichole,

I'm 34 and was diagnosed about 3 years ago.

First. As far waiting - DON'T! Let your Dr. know about your uncle if he doesn't already know and also find out from your family if anyone else died of colon cancer or had colon polyps and let the Dr. know that as well.

Second, it is gonna sound stupid but Relax. Right now there's not enough evidence to support a diagnosis of cancer but there is a lot of evidence to suspect something is wrong and one of the things it could be is cancer.

Third, I'd love to say no that you're too young but - you're not. Especially since you have an uncle who had colon cancer. It sounds very much like you are at least a possible candidate for something called Lynch's Syndrome which basically means you and your family members may be more suseptable to colon cancer and at a much earlier age than normal.

Basically, what you want to do is call your Dr. and schedule for a colonoscopy as soon as possible. This is a procedure where they will put a camera - basically - where no camera should ever have to go, but which will allow the Dr's to completely inspect your colon. A sigmoidoscopy only goes about 1/3 of the way through your colon and can be more or less useless unless a tumor is close to your sphincter, don't get a sigmoidoscopy.

One way or another, after your colonoscopy you will know and the Dr's will move appropriately.

Oh, and unless my Dr was very wrong you can also have hemmoroids internally. I found this out when I started daily exersize after my surgery and chemotherapy and started getting blood in my stool - again - needless to say I was - not happy. I was riding the stationary bikes at my local gym as part of my regimine and noticed bright red blood in/with my stools and some minor pain as well. I called my gastro-enterologist - and before I was on the phone 30 seconds he told me a little known- seldom mentioned item - it's ok you have "internal" hemmoroids - and while that might be a problem for some people, I'm sure everyone in this forum would much rather have had that diagnosis - So as much as I hate to say it - cheer up - it could be hemoroids.

Understand one thing here Nichole as it bears repeating, While everyone here is going to be as supportive as possible, I think we'd all agree on one thing, if it is cancer, time is not your ally and you need to move as quickly through the paperwork and the testing if that means a day away from school or work - make it happen.

General practice Dr's have a very hard time diagnosing everything that comes their way and sometimes won't expect to find serious problem with someone your age so you may wish to consider a second opinion as well.

Due to my age - 31 at the time, One Dr. had told me I had a "lettuce alergy" - I swear that was the answer he gave me for almost a year and then I had a bowel movement which looked more like a bad period and for a guy in his early thirties, I was uncomfortable with that to say the very least - I asked for a new doctor to look at my history and I went through the tests for 4 months and when I finally had my surgery my surgeon and the pathologist commented that had it been another 2 or 3 weeks it would have been much worse for me so having dodged more "bullets" then I care to think about I cannot really stress the need to insist and ask questions and educate yourself, I also tend to agree with some of the other contributors that your Dr. appears to be foot draging though.

Good luck,

Joe G.

Dreamer57
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2003

I truly believe there is no such thing as being "too young" for colon or rectal cancer. I was diagnosed at age 38 with stage 3 rectal cancer. I had been bleeding for a year, but my doctor kept saying it was nothing. You are doing the right thing to have it checked out. Don't avoid it because of fear. These things don't go away by themselves. I want to be sure you know the good news. I was diagnosed and treated at age 38 - and I am now 45 and healthy. Keep your chin up. I hope you post after you know. I'll be praying for you.

dmurphy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

i read your post and i hope that you are doing better. i am 28 yrs old and was diagnosed the first time with stage 4 colon cancer almost five years ago, just after my 23rd birthday, so i know exactly what you are going through. in fact the scenario sounds errily familiar. the damn thing came back a second time and after a few surgeries a whole lot of chemo/radiation it has been gone now for almost three years and i am about to celebrate my first child's 1 year birthday. i pray that you don't have this disease but if you find out that you do, you should know that you will have the support you need to beat this thing. take care of yourself.

livin
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

Nicole, Please keep us posted on your condition. I hope your results are Negative for Colon Cancer.

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Ok, I'm anxious to find out...has anyone heard from Nicole regarding her testing? I think we were all left hanging...hopefully it's because she no longer has anything in common with the "rectal group" and not because anything negative has surfaced.

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