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Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2003

I am a three-year ovarian cancer survivor. I'm just curious what are the symptoms of colon cancer, as my doctor suggests a colonoscopy next year (since I have a history and since I will be 49 years old). Anyway, whatever you can tell me will be helpful.
Thank you!

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, mopar:

I had no "symptoms" at all save signs of occult blood in the stool found during a regular physical examination.

Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Mopar,
I too had no symptons that normally go with colon cancer, I was running a low grade fever and had pain in my stomach but the pain was due too my tumor bursting.

Posts: 50
Joined: May 2003

My husband had most of the classic symptoms including:
Unexplained weight loss - although he was not unhappy about it
Pain in lower back and rear
Bloody stool
Thin ribbonlike stool
Gas and bloating
Feeling the urge to "go", but unable to evacuate much at all
He was diagnosed with hemmorhoids; the tumor in his rectum was only detected when he went in for a hemmorhoidectomy several months later.

taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

I have to agree with the previous posts. GET THE COLONOSCOPY!!!! I was treated for hemmoroids for nearly 3 months! Because of my age and lack of family history. I had the change in bowel habits (it happened so gradualy) the ribbon-like stool, then the rectal bleeding (very little at first and then it became more and more obvious) It was the bleeding that finally sent me in to get something done but I should have done it earlier!!! I can't tell you how important it is to listen to your body. You know when things are not right. Trust yourself and have the tests until you find out what is causing your symptoms. Better to be a live hypocandriac (sp?) ! I am wishing you all the good luck.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

mopar -

Same here - no symptoms early on. I finally got to a point where I was constantly out of breath and blacking out and had a cough for about 7 months. That was all due to internal bleeding and after I had been "sick" for about three years. My type of cancer is genetic (Non-polyposis Hereditary Colorectal Cancer). The same genetic defect that predisposes me to cc also predisposes women with the genetic defect to ovarian cancer. Since you have a history, I strongly suggest you get the scope annually.

- SpongeBob

Posts: 1954
Joined: May 2003

Thanks to all of you who responded so quickly and thoroughly. I can see that as with ovarian cancer, symptoms may be non-existent. Given my history it would be wise to pursue a colonoscopy. I will do so in 2004. My thanks again to all of you. Also, my wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Joy and Health. Until next year. . .

Posts: 20
Joined: Jul 2003

I didn't really have many symptoms, either. In September 2002, I went to my dr. for a general check-up. I'd had blood in my stool a couple days before, so I mentioned it to my dr. and he did a rectal exam, but said at my age (29), it was nothing to worry about. In January 2003, my stomach was gurgling in a weird way for a couple weeks, and I was feeling a little bloated, but still didn't pay much attention. Then all of a sudden one night there was a ton of blood in the toilet, and the next day I had severe abdominal pain and wasn't able to pass any gas or anything. Two days later I had surgery (my surgical report said that my colon had stretched to 10x its normal size!).

Needless to say, I agree with LisaT that people should be checked earlier. If you're worried about it, get that colonoscopy! I have heard of so many people in their twenties who were diagnosed with colon cancer. It's certainly not only an old person's disease!

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Mopar, Just signed on to this site, and would encourage you to get right over to yur doc and have that colonoscopy. I had deferred on my recommended "baseline" because I had absolutely no sx, no occult blood either and have been in great health. BUT...small polyp (1 cm) turns out to be positive, and following a colectomy and biopsy, we found 1 positive node. Now it's on to chemo and hoped for good results. go, get tested. the test itself was absolutely no problem for me...the medication I used gave me no side effects (Versad, I think). The prep was a little rough, since I don't handle nausea well, but it's a very small price to pay. Good luck J

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