CSN Login
Members Online: 10

curious

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya guys--as tha word says--"curious".I am wondering.After reading lots of personal pages it seems that there are many here who have discovered their cancers accidentally.By definition, I mean that the cancer may well have been present for quite some time.Explain??? Well, a lot of you originally had bleeding and were either told by a gp or assumed yourselves that this bleeding was caused by haemharoids(spelling??)
In every day life over here in OZ I am questioned often by male friends(who know of my cancer) about the symptoms for bowel cancer.It so happens that many of them --as males do--are very reluctant to discuss the subject of "bowel" problems with their gp's.--TYPICAL MALES!!!
Now this really concerns me, so much so that in the near future I intend to approach various clubs and community groups here to try and make somje progress towards early detection of bowel cancer.Of course that is not forgetting the female gender but we are all aware that "males" do have a tendency to look on "personal/private" issues regarding health taboo.
The reason I bring this up is because I was dx'd in 1997 with haemharoids and it was not until july 03 that my bleeding was discovered to come from a large tumour.
So--I guess comments on the subject here would make interesting discussion--if not for us that are already afflicted but maybe for those--male and female--who read these posts.
This disease needs better scrutiny and detection--wouldn't you agree?
luv--as always--kanga n Jen

ipetrou
Posts: 33
Joined: May 2004

hi there - my husband's only symptom was a little bit of rectal bleeding. he had it for a few weeks then went to the gp and the tumor was low enough down (9 cm from anal verge) for them to diagnose him pretty quickly. especially in someone young, i think there often isn't any symptom at all until there is some bleeding. which is really unfortunate since bleeding usually doesn't happen until the disease has been around for a while.

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

How extremely 'curious' for me to read your post this morning. My Mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer (mets to liver, lungs, thyroid) and just had a colon resection. It was a total surprise to all of us, although in looking back she now says there were a couple of things 'out of the ordinary'. However, bleeding was not one of them. I am a 4-year survivor of ovarian cancer, and I recently read that the gene responsible for colon cancer (my Mom tested positive for the gene) is also responsible for ovarian cancer. Today, I found out that the husband of someone I work with just found out this weekend he has colon cancer. His only symptom was a sudden onset of pain.

Considering all of this, I told someone today that I believe genetic testing should be considered 'preventative treatment' in regard to doctors, hospitals and health care. Because most cancers have no distinctive warning signs, it would be in everyone's best interest to screen everyone - just as we do with mammograms, colonoscopy's etc. Now I realize that have the gene does not mean you will in fact get cancer, but at least you can be more vigilent and live a lifestyle geared towards prevention.

Just my thoughts, so glad to see others are aware also.

Monika

Btrcup's picture
Btrcup
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi, in response to your curiosity, my hubby went to docs with rectal bleeding 2 years ago. Our doc told him in may be hemmroids (sp?), but to get colonoscopy. Well, he never went!! I begged him over and over to go, but he kept saying it would pass, just like always (he's been complaining of rectal bleeding and stomach pain for some time). He had been dx with high bp at same time and never got treated. When he went to ER on Feb 24 with bad stomach pain, throwing up and diarrhea, doc did CT and said found blockage and maybe burst appendix. What a shock when surgeon came out and told me hubby had tumor the size of a softball removed, along with appendix, 10 in colon and 10 in of sm intestines!! After he recovered from surgery and we met with onc who said he was Stage IV colon cancer, I said to him "Honey, I am only going to say this once "YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE FOR COLONOSCOPY 2 YEARS AGO". Didn't mean to sound like the "told you so" type, but I was very upset.

Since then, I have been on a quest. When the guys in the neighborhood, or friends of hubby's say this or that is wrong with them, I beg them to please go to docs. Don't be a wimp! Anyway, sorry to go on and on. Hope all is well with you and Jen.

Linda

littlejulie's picture
littlejulie
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

My moms symptoms were a constant need to go to the washroom without warning, abdomen pains, an she was unable to eat dairy. She had NO bleeding.

Since then I went for my first colonoscopy which came out clear. My brother also went for his first one and a small polyp was found. He has a follow up apt on August 16th. We're not really worried because many people have these and it's probably nothing. Good thing it was found now.

Geez - The government should make colonoscopys manditory!!! They realy save lives!

julie

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Kanga- I am one of those who assumed that I had hemorroids. The incidence of colorectal cancer is low enough in the younger population, that routine screening of everyone seems like it would discourage lots of people and not be very productive. I think that they very much do need to get the information out that colorectal cancer CAN and does occur in young people. People now have the idea that is something they don't have to worry about until they are in their 50's and therefore probably put off getting subtle signs checked out.

Kris

lindamarie53
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2003

My Stage IV diagnosis at age 49 was accidental. I went for a long overdue physical--my primary care phys moved out of state (so did my GYN) within the same year. When I found someone new, he did routine bloodwork and found me to be severely anemic. He added tests for tumor markers to my bloodwork and then ordered upper and lower endoscopies (the lower being a colonoscopy) and an MRI. We found tumors in my colon duodenum and liver. The only noticeable symptom (in retrospect)was that I had lost about 10-15 lbs without trying. I noticed that, but my husband had recently asked for a divorce, so I had been depressed and thought that was the reason for the weight loss. The diagnosis was over two years ago. I've been undergoing one treatment or another since then, and am "cancer minimal" at the moment. Oh, yes, also about 6 months before my dx, I did go to a new GYN doctor who wrote a lab order for routine bloodwork that required me to go to an outside lab. Since I HATE having blood drawn (there's some real irony here), I didn't have it done. I'd been having my blood tested for years, and it was always normal. So, maybe it could have been caught a little earlier, but who knows, maybe I'd have just been put on iron pills.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1279
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Kanga,
I understand your curiosity,for my part I am annoyed by the attitude of a lot of GP's who seem to consider the greater public as a bunch of hypocondriacs . For the most part they seem to diagnose the lesser evil every time. The only reason that I was given a colonoscopy was to cater to my paranoia. Having said that I asked my onc about colonoscopies as a preventitive screening tool and his opinion was that it won't happen,his reason being that scopes are an invasive procedure involving moore degree of risk than I had realised. I had similar problems when I approached my GP about getting a PSA test for prostate ca ,he wasn't keen to do it because the health dept did not reccommend it,WHY?,because statistically ,early detection of prostate ca does not increase the survival rate for the disease,so in summary we are reduced to statistics and risk factors,my option is GIVE 'EM HELL happy to be referred to by one gp as the most consistently unhappy person he has ever met,well I perservered and after being crook for 5 yrs had the offending gall bladder removed. We are in charge of our own health we get to know our own bodies and it is up to us to force the medical profession to act at times ,catch u later kanga regards to Jen Ron.

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Kanga: I went to my GP in 1999 & asked if I should get a colonoscopy; he asked if there was any cancer in my family, and I replied no..he then said I didn't need one.
Approximatly one year later a large tumor was discovered in the sigmoid colon, and the next thing I knew I had the most important part of my colon removed and replaced with a permanant colostomy, Chemo & radiation, and recurrence in 2003-(lung mets) I tell my story to everyone, and stress the colonoscopy, but most people don, believe it could happen to them..I had no symptoms. A colonoscopy in 1999 might have prevented my nearly 5 year fight with this monstor..bud

micheleamw
Posts: 62
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Kanga~

My Dad had NO symptoms, so he was very fortunate to have caught it when he did. Since he was about to turn 60, he decided to have a physical. His doctor recommended he have a colonoscopy since he had never had one. Thank God he did. After all was said and done, he was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer.

Hugs~
Michele

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hey guys--thanks for your replies.The indications here of "no main symptoms" is very disturbing.To enhance somewhat on my position--in the last month prior to my decision to have my heamarhoids looked at I did suffer the following which really prompted me to have surgery on my backside.
ie; some stomach cramps and nausea, weight loss, tiredness(was anaemic)
It was only then while under anaestheic for the haemharoid op. that my surgeon "decided" to have a look further into the colon--sigmoidoscopy.It was then he found 3 tumours!Needless to say the surgery did not go ahead as he new I was in for major tests etc. to confirm the cancer present.
BTW--my haemharoids are STILL there!!!
It was only in the 2 weeks prior to being told of my date for colon surgery(while I was having the tests, ie; colonoscopies, barium enema, ultrasounds, bloods, exrays etc) that my symptoms got worse to the extreme.
It is painfully clear from you all that there is a "definate need" for some sort of improvement to the detection of our cancers--one wonders at the numbers of sad and untimely deaths that have occured in the past!

One thing is for certain---all of you know a helluva lot of information about this difficult to detect disease---it is just a real pity that it seems a lot of our knowledge is overlooked.

BTW Ron---I would definately prefer to be paranoid than dead!!!!
Aren't gov's always telling us prevention is better than cure???
luv to yah all guys------kanga n Jen

"softie" Monika?????---he he--Jen made me like that--lol

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Kanga,

It is so good to see that you too are thinking some of the same things I am. I wonder what I can do to help others avoid what I am going through. I had minor symptoms (now I realize they were symptoms, I didn't at the time). My bms were smaller in length and very cylindrical. I thought it was because I had mowed my yard sitting on my lawn tractor for 5 hours. Then my colon perforated and I ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks with severe perontinitis. My general surgeon did emergency surgery to clean out the infection and noticed nothing else wrong. I had 2 colonoscopies and a barium enema and neither showed anything since I had a tempy colostomy by then. He stopped doing the flex sigmoidoscopy due to extremely painful fissures (a side effect of a hemoroidectomy years ago). We then found the colorectal tumor 3 months later during a routine checkup and by then it had spread to my liver and one lung. Interesting enough, my lymph nodes all seem normal which means mine spread from the perforation or the emergency surgery. Now I preach colonoscopies to anyone that will listen. I tell everyone that has a history of diarrhea and/or constipation should have one especially folks that have problems with hemoroids. One problem we have here in the states is insurance companies will not pay for colonoscopies until you reach 50 or your doctor highly recommends it. It is such a shame that more folks aren't aware they are even in a high risk category since the risk factors are so vague.

I personally think the medical community needs to redefine what testing should be performed during routine physicals. More thorough blood work should be promoted (CEA, WBC, RBC) and then that data needs to be stored permanently so it follows you no matter who your doctors are. Treading analysis would be so easy with computers, we don't use them the way we could.

However, I do not think the pharmeceutical companies will allow for more preventative measures. How would they make their money????? Each one of my chemo treatments costs over $15,000, and if you look at the companies that consistently have the highest yearly profit margins (remember that $$$ for research and development is subtracted before a profit margin is computed, so don't think that money is going anywhere other then someone's pocket), the major pharmaceutical companies and oil companies are always in the top 15. It is a catch 22. I am thankful to have the drugs that I hope are going to save my life, but I also feel like it is somewhat of a scam. Money rules everything, regretfully, and there is not much money to be made if cancer and other health maladies could be avoided.

Sorry to be so cynical, but after helping friends and family members fight to have their colonoscopies paid for by their insurance companies, it really gets my goat. And it really irritates me that there is absolutely no patroling of the pharmeceutical industry here in the states.

Good luck with your fight to help others and I respect what you are trying to do. Give him hell buddy!!!!! I have become very graphic with my sharing of information and then just hope and pray that the folks I care about listen and learn. Education seems to be key. Like others here have said, we are about the only ones that can control our own destinies. Doctors are not perfect and never will be. They need help too.

I will get off my soapbox now. Thanks so much for asking!!!!!

Lisa P.

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Lisa--all so sad and true--over here in oz our taxes pay for medicare although a lot of people pay private insurance--it is very expensive but is mainly for "elective" surgery--ie; surgery that is not life threatening.We are very fortunate and the tax is levied according to wages.Unfortunately the elderly do suffer because a lot of their surg. is elective--ie; hip replacements--therefore if they have no ins. they sit in a queue and wait!
My surgery cost me nothing--nor did my chemo although I must pay about $100 every time I go for tests that are done by specialists--colonoscopies--ultrasounds, bloods etc.
So--we are reasonably fortunate but still the mri's/cats/pets etc can be expensive and they are not done as often enough due to the costs.----grrrrrrr
tks for your reply Lisa--good health and huggs--kanga n Jen

grandma713
Posts: 105
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi kanga...I definitely discovered by colon cancer by accident. I was feeling fine, had no symptoms other than being tired. I have been anemic before so really didnt think anything of it. I went to dr to have my cholestrol checked and overall blood work to see if I was indeed anemic. I was. They assumed, like me, that it was due to my history. Sent me over for iron infusions..6 weeks later they wanted to do a colonscomy just to rule out my loss of blood from there. And so the story goes... My blood loss was from my upper left side, so there was no tell tale red blood signs. I just praise God everyday that I went to have that cholestrol checked! I had evidently had my tumor for about 5-8 years..with NO symptoms. And I am 55 now, so the colonscomy at 50 would have shown the cancer, but I would have still had it for a while.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network