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22years-old ,Fear of colon cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

recently I realized I have to strain hard when I'm having bowel movement. Like something blocked my rectum.and I'd alway had bowel movement once every 2 days Until last month I found myself using bathroom once or twice a day. I dont know if its a form of change of bowel habits or not. My stools became narrow than usual but not pencil thin.Occasionally noticed one or two bright red spots in my stools.(more like a red lump that formed together.) My anus has a constant sticky and something is there feeling. No abdominal pain at all or any other symptoms.

I went to GI last week,and he said I just had a minor hemorrhoid which I shouldn't be concerned, and dismissed my fear of colon cancer cuz of my age. He prescribed me some ointment but didn't work, I noticed a red spot in my stool this morning after I apply the ointment last night.

I'm SUPER concerned right now that I might have colon cancer. Should I get a colonoscopy just to be sure?

My fear has escalated to a degree that I can't live a normal life. Pls help me!

Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2012


Hi Ryan, I'm sorry you are experiencing these symptoms and you have come to the right place for personal experience advice from us.  I was told the same thing about haemorrhoids the likely cause, this was not the case for me.   If I was you and with what I know now, I would have a colonoscopy.   Have the scope, get the results and hopefully we will not see you back at this site. Good luck with everything.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

It's so kind of you to reply! I made a appointment with GP tomorrow

and I will insist on having a colonoscopy for peace of my mind.

May I ask you how unlikely for my age with no family history at all to get colon cancer?

Any other symptoms ?

I hope that you do we'll and get better everyday!


Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2012

I have not heard of anyone else being so young having colon cancer.  With no family history and your young age, its unusual to think you may have CRC (Colorectal cancer).   The other symptom I used to get was discharging a clear mucas fluid and no blood.

Have you noticed any blood in your stools, like a vein of dark blood and blood on the toilet paper?  Prior to the primary Colon tumor removal (Resection), I also had very tiny stools and always wanting to visit the toilet because I felt that I had more waste to get rid off.

In my case, the tumor had nearly totally blocked the colon and had grown outside of the colon with secondary lung and liver growth (Metastasis).   Thank you for sending me your good wishes.

tachilders's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm 46, not 22, but had no family history of colon cancer or any real symptoms until a few months before my colonoscopy.  I had similar symptoms to what you have described, including occasinal blood/mucous in my stool, consistent pressure in my rectum (even after a bowel movement), more frequenct and smaller BMs, etc...  My doctor recommended a colonoscopy, at which time I was diagnosed with stage 4 mCRC (and pretty advanced at that).  My advice for anyone is that if you have ANY blood in your stool plus any other symptom of colon cancer (narrow stools, frequent BMs, feeling of incomplete BMs, narrow stools, etc...) to insist on a colonoscopy.  A friend's college roomate (19 years old) was diagnosed with stage 4 mCRC just recently, and the fastest growing age group for new CRC cases is 20-30 year olds.  Not to be an alarmist, but I would get the colonoscopy and put your mind at ease....


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

take some action and be healthy.

the fear you have in itself is not really healthy but it may motivate you to be healthier.

i had hemorroids, was mis diagnosed for years and also got a late stage colon cancer dx a few years ago.

so i would get medical advice, and i would also get a colonoscopy. they also have newer more effective stool tests.

i know of a few younger people with colon cancer dx's i am not trying to frighten you, but i cannot say your fears are unrealistic.

find away to live each day real well, i pray you get the all clear and this is the closest you ever come to this disease or any cancer.

just read about the colorectal risk factors and you can see the lifestyle improvements that can reduce your risk if you are so motivated.




herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

has taken you to a level that you can't live a normal life, by all means get the colonoscopy.  The chances you have colon cancer are slim to none, but if it gives you peace of mind....

As for symptoms, I didn't have any until my colon cancer had been on going for years, and then it was just a pain in my side (from tumor in liver no doubt) that took me to hospital.  You could have irritable bowel syndrome, or any other myraid of simple maladies that do not have the consequences of colon cancer, but frankly it sounds like hemorroids. 

Peace at you, and get the colonoscopy and peace of mind back.

Winter Marie

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad you stopped in to ask your question and get some good advice from the folks here.

It is highly unlikely that your symptoms are caused by colon cancer at your young age and no known diagnosis of it in your family. 

For your peace of mind and also to get treatment for whatever the true diagnosis is, I agree that asking for at least a flex sigmoid scope should give you the answers you seek.  This procedure does not go as far in and can be performed without anesthetic.

I am curious what made you even consider colon cancer as a potential problem.  Most folks your age don't even know what those symptoms are.

Wishing you best outcome and hope that you will come back here long enough to let us know that you are cancer free!

Marie who loves kitties

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Jan 2013

I have a friend who got stage 3 colorectal cancer in her mid twenties. She had the surgery, she had the chemo and now she is seven years cancer free. 

My advice would be to get a second Doctor's opinoin and go from there. 

Peace of mind is everything.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

.. Check it out.  In my opinion, you can never be too young to have a colonoscopy.  Ill be praying for you, Ryan.


abrub's picture
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mar 2010

If he saw or felt the hemorrhoid, he may well be right, and you could be escalating this for nothing.  Plus a week of treating a hemorrhoid is not likely to make much of a difference.

I would continue treating with the ointment, ensure that I was having regular BMs, perhaps take Colace daily (a stool softener, not a laxative), up my fiber, and see how it is in a few weeks.

Yes, there is a very remote chance that it is something more serious, but it is important to address the obvious first.  Plus, living your life where every unusual symptom causes fear of cancer is not healthy.

Catch your breath. 



Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

Hemorrhoid typically responds to OTC treatments well in a fairly short period of time.  If I were you, I would follow GI advice and get the hemorrhoid treated.  If symptoms still persist after that, I'd contact GI and request for a colonoscopy.  CRC is rare in young people, but they do exist.  I'm 35 with no family history.  I just got diagnosed with stage 1 rectal cancer.  My warning signs that prompted me to ask for colonoscopy were a persistent groove line and blood streak on my stool over a week of observation, along with unexplained extreme fatigue for the past few months.  It's great that you are closely monitoring your symptoms.  But fear does not help.  If you don't have any unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or fever, I wouldn't be so worried about cancer right now.

Dyanclark's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Apr 2012

Get the colonostopy ASAP.  They colonostopy is no big deal you have to find out what is going on.

Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

Hi Ryan, yes get a colonscopy!  The chance of you having colon cancer at your age is slim.  The chance of you feeling better once you have the colonscopy is 100%.  Sometimes we have to do physical things to improve our mental worries. 

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2015

1st advice don't go to a cancer website to get an answer on something that can range from harmless to deadly.  People on here that have been diagnoised or are cancer survivors can provide great advice but you alreayd know their outcome so at times you assume that will be yours as well.  Second while the internet can open your eyes to the possibilities of what could be wrong it can also consume you and the internet is by no means a way to self diagnoise such a complex internal issue.  


When I was 26 I was finding blood on my stool and mucus.  I had backpain.  Had a scan and they thought they found a mass but the GI said it was most likely stool but ordered a colonscopy.  Colonscopy came back clean and said they found a small hemorrhoid.  Two year later got the same symptoms but ocassional admonial pains.  Had blood work done, negative and no STDs found.  Had stool test done negative for parasites.  Had colonscopy and diagnosied with proctitis.  Colonscopy biopsies and negative for colitis.  Ocassional I see a red speck or if I am constipated I get blood.

Point being there was no way I could have known my situation without getting off the internet and frankly just getting a colonoscopy.  Yes they aren't fun but they aren't bad as people make them out to be.  Yes, they can be exspensive if your health insurance isn't great or you don't have any.  In this case I would recommend a sigmoidoscopy which involves the 1st third of the colon and cost a $300-$500 (estimate) and not $1500-$5000 for a colonoscopy.  No you will not get the full scope but you can determine if is just a fissure, hemorrhoid, or even proctitis.  


Mentally yes be prepared for the worse but be positive.  I am trying to determine if my proctitis is really just proctitis since my biospy was negative and my STD/blood work came back negative.  Yet on the positive note I don't have cancer.  My wishes and prayers go out to the people with cancer, but the first step is just gettign tested.  A rectal exam, scan, or blood work are good at determining a lot of things but the best is a full colonscopy.  I have had two in the last 2-3 years, not fun but worth every penny to put my mind at ease and help me CORRECTLY fix myself.  

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007



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It's an acronym for "Hanging Out In The Cemetery".

It’s always a good idea to check the date of the thread before posting.

I do not understand why the CSN I.T. techs don’t configure this board to lock down archived threads to prevent posting to them. It isn’t that difficult.

I remember those that have passed; I continue to feel the sorrow. I don’t need to be reminded years from now again and again.

I certainly do not want to be buried here, perhaps they didn’t plan on that either.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Jan 2013

and I like seeing their faces. So many gone, but their words of wisdom live on. 

Each to his own and I am not saying you are wrong. 

Not sure what our new poster is getting at though. Is he/she saying that asking for advice on this forum is a bad thing? Its certainly helped me no end.

Anyway. Our original poster no longer visits here (that I am aware of). 

When I first posted to the forum, I didn't think to look at the date. And when I posted my own thread, I was greeted wtih a rebuke, telling me that my question had already been asked and that I should do a search. Go figure! As you can see, I didn't let their rude comment deter me. HA! 

So, for me its both good and bad to see the faces of those we have lost.

Sue - Trubrit

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