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Symptoms

barbara_ldl
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2007

I am wondering what symptoms are for rectal cancer. I have had extreme itching for about 2 months, and I'm to the point of being scared now. I just kept telling myself it is a hemorrhoid, but with the bleeding and pain, I'm not sure now. My bowels have changed slightly into having to go more often, and usually one episode of diarrhea/day. I have had lower back pain for the past month, and also worsened pain in my sciatica. I am going to my regular doctor this week to check it out. If he says it's a hemorrhoid, do I get a second opinion? I'm not a fan of doctors, and have little faith in them, so this is so hard for me to decide if I should even be going to the doctor or not. Am I overreacting? Thanks for any advice!

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

hi barb,
go see your dr and than make an appointment with a gastro dr. one way to be sure what is going on is a colonscope. please don't let your lack of faith in dr's not get this taken care of.
if you want to talk just email me.
be well
never,ever give up !!!
bruce

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Barbara: I agree with Bruce, go see your doctor and ask to be referred to a specialist for a colonoscopy (at least that's the way we do it in Canada). It's a painless procedure. The prep is worse than the procedure. Don't assume the worst, but your body is telling you something and you need to follow up. Best of luck and keep us updated. Monica

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I agree with the others, go and get yourself checked out. Hopefully your doctor will just send you straight off for a colonoscopy. You are not overreacting! You are smart! As for rectal cancer, I don't relly know what the specific symptoms are, my tumor was farther up in my Sigmoid colon, but I don't think itching is one of them..Nevertheless, your other symptoms are certainly something that should get checked out.
Best wishes,
Susan

JADot's picture
JADot
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Barbara,

Run, not walk, to a gastroenterologist and ask for a colonoscopy. That's the only way you will know for sure.

Good luck!
Ying

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

Hi Barb and welcome. Some pretty good advice from the guys here already...and you need to heed it. Who is a fan of doctors and hospitals? I think we can all say...yuk! Nonetheless you are understandably worried and should take the best measures available to get to the bottom of this. I don't want to throw scare tactics at you and I hope it does not seem that way. BUT....in 1997 I had similar symptoms, had a sigmoidoscopy(this only allows the doc to see a small way into the bowel) and was given the all clear for polyps or cancer. My symptoms were put down to hemorroids and I was told that at that time unless the pain or bleeding got worse surgery was not needed. Then in 03 the symptoms got worse dramatically/suddenly and I had a colonoscopy/barium enema which showed I had a 2/3 blockage which was a malignant tumour. Back in 97 the sigmiodoscopy did not reveal the tumour...the doctor did not see it because of the limited distance he could view into my bowel. I then was resected and had to do chemo.
So I am now adamant that ANY bowel symptoms should immediately be put under scrutiny with a colonoscopy and/or barium enema. In my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately there are too many on this forum that have had hemorriods "mask" the existence of either benign or malignant tumours. Although bleeding from the bowel can be caused by many other illnesses it is imperitive that hemorroids be dx'd as the ONLY cause and that ANY possible other cause is TOTALLY ruled out....nothing should be taken to chance...ever.
Barb, I am sorry for being so blunt and believe me when I say that your problem could be a very minor ailment like hemorroids or anal fissure.(yeah, I know...not really minor but better than cancer)
I know you are scared and I feel for you sincerely...but you must find a definate cause for these symptoms. I hope that your gp submits you to the most rigourous testing...if not...get a second opinion without delay.
All the best, Ross and Jen

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

GO TO THE DOCTOR whether a your a fan or not. Why take even the smallest chance??. I wish my husband had some "symptoms" so he would have went earlier, but he didn't. His was a "routine" colonoscopy. Things didn't turn out "routine" unfortunately, so now we have to be a fan of the doctor. This is not to alarm you, but you know what, I'll take the chance of offending you, if it prompts you to go and get it checked promptly. I can live with that. Good Luck & God Bless.

levensweg
Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2006

When you see your regular doctor be sure to get a complete blood test, which you should get every year anyway. And of course I would insist on seeing the gastro too.

-Lev

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