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Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2003

hello, I know this may sound gross but I was constipated for about 3 days and when I finally went there was blood on the toilet paper and a little in the toilet. That was yesterday and today. I have a strong family history of colon cancer. My mom died at the age of 47 of it. I am 29. I am almost certain that this is a hemmeriod ans it did this sbout 2 years ago after a bout of constipation. There is a little soreness when I go. I am scared but do not have insurance nad can not afford to have a colonoscopy . Any suggestions?

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, shubunkin -

Hemorrhoidal blood is typically bright red. If you are bleeding internally, as is often the case for cancer, your stool is often very black and sticky. It is frequently described as "tarry".

Constipation and the attendant enlarged stool that passes can cause tears in your anus. It can also cause a hemorrhoidal vessel to rupture.

You mention your family history of CC and you say your mom died at age 47. There may be a bad gene in your family lines that makes you more disposed to colon cancer. I would strongly recommend that you find a way to get a colonoscopy. I would also recommend you try to get one every couple of years. CC is so treatable - if you just catch it in time and "nip it in the polyp". I'm not saying your bleeding has anything to do with colon cancer, but you may be at an elevated risk for developing it. And even if you have the gene, that doesn't automatically mean you will develop cancer. But you need to start checking.

I was diagnosed at 37 and had had my tumors for about 4 years according to the pathologist - which means I got CC at age 33.

Try to get yourself some insurance and get yourself checked! There are alternatives to insurance, too - I urge you to contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society and see how they can help you.

You have taken a good first step in the right direction by posting here - tere are many people who understand your fears and who want to help. Don't hesitate to ask more questions - we may be amatures, but we've been there!

Be well,

- SpongeBob

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi..... I had almost the same experience as SB I had blood with my stools at the age of 39..... I have no history of cancer in my family..... I also had a tumor that had been around for about 4 years ..... "THEY" say you should start checking at about 45-50...... If I had been able to catch it earlier things would have been easier.
It is definitely something that is easier to take care of in the early stages ..... and if it is just a hemmoroid.... you will be able to sleep a lot easier at night knowing what is going on. The Cancer Society is a great source of help.... please get checked..... jatag

Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello S., By your story and description it is almost certainly a small haemorrhoid. A tear would usually be quite painful. However, if your mother had CC at 47, this is a bit young and (as spongebob says,) is a bit suggestive of a possible genetic cause. Let me stress "possible," not "likely."To check that out, it is usual to get a colonoscopy done at ten years younger than the previous case in a relative (your mother) Although you are a bit younger than that, since you have some minor symptoms, I think now would be a good time to check. Hope you can organise some insurance cover. Best wishes,

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Shubunkin,

What I want to address here is why were you constipated for three days and how often does this occur with you? This is a signal that something is wrong regardless if it is cancer or not.....especially since you have family history. A healthy colon should be evacuating three times a day for each meal eaten.
I hope, with knowing your family history, you get that colon moving and cleaning out. Come back to the chat room again. :-)

peace, emily

ps. talking poop around here is not gross....afterall this IS the colorectal section!

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

"ps. talking poop around here is not gross....afterall this IS the colorectal section!"

RIGHT ON, Emily!

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

You may first want to talk to your regular doctor and have him/her do an exam.

If you have very bright red blood it is more likely to be coming from close to your anus.
Although a colonoscopy is more thorough because they can look at the entire colon, a sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy uses a short fiberoptic scope or a tube that allows the doctors to look at the rectum and the distal portion of the colon. It does not require anesthesia or sedation.

My internist referred me to a colorectal surgeon after she thought she could feel a rectal mass on rectal exam. I had gone in because of bleeding that I presumed was a result of hemorrhoids. (I was having more frequent bowel movements rather than constipation however)

The surgeon did the sigmoidoscopy as part of my first visit with him. It required that I give myself 2 Fleet enemas several hours before my appointment. The surgeon got a good look at my tumor and got biopsies all at the same time. (I did not feel a thing as he biopsied it) The whole thing was not terribly uncomfortable. The worst part were the enemas which stung because I was sore there. I had to have a full colonoscopy afterwards in preparation for surgery, so that they would know if I had additional tumors, but they got the majority of information from the initial sigmoidoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy is much less expensive than a colonoscopy and might give a fair amount of information.

Hope all goes well.


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