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Not again......

staceyp's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2006


My husband has been battling colon cancer on and off for the past 2 years. He is currently NED!!!! However, it has been a terrifying journey. He is young, 35 when first diagnosed. The doctors blew him off initially and said it was not likely that he had cancer, given his age. He was treated for hemorrhoids for 2 years before they scoped him.

Anyway, my mom called this week to tell me that my cousin, who is 34, has been bleeding heavily everytime he goes to the bathroom. He even bleeds when he's not going to the bathroom. He went to the doctor (mainly because of what my husband has gone through). The doctor did not scope him and told him it was piles(?). What is that? Secondly, my cousin is a pilot and the doctor said that pilots often suffer from rectal bleeding. Is this true? Do you all think I'm being paranoid because of my husband's case. I'm scared to death. I don't want to go through this again with someone I love. My cousin is not insisting on a scope because now he is so scared that he has cancer. I want to kidnap him and force him to go. But the doctor doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. I'm sick of docs blowing off young people with the obvious signs of colon cancer. Just venting now.

Does anyone know about piles or pilots suffering from rectal bleeding?


chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005


The only way to confirm that it is piles or anything else is going to be through a scope.

I was told the same thing your husband was told, "You are too young for it to likely be cancer." I also had no other symptoms except the bleeding and no other risk factors. I was told by two doctors that it was internal hemorrhoids and told by a third that it could be hemorrhoids or a tear in my bowel. Finally, the fourth doctor told me numerous things that it could be, but insisted on me getting scoped because she couldn't make a correct diagnosis without one. I had cancer and by the time it was diagnosed 4 years after the onset of the first symptom, it was stage III. Early detection is key. If it is not cancer, he can breath a sigh of relief and search for correct treatment. If it is cancer, the earlier it is caught the better the chances for a cure.

He NEEDS to insist on a scope and keep at it until he get's one. Depending on the type of insurance he has, he may not even need a referral. I don't with my insurance now. With bleeding, it is highly unlikely the insurance would deny it.

You are not being paranoid. You are aware of the fact that young people are now getting an old people's disease and that doctors are still treating it as an old people's disease.

On my Onc visit on Tuesday, there was a new Nurse Practitioner. As with every other new med person who meets me, they are shocked at my age. I told her to do me a favor and look at these boards because the majority of people here are younger than the recommended screening age of 50.

Beg him to get scoped.

I pray it is nothing serious and he get's some answers soon.


nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

I have always a consitpation problem as far back as I can remember and I to went to my GI Doc and he basically told me that due to my age and studies I was too young for a colonoscopy. I was DX in 7/06 with Stage II colon cancer. It took serious sysptoms, weight loss, no appettite, back stomach bloating and pains and emergency surgery to find out what was wrong.

What I have learned to date is when it comes to doctors YOU or a caregiver need to take charge of your treatment or situation. Regardless of his age, he needs to have the procedure done. Don't always leave your health in the hands of doctors. You know your body, mind and soul better than ANYONE. Please have your cousin have the scope.

Sending prayers

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Stacey -

A doc can see piles pretty easily, but a scope would certainly ensure there isn't another cause for the bleeding. Since it is YOUR cousin and not your husband's cousin, there is likely no blood relation there (unless you live in West Virginia... OK, sorry couldn't help it and I know nudgie is gonna hammer me for that shot!) Anyway, since there is no blood relation there, it would be highly unlikely for there to be a genetic cancer. Given how easily the doc can visualize the piles and the fact that your cousin is not genetically linked to your husband, that's probably why he is hesitant to order a scope. Could also be that insirance won't pay for it. First thing I would do is tell your cousin to try to relax. Then tell him to find a doc that will do the scope just to ease his mind. It could well be nothing, but a scope would ensure it.

As for pilots suffering from rectal bleeding... pilots, truck drivers, cabbies - most anyone who has a sedentary job that requires them to sit for long periods of time are subject to hemmerhoids which routinely cause rectal bleeding. Your cousing should NOT be scared that he has cancer. Rectal bleeding in and of itself is not an obvious sign of colon cancer - rectal bleeding in conjunction with other symptoms - fatigue, increased frequency, shortness of breath, dizzyness, change in color/consistency/size/odor of feces, pain, excessive gas, weight loss/gain, etc.

As a pilot he probably has a decent healthcare plan. Have him shop for a doc who will give him a scope - and assure him that it is unlikely that he has cancer, but if he does he needs to detect it early to ensure his best chance for survival from the number two cancer killer in the US.

- SpongeBob

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

OKAY, I moved to West Virginia in 2004. I have NO WV blood running through my viens, so all the WV JOKES are good to go.

rthornton's picture
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

"My cousin is not insisting on a scope because now he is so scared that he has cancer."

I understand this, in a way, because I was afraid of the results of tests when I was having symptoms leading up to my diagnosis. But you may want to point out to him that IF he has cancer, the sooner he attends to it, the better. It might be stage one or two right now, and then if he puts off testing for a long time then it might be much worse. He should also tell his doctor that ignoring obvious symptoms seems so ... oh, what's the word? I think it rhymes with cowpractice, but not so sure. Maybe the doctor knows the word.

Best of luck to him.


Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2007

Stacy my symptoms first started years ago. They kept telling me all through my 30's that it couldn't be serious. YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG FOR COLON CANCER!!!
If tomorrow confirms mine I am going to have a t-shirt made with
On the front- "I'm WASN'T too young"
on the back-- "for colon cancer,
diagnosed age 37"

and I vow to wear it at least ONCE a week forever to educate people. (especially those doctors that blow us off when we go in with a bowel issue)

PLEASE PLEASE get him to go. It is sooo curable at the beginning but the ONLY way is a colonoscopy.

I'm 37 and get mine tomorrow.

BTW- I have been told...

menstruation related

(see where I am going?)


chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Hey Lucky, can I share your idea for the shirt and make one myself?

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Your cousin needs to see a different doctor. He should see a colorectal surgical specialist. Even if it is only hemmorhoids the amount of bleeding he has needs to be stopped. Most doctors don't understand how many young people get colorectal cancer.
In our practice we see alot of pilots. I don't believe that they have any higher incidence of hemmorhoids than the general population.


lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Stacey,

I would say to continue to try and get him to go get a colonoscopy. It would be better to find out early and if there is nothing, it would make him feel better to know. Could the GI doc that did your husband take care of your cousin? Sometimes if they understand why you are worried, they are more prone to doing the colonoscopy. I told all my cousins when I found out. I wanted all of them to go. One did that was having some symptoms and she is fine thank goodness. My 18 yr old daughter was also having issues and I talked my doctor and the GI doctor into giving her a colonoscopy (she didn't like the idea but I prevailed). I was worried because I started having issues at about 21 and just put it down to IBS. One never knows what could have happened if I knew what I know now?? Once you are bitten by the beast, you worry about others even if they are not related by blood because you understand what it could be. HUGS and tell us how it goes.

Lisa F

staceyp's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2006

Thank you all for responding. I have read everyone's recommendations and concerns. I guess I already knew the answers. Just needed reassurance from you all. I'm calling him tonight and begging, threatening, insisting...whatever it takes. I know there are docs that will do the test. Thanks again for listening (well, reading. you know what I mean). I feel better already. I'll let you know what happens.


valeriec's picture
Posts: 350
Joined: Oct 2006

You go Stacey... get your cousin to do that test!! Let us know what happens.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Hi Stacey,

I can understand your concern. since my hubby was dx'd with stage 4 way back in 2005, I think that everyone should be scoped. As others have said, you are never too young. However, the blood can mean many things. I have had LOTS of blood off and on for years without cc. Hubby had little or no blood and was almost completely blocked with tumor. Hemmoroids(or piles as they are sometimes called) can produce lots of blood. So can non-cancerous polyps and in my case, eating certain foods. I can eat popcorn or nuts and you would think I had eaten glass.

However, getting scoped can determine, and in many cases, allow the doctor to correct the problem causing the bleeding. Your cousin needs to go NOW. My son had some bleeding due to a large polyp. It was not cancer but doc said if left untreated, would have turned to cancer within two years. Doc said the only reason he scoped my son was because of his Dad's dx. Doc was so shocked after the scope. Kept telling me how large the polyp was. Son was 29. After removal of that and three more polyps, son is fine and no more bleeding. Doc said son has to be scoped yearly now.

I hope our doc remembers our son when other young people come to him with these same complaints. It is my hope that as doctors see more and more young people being dx'd they will realize that this can and does happen to people under 50!

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Stacey: First of all, I agree with everyone else that your cousin should be scoped right away. Hiding his head in the sand is not going to change whatever is happening in his body. However, I do want to try to set your mind at ease a little. I was dx with FAP (a genetic condition that led to my cancer), so my brother also had to get tested. I was really concerned because he also has a lot of rectal bleeding (on and off the toilet). He is also a couch potato. He did have a colonoscopy performed on him and nothing was found. I tell you so that you know of someone else with the same symptoms, but I still would stress the importance of the colonoscopy to rule out anything worse. Monica

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