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Is this colon cancer?

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

In late October, I seemed to be developing some sort of stomach issue, as I would get nausea, and my stools got lighter, and sunk. The nausea soon went away. A month later, I developed insomnia. That insomnia was terrible. I literally didn't get any sleep at all some nights. Then, I got a form of it that wakes me up every night between 1-4 AM, sometimes later. I then started getting more symptoms, such as tingling and increased urination that lasted for a few days, as well as joint pain that is quite rare, thus far. Around that time I also developed a strange arm and foot odor that a friend said was similar to alcohol, which is still present, but more mild. Over the last four weeks, my tongue has looked white in the back of it, with barely visible bumps, and I had an occasional bitter taste in my mouth for no known reason two nights. I also have mild constipation or no urge to go at all, as well as my stools getting a little thinner. A mild dip in appetite and energy has also occurred lately. This strange illness makes me worried. I am 23, by the way. None of my doctors take me seriously and think I do not even need a blood test.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4890
Joined: Jan 2013

You are young to have CRC, but not too young. I have a friend how got CRC at 26, and know of at least five others undre 30. (CRC - Colorectal Cancer)

Not to scare you or anything, just know that its not always an old folks disease. 

Some of the symptoms I have not heard about being related to CRC, but certainly a white tongue is supposed to be an indication of some kind of digestive problem. Also thin stools are a sign as well. 

Of course, these symptoms could very well be a sign of something totally unrelated to Cancer, but it certainly seem like your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. It may be something quite simple, that can be fixed with a healthy diet and exercise (always a good plan). 

If you are not completely happy with your Doctor, you may want to invest in a second opinion. Keep a record of what your body is doing and when, go armed with as much information as you can. 

Good luck!  I certainly hope that it is nothing serious. Don't sit on it though. If it were Cancer, then the earlier its caught the better. 

Trubrit

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

My diet for years was a diet that can possibly cause colon cancer. And at least we know it's not exclusive to older people. My doctors think it's a conclusive fact that I am too young to get colon cancer. And I have spoken to a woman who was diagnosed at 26 online, too. She's on the NeverTooYoung site. What worries me the most is how these doctors have brushed me off since mid November. Cancer can progress a lot in that time.

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Have they checked your blood sugar?  Some of those symptoms were similar to what my son had when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.   If they haven't checked that it's a very simple test that can at least rule that out.  Good luck to you.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

Not yet. My doctors won't even okay blood test. What symptoms did he have?

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Increased thirst and urination.  Blurry vision, loss of appetite, Nausea.  He did have a smell which is really what tipped me off, but I think it was more of a breath smell and like syrupy smell.  Some numbness and tingling.

Can you go to another doctors.  Maybe your parents have a doctor that would be more willing to listen, or a walk in clinic?

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

Quite a few of those symptoms match mine. And I am not sure yet. Did he also have a change in bowel habits? The smell my sweat emits is sort of a sweetish, yet nasty odor.

skeets1961
Posts: 56
Joined: Dec 2014

My husband also had terrible night sweats.  I wonder if anyone has had them from CRC?  

I agree about getting a 2nd opinion, they need to listen to us and not brush us off.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

What was their reason for brushing you off? They think I am too young. Tell that to these people, these people here had to fight for their lives because of that. 

http://ccalliance.org/nevertooyoung/stories.html

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1393
Joined: May 2012

I could have avoided cancr if I had listenws to my body and not my idiot doctor at 28. Go to a  gastroenterlogist. It's worth the visit. It could be so many other things and the way to find out ia through blood work and a visit to a gastroenterolgist. My son was having some of the problems on your list at 17 and it totally shocked the doctor that he had several ulcers. You should treat whatevwr it ia right away so you can feel better.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

What stage was your cancer when you found it? How long did your symptoms persist?

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

How many of the symtopms I am having did he have? Or you have? I am assuming you were also dismissed because your age as well.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

If doctors are not even to draw blood based on everything you said, find another doctor.  Somethihng is wrong here, meaning that I do not know of one doctor who would not even draw bloods based on what you described, if I am following it all correctly and the story is being relayed correctly to the doctors when you visit.  (Meaning make sure they are listening.)  What do the doctor's say about all of this that you described to them?

Maybe jot everything down in order with dates and times and whether things are continuing, how severe (scale of 1- 10) etc.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

They think it's caused by things as simple as diet, also, they might not even care much. The last doctor I saw thinks I am perfectly fine because of something as trival as weighing a few lbs. more than I did back in September when I went in for strep throat. It's almost insulting how they act.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

Find a doctor if you think something is wrong.  No matter what the doctors, or anyone here says, ultimately you will know what you body is telling you and you need to sleep at night.  There is a difference between being a hypercondriac and having an issue, but it sounds like you may be being "blown off"   What does simple as diet mean?  Did they explain it to you?  An allergy to a food type?  Certain foods difficult to digest?  Do you or your family have a history of food or digestion issues?  Did they explain how the diet caused the symptoms and tie it altogether for you? Are you or your family in at risk categories for colon cancer?  

No one can say for sure what is going on just by discussing on a message board, but if you are 23 and unhappy with the answers and think something is wrong, get answers that make sense to you.  If the explaination you receive is not good enough, or you are not understanding it all, ask to have them explain it better or find someone who wlll.  Good doctors will take time to listen and explain properly.  It may take time to get a chance to speak with them when they are "clear"  (my GP will usually call me after 7:00PM when he time to speak for instance)

You really need to put your arguments and concerns in a straight forward bullet point laid out list to present it clearly.  There are many great doctors, and health care professionals in general, in this world.  There could be the occasional bad egg in the bunch or perhaps they are just having an off day and miss something.  Bottom line is you are ultimately the only one who is responsible for yourself and who will care the most about the answers.  Get them.

 

And see what Flip said about the scope....

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

They think the change in bowel habits is because of insufficent fiber, they didn't even bother to find a reason for the thinning stool or yellow color I get from time at times. My mom's side of the family has a history of bowel problems, as for my dad's side, that is a mystery as I know nothing about him at all. The no urge to urinate symtom is fairly recent, and the last doctor I seen thinks I am not drinking enough liquid, which is not the case. I consume as much liquid as ever before, yet my urge to urinate is gone. I just seem to go out of instinct after so much time now, as opposed to my body telling me. It's even worse with bowel movements.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

In all this and how the doctor's seem to be ingoring you.  Going to a doctor and telling them you are not urinating, then basically being told to drink more liquids, sounds rather bizarre.  You need to make a list of all your symptoms and issues, in chronological order, the severity and whether they have abated, then go find a doctor who will pay attention.   Thnning stills, yellow color, lack of urination and being given the "bums rush" it sounds like - well something is not adding up it sounds like.  Are they running any tests whatsoever?  Drawing bloods?

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

They haven't yet. I am planning to make a new appointment today. As I implied before, I am hoping this one will lead to better results. For this appointment I will bring a small index card with the list of symptoms, their severity and duration. And I never specifically mentioned thinning stools to the first doctor, I called it change in bowel habits and lighter stools, that doctor not taking heed was probably my own fault for not mentioning the symptoms in enough detail.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

Good to hear.  Laying it out on the index card or otherwise should help to make sure you cover all the ground.  All of us would have a tendency to forget details.  I cannot tell you how often I walk away from an appointment and go "Doh, forgot to mention or did not make clear."

As to taking heed, that was something I was going to mention. Make sure they are listening and responding.  They usually will, but you want to make sure you are getting responses that make sense to you or continue asking until it makes sense or you know what the next step is.  

Good luck with this and hopefully this gets you some answers and things to get you feeling better. 

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

I had another worrying symptom this morning that I will have to write down. One of my stools had a bright red spot and there was a little blood when I wiped.

John212's picture
John212
Posts: 116
Joined: Jan 2015

I only had the colonoscopy in which my cancer was discovered because I mentioned to my doctor - almost as an afterthought because I was seeing him about something else - that I had seen blood in my stool a few times. He immediately ordered me to get a colonoscopy and that's why my cancer was discovered relatively early, all things considered.

I would start your discussion in your next doctor's appointment like this: "Over the last couple of months I've had a variety of odd things going on with my bowel movements. Yesterday I saw blood in my stool and I'm concerned that it might mean cancer is present. How do I get a referral for a colonoscopy?"

Even if the blood in your stool is from a non-cancerous source, it's not a good thing.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

Agreed. What stage was your cancer? And how long had the symptoms been present? As stated above, mine have been going on since mid-November, with this instance of red spots on my stool and blood when wiping being the newest.

John212's picture
John212
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Joined: Jan 2015

The colonoscopy showed a tumor in the sigmoid region of my colon. After resection, it was classified as a Stage 3b cancer. The adenocarcinoma (tumor) was contained within the wall of the colon but there were cancer cells in 2 of the 12 lymph nodes removed during surgery. The tumor was 3.5 cm long. I had noticed some blood spots very infrequently starting a month before I saw my doctor.

As everyone here will tell you, removing a colorectal cancer BEFORE it has time to break through the wall of the colon is a huge advantage in fighting the disease. Once the tumor grows to the point where it can easily slough off cells into the real estate outside the colon - such as the liver and lungs - the chances of successful treatment go down quite precipitously.

 

TannerML's picture
TannerML
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Joined: Feb 2015

What other symptoms did have?

John212's picture
John212
Posts: 116
Joined: Jan 2015

The blood in my stool was the only symptom I experienced. That's one of the reasons why colorectal cancer is so dangerous: many times there are no symptoms and the discovery is made during a routine colonoscopy. 

Steve444
Posts: 105
Joined: Sep 2014

That's spot on.  I went in to a GI with a spreadsheet of all of my symptoms.  He didn't really seem concerned until he heard blood (even though I hadn't seen blood for 6 months), he immediately said colonoscopy.  They seem to scope you quick when blood is involved just to be safe.  I second the motion to get a referral to a GI doc if your primary isn't concerned.  I had dismissed my symptoms for a couple years before I finally made an appointment, by then it was stage 4.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

is pretty much always the result of hemorrhoids.  You should certainly mention this to your doctor, but I wouldn't invest too much energy in worrying about it.  If that's what it is, you can just pick up some ointment over the counter.

Good luck, hope you get some answers.  FWIW, most of your symptoms don't sound cancer-related to me, but of course a doctor must make that call for you.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

Whatever it is, it needs checked and the blood appeared as red dots in my stool, they were smaller, just a little bigger than a grain of salt, and there were a few. There was also bright red blood when I wiped. I'm hoping that whatever this is, it can be treated.

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

should see a GI and get scoped. You're going to keep worrying about it until you feel you know for sure. 

Yolllmbs's picture
Yolllmbs
Posts: 361
Joined: May 2014

you need a doctor that listens. You need to get peace of mind by knowing if there is anything wrong. I had no symptoms. I wS diagnosed by a colonoscopy.  Keep pushing untl you get a doctor that hears you 

Yolanda

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6241
Joined: Feb 2009

You've got a lot of advice on this board and although I've been away from the boards for a couple months I'd recommend you have further testing with a doctor that takes you seriously.  My stools also showed blood and being that mine was rectal cancer, had pain sitting so that was a reason to go in.  They thought it was hemorrhoids but also ordered a colonoscopy to make sure.  Get that, and find out now before it can be too late.  Please keep us updated on what is happening.  Get a doctor that cares.  If you have to get a 3rd or 5th it's your life that you are saving and not theres.  Best to you.

Kim

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

I went to the doctor and they found stools stuck in my colon through an x-ray. They attributed this to fiber and I am going to be taking fiber supplements soon. Can can an x-ray spot tumors? They claimed everything looked normal on my x-ray, aside from the stools in my colon. This doctor seemed much more concerned than the last three I went to. They still never explained the whole lack of urge to urinate thing, though.

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

something with every single post and you don't seem to trust what the doctor's are telling you. Your original concern is about colon cancer and I think that's why you're on this board. The best way to look for tumors in the colon is with a colonoscopy. Go get one, pay for it if you have to, and then you'll know. Good luck.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

Put your mind at ease and do what Flip says.  That is the definative way to know for sure and it sounds like nothing else is going to get you past this.

If you went in with all the questions and symptoms, had tests,  such as x-rays, were given answers and they do not beleive you have colon cancer and still have question, nothing than a colonoscopy is going to do it for you.

 You should also ask to get the radiologist report to look at it, for the x-ray and all other tests, together with a copy of the CD for the test, for your own personal medical file.  

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4890
Joined: Jan 2013

I was rushed to the emergency in excruciating pain. ER Doctor pummled my stomach, sent me for a quickie CT Scan, saw a load of poo (ok, stools) stuck in my colon and sent me home with some GoLightly, which I prompyly threw up all over the bathroom wall, ceiling, floor, shower strall and toilet. I saw it in the ER Dr's face, 'Old woman, constipated, send her home'. Because of that, I almost had a ruptured colon, and that would have been the end of me. A quick thinking GP saved my life. (Erase not so polite words about ER Doctor)

I will second, or is it fifth, the above posts. Get ye to a Gastroenterologist and have a Colonoscopy. I know, I know, they like to have a referral, but push it, or push for it. One way or another, it will say Cancer or no Cancer, and then you mind will be at ease on one thing. 

Just saying!

Trubrit

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1110
Joined: Feb 2015

Utlimately we are going to wind up to be our own best health care advocates.  No doctor is perfect and issues can happen.  Making sure you are being "heard" is important.  The best way is laying out things clearly and precisely, which is often diffuclt to do.  And sometimes things are not what they appear, such as in your situation.  And the point you made with the story Laughing

 

As to the test, I am sixthing your fifthing of whatever count we are up to. Including double seconding my second or fifth.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

My last two bowel movements have been a little worrying the one Tuesday morning was comprised of very thin looking stools and the one tonight barely had anything come out. I need a scope sooner rather than later. Something's got to be causing and I want to know what. I know there's quite a few causes of these symptoms, none are good and need to be addressed. 

skeets1961
Posts: 56
Joined: Dec 2014

Seeing a gastro dr or a colorectal dr is the best route to take.  You know your body better than anyone else and not everyone are text book cases.  My husband had 3 xrays.  First one he was sent home with Gas-x as it looked like built up gas. 2nd xray it was a little worse and was told to take a laxative.  Third xray he was told to go to ER immediately.  General physicians are just that, they know a little about alot but not enough when you need a specialist.  A good dr will admit to that too but pride gets in the way.  I would bug them so much that they'd want to get rid of me and send me to a specialist.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

Please keep us posted Tanner.  My prayers are with you.

TannerML's picture
TannerML
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Joined: Feb 2015

What other symptoms did he have and what stage was his cancer?

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

Go get a colononscopy.  You are not going to get any answer or resoution until you do so.  The tests and opinions of the doctors are things that you are not believing.  So until such time as you get one, you will never get past this.  Not sure where you are located, but find a sepcialist in Colon Cancer.  If you cannot find one, speak to local health care services who can assist you, often thre will be some kind of social worker/health care advocate and local hospitals who may be able to point you in the right direction.

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 370
Joined: Apr 2009

The white bumps at the back of your throat indicate to me you need a tonsillectomy. That'll only get worse....the rest, I have got no clue. In our household we did not experience any of the other symptoms you were writing in regards to CRC. Just bloody stool and frequent constipation...so not sure about your other issues...

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

The constipation symptom has not really changed at all since this began, it has not gotten any better or worse, other than that one incident where there was a little blood in a previous comment. The strange lack of urge to feel the need to urinate and no hunger or fullness pains still persist, too. I am not sure what to think. It not getting any worse and lack of faitgue and actually gaining weight are good signs, but it not getting any better is worrying, too. I am not sure what to think.

Daisy13's picture
Daisy13
Posts: 40
Joined: Nov 2014

This is the oddest thread.  You write in with legitimate concerns on a colorectal cancer board and you get advice from folks who mostly were unfortuanetly not able to catch their cancers early enough resulting in some pretty rough treatments and issues.

Anyone can request a colonoscopy.  For goodness sakes, just do it.  And make an appopintment with a urologist if you are having urinary problems.

Do you have medical insurance? Is that an issue for you that is preventing you from insisting on care?

Do you have difficulty advocating for yourself with doctors?  Look at it this way, they provide a service and you are the consumer of that service.  Simply as that.  Insist on what you feel you need.  Please take care of yourself.  I hear concern in your posts.  Empower yourself with some knowledge here, insist on answers.

Best to you. Now, go make yourself an appointment for a colonoscopy. Wink ~ Daisy

TannerML's picture
TannerML
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2015

They act like I look too healthy, I also have a bad problem with asserting myself and asking favors, it's caused problems in other areas of life, too.

Daisy13's picture
Daisy13
Posts: 40
Joined: Nov 2014

shake you by the shoulders a bit. Seeking medical advice is not asking for 'favors' and doctors no better than to assume someone is healthy because they ’look healthy'... especially when they have symptoms.  Your health is in your hands. 

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1110
Joined: Feb 2015

To speak about all your issues and guide you through this, including helping you with your health concerns.  Look for a social worker or therapist.  After closing in on 2-1/2 months from your initial post, with advice from many people here, it seems that you are no closer to resolving any of the issues you are having.   

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