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bowel cancer

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by mongus, May 18, 2011.

  1. Has anybody had it and if so what were your symptoms please? Some unusual things happening and generally not feeling well but not sure if I am making a fuss. Read somewhere that if you canncer you don't feel unwell? Just have diarrhoea?
    Also, what do the tests involve?
  2. Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Or are you worrying about an undiagnosed digestive/bowel problem?
    If you are worried, you need to see a GP.
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Try not to worry and don't read into stuff on the internet. Go to the Dr. and remember you don't need to be examined or have tests if you don't want to. It is a daunting thought and worrying just makes you feel worse - take a deep breath and make that appointment!
  4. I'm sure you've read all the stuff on the internet so are aware that most of the symptoms, even taken together, can be something altogether less serious than cancer. \is there any family history?
    The one you should be looking out for is bleeding from the rectum. If you have that, you should be seeing your GP as a matter of urgency. But it could be any number of other things - haemorrhoids, anal fissure, colitis. This is from the Beating Bowel Cancer website:
    The good news is that bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases, if it is diagnosed at an early stage, before it has had a chance to grow and spread.
    The early symptoms for bowel cancer are very similar to other, much less serious problems with the bowel, so it is very important to be aware of what is normal for you, so you can recognise any unusual changes and act quickly to get them investigated.
    Your GP will want to see you if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for 3 weeks or more:
    • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding) without any obvious reason. You may also notice other symptoms such as straining, soreness, lumps and itchiness around the back passage. These can often be caused by piles (haemorrhoids), but this is also a “red flag” symptom for urgent investigation, so it is very important to see your GP, who can take a full history and do an initial examination.
    • A persistent change in bowel habit meaning any unexpected or unexplained change to your normal habits of going to the toilet and emptying your bowels. It can sometimes be problems with constipation, and feeling that your bowel is not completely empty. It is especially important if you are going to the toilet more often or experiencing looser stools and/or passing lots of clear, "jelly-like" mucus.
    • Abdominal pain that is constant or which comes and goes. You should seek help immediately if it becomes severe.
    • A lump in your tummy especially on the right hand side.
    • Unexplained tiredness, dizziness & breathlessness (signs of anaemia).
    • Unexpected and unexplained weight loss.
    Please remember that most of these symptoms will not be bowel cancer, but to rule it out you must first visit your GP. Your doctor will take a full history and examine you, and can answer your questions to reassure you. If you need to have more investigations to find out what is causing your symptoms, your doctor will make those referrals for you. Often, once you know what the problem is, you are able to stop worrying about it, and find effective ways to deal with it.
  5. Thanks Lily - have all of these. Just trying to ignore it really but think it is time to make an appointment :(

  6. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Mongus - make an appointment. You should never ignore these things. It could well be something else but get it checked out. Please.

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