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Colon cancer

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by mongus, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Many of you may remember I posted on here a while back becuase I was concerned about some changes in bowel habit, rectal bleeding etc. Today I went to see a consultant and he suspects colon cancer. Would not even bother testing for anything else,which has upset my husband as the doctor said he was 90% certain and for my husband that means 10% chance it is not. However, consultant was quite matter of fact and seemed to have already made up his mind. Said he had been consultant for 16 years and he was rarely wrong!
    I now have to have a barium enema to confirm, which he says he will push as urgent. I was expecting to have a colonoscopy though as everybody I have spoken to who has had investigations seems to have had that. Why would I have this other one? Does anybody know? The consultant seems to think it is on the right side as he can feel a mass and that is where the pain begins usually.
    Although I have had some bleeding, it is not every day and I am not anaemic - which must be a good sign and surely would suggest it is not that serious then? He also testing thyroid levels - but I have no idea why?
    Would anybody have any answers please? I waas a little shocked during the visit and did not think to ask questions.
     
  2. Many of you may remember I posted on here a while back becuase I was concerned about some changes in bowel habit, rectal bleeding etc. Today I went to see a consultant and he suspects colon cancer. Would not even bother testing for anything else,which has upset my husband as the doctor said he was 90% certain and for my husband that means 10% chance it is not. However, consultant was quite matter of fact and seemed to have already made up his mind. Said he had been consultant for 16 years and he was rarely wrong!
    I now have to have a barium enema to confirm, which he says he will push as urgent. I was expecting to have a colonoscopy though as everybody I have spoken to who has had investigations seems to have had that. Why would I have this other one? Does anybody know? The consultant seems to think it is on the right side as he can feel a mass and that is where the pain begins usually.
    Although I have had some bleeding, it is not every day and I am not anaemic - which must be a good sign and surely would suggest it is not that serious then? He also testing thyroid levels - but I have no idea why?
    Would anybody have any answers please? I waas a little shocked during the visit and did not think to ask questions.
     
  3. Hi there

    Really sorry to hear about your unconfirmed diagnosis. I have found some reliable info on barium enemas - my dad has had colon cancer twice over a space of 30 years so I am more than aware of the disease. He has also had ulcerative colitis since he was 21 so has had never ending bowel examinations etc etc.

    "A barium enema is used to look for problems in the colon, such as polyps, inflammation (colitis), narrowing of the colon, tumours, diverticula, etc.

    The gut does not show up very well on ordinary X-ray pictures. However, if a liquid that contains barium is placed in the gut, the outline of the intestines (gut) shows up clearly on X-ray pictures. This is because X-rays do not pass through barium. A thick white liquid that contains barium is used as an enema to place in the colon (lower gut).

    (Barium liquid can also be taken as a drink and is used to obtain clear X-ray pictures of the upper gut - the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine."

    Basically, a barium liquid is a dye that when drunk by yourself, flows through the digestive tract and highlights any abnormal shape of the bowel which may indicate tumours. It is a non invasive procedure and the most common one used to diagnose, in contrast with other tests, cancers and less serious disease.

    Unfortunately you can only wait to see what the results are and keep yourself as well as possible - eat well and try not to over worry (which is impossible i know). If it is a diagnosis you do not want to hear, then hopefully it will be treatable and you will be on the road to recovery quickly. The statistical level for curing colon cancer is getting better and better when caught early so there is hope from this point of view although it may not seem like it sometimes.

    Read the cancer research UK website or Macmillan websites as they are excellent sources of information if you feel you need facts about anything.

    I hope the above helps - and see a GP for clarification on anything you do not understand - avoid the internet as it gives all kinds of information which can be not applicable to your case as an individual patient and fill you with worry if you see something you do not like!

    Take care
     
  4. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Dear Mongus, there are many different methods for visualising the soft structures of the bowels. I think I had all of them a few years ago. They are not painful, but uncomfortable and a little undignified. However, I decided that it would be a greater embarrassment to die from an attack of modesty than from a treatable illness.
    As it happened, despite symptoms to the contrary, I didn't have cancer. Don't over-analyse why they have decided to do one test over another, just be pleased you are not having to wait too long. Take care, and let us know how you get on. x
     

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