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Hi all,Im in the UK and recently diagnosed with IBS ( I wasnt given a type but I guess im IBS-CD ).I have a fairly stressfull life and spend alot of it sat down and immobile, etc. So im fairly happy with the diagnosis.Recently I had a upper abdomen ultra-sound and blood work done. Nothing irregular has been found ( they werent specifically looking for cancer though ). They checked gallbladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys...etc. All fine.I guess I have the usual IBS symptons: tiredness, constipation for one week a month, followed by a day of diarrhea. I also get alot of burping and upper right abdominal pain (where my gallbladder would be). So far ive tried Movicol for the constipation and I think this helps. Im still working my way around new diets.Currently I also have sinusitis and im on my second load of anti-biotics ( first ones did nothing ). Getting the usual face ache, light headed-ness and gunky feeling in my head..but thats unrelated lolAfter speaking with my doctor with my cancer concerns she asked if I had any family history, bleeding or weight loss. I have none of these things. Shes not concerned at all, no other doctors have ever suggested cancer either. Im 27 years old, but still worried about bowel cancer...am I just being silly?
 

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Somewhat silly.Bowel cancer in people under 50 who are not from a family with a polyp disease (about 1/2 your family had bowel cancer by 40 and have hundreds of polyps by the age of 25) is extremely rare.Colon cancer is a silent disease with very few symptoms that usually go un-noticed (mostly just blood in the stool) where IBS is an obnoxiously symptomatic disorder with lots of distressing symptoms that make people miserable and they always notice it.I don't know if they do routine colonoscopies starting at 50 over there (they do in the USA) but that is the general recommendation for most people and getting polyps removed (become common starting at 50) with a screening colonoscopy every 5-10 years starting at 50 usually prevents people from getting cancer which usually comes more in the 60 and up range.
 

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Thank you for the reply...My mother had cancer of the uterus about 25 years ago and nothing since. No one else has had anything close.I've had full blood work done about 1-2 months ago and nothing abnormal popped up ( would they be able to tell with blood work? ). The doctor mentioned I might be slightly anemic but suggested its because I was "under the weather" with a cold/flu.There is deffinately no blood in my stool, urine, toilet or alike. Only the occasional tiny tiny spot on tissue if I've strained (sorry, gross I know). And this doesnt reoccur the following day.I guess with all the constant stomach pains, wind, cramps, constipation and diahrea I thought something else was to blame. I just cant get it out of my head, not sure why.Some symptons of bowel cancer include tiredness, pains, a feeling of incomplete evacuation...what with my symptons I was getting worried.Thanks for the advice though, I read that 80% of cases are over 60 and most of the rest under 60 have relatives with bowel cancer. So I can't see any risk factors for me.
 

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IBS causes those things. One of the problems with cancer is that it usually doesn't cause some specific thing that nothing else casues.While Colon caner may cause some symptoms in the last couple of months before you die it really doesn't do much when it starts up other than blood mixed into the stool. Really, until it is advanced enough to start messing with the organ to where it can't function you don't see much in the way of symptoms.Normal blood work is good sign you don't have it as it can cause some abnormalities in those before you'd ever notice anything.That is why the do screenings for colon cancer, pretty much no one knows they have it when they are 60 because it doesn't cause a lot of problems.In contrast something like 5-10% of all people between 18 and 50 have IBS. IBS always causes lots of symptoms.Everyone wants to be anxious and sure they are the one person in several million that gets colon cancer in their 20's rather than be one of the very common IBSers, and everyone with IBS has lots of obnoxious obvious symptoms including all the ones you are sure must mean you are a couple of months from death.
It is a very common fear and I probably will not be able to talk you out of it.
 

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How long have your symptoms gone on?If they have gone on a long time (more than 5 years)then it is almost impossible the cause of those particularsymptoms. Colon cancer usually strikes people age 50 or older.About 90% of people who are diagnosed with it are50 or older. And most of the rest are in their 40s.Colon cancer at age 27 is extremely rare. The ingestion of red meat, lack of exercise, consumptionof white bread are all associated with this cancer so youcan do some things now to prevent it 20 years from now.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I guess that none of my doctors are concerned about blood work, ultrasound or alike is a good sign.I see what your saying about blood showing up first, so far I've not seen any...apart from the tiniest bit after straining too much...something my doc says is hemoroids (very annoying pressure feeling and slight itching sometimes).I've lost a bit of weight, but I think thats due to loosing my appetite from having constipation and a sinus infection?
 

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I think that colon cancer fears are an epidemic in IBS sufferers... because so many of us are also prone to anxiety. I'm 23 and have a little bit of bleeding b/c of hemorrhoids, so I have a lot of the same fears.
 

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No one here is alone. Even knowing the statistics, it can be frightening. Even more so if you read stories online about people our age that have it. Its scary because they sound like us. Normal young people who happened to hit the worse lottery of all.Best thing for us to do is have it checked out, so we have a piece of mind and can move on. What BQ said is spot on. We all assume were the one in the million who has colon cancer, but fail to recognize that we could easily be the 1 in 5 who has IBS,etc.
 

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It's good to see so much support. I actually have severe (diagnosed) hypochondia; I worry constantly about my health and it's terrifying to have IBS because people know so little about what causes it. I also never had a colonoscopy to rule out another cause. If it's any reassurance... I think that, without treatment, colon cancer usually kills people within months of the time it starts causing pain. Most of us have been having the pain for years, so we'd all be dead now if it was colon cancer.
 

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^ Mine has only been 2.5 months!
But so far I have had many negative FOBTs, a 100% clean CBC, and have actually had the past few weeks be the best weeks in months, with a 4 day break of any symptoms(However back
) Just random annoying stomach pains.None the less, I dont let it worry me. Life is too short to worry too much.
 

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no biggie, I meant to throw a smiley in there to show it was all in jest. I concur, most of what I read, even with young people, there were no symptoms. They go in to the doctor one day because tons of blood is finally finding its way out of the rectum. Not the small hemorrhoid blood, but bowls full. Fortunately for me, my boss recently revealed to me that he has had the same symptoms I have for the same time if not longer, so we are now trying to fully attribute our newfound issues to the algae discovered in the water dispenser here at work. I think it has stirred up some bad gastritis or something like that. Odd for us to both have the exact same issues at the exact same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah it seems to be that most people say bowel cancer is totally undetectable until blood comes flowing out of you...sounds like a shocking experience!I've also read that your stools must be thick, black, gloopy, tar-like and full of blood...this is usually one of the first signs, this is also true right?Ive had constipation and diahrea, stomach pains, aches, coldness, loss of appetite, slight weight loss and prone to anxiety for over a year with one time bleeding ( as ive mentioned, it was a tiny spot on the tissue the other week and now ive just got a constant pressure down there...so probably piles right? )Im sure if bowel cancer was an issue, we would all be bleeding by now.
 

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Usually the early bleeding for colon cancer is small enough you can only detect it if you have the stools tested (and sometimes polyps will get irritated enough to bleed and those may or may not ever become a cancer).Usually once colon cancer does something really obvious (the other one I've heard of is blocked to where you start barfing feces, which sounds lovely) the end is nigh. The tumors really have to get big enough to where they make the rest of the organ have difficulties functioning before you notice much. That is why they do screenings once people get to the age things show up.
 

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The stool does not always have to be thick, black, goopy tar. That is usually consistant with bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract.(The black of the blood you would be seeing is the blood clotted, because of the time it took to leave the tumor and finally be exposed to your view) Cancer in the descending colon down to the rectum will generally have normal red blood. The stool will be streaked with it and or covered in it.Again, this does not always signify the 1st stage of colon cancer. Sometimes people bleed with polyps, while some people will not start bleeding til the 3rd stage of colon cancer. It varies by person and case.But FOBTs can definately help detect blood in stool that was caused by a polyp or cancer in its early stages. Before it becomes a "gush" of blood, it is microscopic and an FOBT can help detect that. I have read alot of articles on FOBTs and I find how some GI's swear it is the holy grail to helping catch cancer early, while others say its worthless. I have never seen anything in a medical field be so contrasted between views!None the less, Colon Cancer is very unpredictable. I have read so much contrasting info that the only thing I do know for 100% sure, is that its a serious disease, and 90% of paitents are 50 and over. And .01% of paitents are our age(24-34) thats the only thing I know that is solid fact.
 

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Yep, and part of getting regular screening colonoscopy once you get to 50 is because removing polyps as the form is the best way to prevent the disease so once you get to that age you really do need to do what you need to do.It is very much a disease of the elderly. There are other cancers that are much more problematic in young people (so get your pap smears and do your testicle checks) as well as regular physicals as that will catch those things.Stressing yourself out that every last very obvious symptom of IBS (which causes lots of symptoms in 5-20% of young adults) must mean you are the one person with something very rare is only going to make your symptoms much worse than they would be than if you decide to be one of the vast majority until proven otherwise.However, it is easier said than done because IBS symptoms tend to be the kinds of things that trigger anxiety and once the anxiety gets going it can be hard to rein in.
 

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*HUGE HUGS* to all of you. If it's okay to hug people who I discuss my poop with.
I've been flipping out the last week or so (why I joined the forums) because I've had a lot of changes in my symptoms. I can't say how much it helps to know that I'm not the only one who panics about these problems.It's so hard to have pain that never goes away and sometimes becomes very severe, without thinking that there's a serious problem. I have to keep repeating to myself: functional disease, functional disease, functional disease.Does anyone else panic about pellet-poop? I've so often heard that it's a sign of colon cancer, but it's really just good ol' constipation, isn't it? Even when it happens several times a day? IBS-C often means consistency/quantity, not frequency, right?
 

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I would not concern yourself with colon cancer. Odds are you just have IBS.You have frequent dry BM's it seems. Have you tried any soluble fiber to help you? How about a stool softener??
 

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Well just got results from an Ultrasound and everything is normal. Not 100% sure why I was sent to get that anyway, perhaps the insurance company has steps they make my doctor go through before the work me up to more expensive tests. Either way, it is reassuring to know all is well from what they are able to scan. I know they cant see much of the colon, but everything else is looking good :(Just another test I have passed to show me that IBS is a sneaky little issue to deal with.
 

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Good to hear, Bonzi! Very reassuring.Now, if we can just all manage to deal with the pain and irregularity...I'd like to hear some of all your thoughts on routine colonoscopies for people with IBS. I know that IBS doesn't cause colon cancer, but it seems like we would miss a lot of the early signs of colon cancer since we experience so many of those symptoms anyway. Maybe we should start getting them at 40 instead of 50?
 
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