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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am freaked out right now because I just found out that somebody my age (39) has colon cancer. There is this nice store clerk and we talk always when I buy stuff. I haven't been to the store in a while and when I went last months I was shocked how much weight he lost. He said the doctors can't find anything because all the blood tests are normal. I told him that he might have IBS. He told me his sympthoms and I thought finally somebody who suffers like me. They never really told him what he has and I guess he wasn't so proactive (which is typical for men, I guess). Today I went to the store again and he told me that they finally did a sigmoidoscopy on him and unfortunatly it's colon cancer. He said he has symptoms since about 19 months. Because of insurance problems he couldn't get the diagnosis sooner. I feel so bad for him and know I am scared for myself again too. He doesn't have any family history of colon cancer or IBD and he is only 39 years old. I have symptoms since age 34 and now I am 39. If it would be colon cancer, woulnd't I be dead by know ??? What do you guys think ? It's scary when somebody has similar symptoms. I did have blood in my stool twice but the doctor wasn't worried because my simoidoscopy was fine the 2 years before. I sometime have a bit blood when I wipe even without stool ( I guess it's from straining, hopefully). I actually almost felt perfect the last 2 weeks and even my appetite came back. Only since yesterday I started to get more discomfort again. I am just wondering why the guys blood test came back normal. I think it was the regular blood test everybody gets for a check up. He got another different blood test last week which was abnormal ( it showed Hepatitis ). I am going on vacation tomorrow and I hate to worry on that trip about colon cancer again. Kathleen, what do you think ? It makes me so depressed. Just last week somebody my age died of a heart attack ( I am not worried about my heart even thought I have a heart defect). So scary when people around me are dying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, he said he has symptoms since 19 months. I thought with colon cancer, once the symptoms start you pretty much dying soon, but he has symptoms for 19 months ???? Is this unusual ? So far it's stage 2 cancer.
 

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Well, as you may know, your symptoms came back right around the time you just found out something stressful. 5 years of symptoms, I believe you would be quite dead now if you had colon cancer.For the most part, a CBC is only going to show symptoms of colon cancer via anemia. Low RBC's or Hematocrit,etc. What was his symptoms? Blood in stool? If so, if he was having enough, that shouldve shown up on his CBC. If he wasnt having any blood loss, than that would explain it.I agree, reading/hearing about people our age who have similar symptoms getting a disease can be quite stressful. But you can also google stories of people dying of Brain Anuerysms your age, and how they had no symptoms. One day your sitting there fine,and then you die pretty quick. But all of us wont go get a brain MRI just in case! :(Try not to stress. Your symptoms have been more than persistant enough to rule out cancer. 5 years!?!?! Definately
 

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Symptoms can once in awhile start earlier, but he could also have something else causing symptoms and that was a lucky thing as it made them look. Cancer doesn't start with symptoms, cancer starts silent. Only when it gets big enough to push on something, or pinch something, or make something bleed does it cause symptoms. Every once in a great while you get it in a spot where a small tumor hits something just the wrong way. But you also hear of people who have 30 pound tumors pulled out of their abdomen and other than looking a bit fat there was nothing to indicate anything was in there.Please, do not use this to spin yourself into a panic cycle, because sooner or later one person on this board will meat the 1 in a million with something rare. And typically we ignore the 1 out of 10 around us who has the common thing we are more likely to have. If you are looking for the proof you must be the other one in a million who has something really bad at a really rare age I'm sure that sooner or later you will find exactly the proof you want. It isn't healthy, but we all have a tendency to look only for the evidence we want to find.
 

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Symptoms can once in awhile start earlier, but he could also have something else causing symptoms and that was a lucky thing as it made them look. Cancer doesn't start with symptoms, cancer starts silent. Only when it gets big enough to push on something, or pinch something, or make something bleed does it cause symptoms. Every once in a great while you get it in a spot where a small tumor hits something just the wrong way. But you also hear of people who have 30 pound tumors pulled out of their abdomen and other than looking a bit fat there was nothing to indicate anything was in there.Please, do not use this to spin yourself into a panic cycle, because sooner or later one person on this board will find one of the 1 in a million with something rare. And typically we ignore the 1 out of 10 around us who has the common thing we are more likely to have. If you are looking for the proof you must be the other one in a million who has something really bad at a really rare age I'm sure that sooner or later you will find exactly the proof you want. It isn't healthy, but we all have a tendency to look only for the evidence we want to find.
 

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There is nothing that is 100% impossible, but you are much more likely to be one of those guys on TV that gets struck by lightening 6 or more times.Some things are extremely rare, they do happen, but the chances of you being the one is really really really low, the chance you have IBS is 10-20%So if you line up 5 people (or 10 people depending on how the study runs) you have a good chance of being the one that gets IBS, but of course that somehow makes it completely impossible you have IBS and you are convinced you are the one out of hundreds of thousands or several million and I'm about ready to stop trying to convince you that you are the one person in all the world that get symptoms from your tumor from the time it had one single cell and will have symptoms for 45 years before it kills you.Nothing I say will stop you from constantly finding ways to freak yourself out and convince yourself you will be dead ASAP.Please let your doctor know that if you are being treated for anxiety you need more, or get some treatment if you are not getting any. All this angst over and over is much worse for you and much more likey to cause your death than colon cancer at 39. I worry you are going to panic yourself into a bad heart or a stroke. All that stress and anxiety is not good for you, and much more dangerous than everything you freak out about.
 

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Isn't it also surprising that he lasted 19 months with symptoms ?? Now they will check if the cancer has spread. I am hoping only the best for him.
If blood was his main and/or only symptom than no, it would not be that surprising. Me and WonkyColon have both spoken to different people who had bleeding for years before they were diagnosed with Colon Cancer(Both in their 20's as well) And they had bleeding for years before it was diagnosed. And both had curable colon cancer.I think the reason that blood symptoms can go on for so long, is that some people have polyps that bleed. So you can bleed for a few years, get checked up and, "oh, looky there, stage 1-2 colon cancer" because the bleeding started as a polyp.But if his symptoms were something else, then yes, like Kathleen said, he either just had something else going on and the timing of it was perfect or he had the cancer in a certain spot, along with him having more sensitive than normal bowels,etc.Ask a GI doctor and they will tell you, Colon Cancer IS a silent killer. It rarely produces symptoms. And it is quite a tough disease to figure out. Some people have no symptoms at all, go in for a normal colonoscopy, find out they have stage 4 colon cancer and dont have much time to live. Never knew they had cancer unless someone told them. Then you get someone who bleeds with every bowel movement for 2 years and they get diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, and will ultimately beat it, and probably without even having to have any chemo. Its crazy, and the more you try to figure out the labrynth that is colon cancer, the more anxiety it will make you endure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now I am even more scared because I had bleeding twice with my stools. 3 years ago and about 2 years ago and sometimes I have blood when whipping. The doctor is not worried since I had a sigmoidoscopy 2 years prior from the bleeding and blood test were normal too. Other than that I have the typical IBS symptoms like frequent stools, loose stools, abdominal pain/discomfort. I don't have it every day anymore like I used too. I am very worried after you were writing about that bleeding can go on for so long and than it turns out to be cancer. Please write back to me because I am going on a trip tomorrow and I don't want to worry myself sick.
 

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Colon cancer usually doesn't bleed one time and only one time. Once it is big enough to bleed once it is likely to be big enough and fragile enough to keep bleeding.

The doctor looked. your blood tests are fine.stop looking for reasons to freak yourself out!!!!Please get help for your anxiety, it will kill you a lot younger than anything else you spend time fearing.I don't want to stop replying to you, but if you are going to use every single thing I say to ramp your anxiety up then I am doing you no good and I feel like I'm part of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am so sorry, I don't want to bug you with my anxiety. I was actually feeling better lately. I wish I would have not gone to that store today and I wish I would have not ask that guy how he is doing esspecialy before my vacation. Anyway, it's reassuring that you wrote that bleeding is pretty much every day. I don't have it everyday. You do still help me calm my fears.
 

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Hasenfuss, The people I talked to that had it, bled with EVERY bowel movement. There was no intermittent bleeding. Everytime they had a BM, there was blood. A tumor that bleeds, will not bleed once a year. Its a tumor that bleeds, so its going to bleed every time stool passes through.
 

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Hasenfuss, you posts sound EXACTLY like mine! I was freaking out with the "OMG my butt's bleeding," and "I'd be dead by now, right? RIGHT?" and "I'm so sorry for bothering everybody with my anxiety" ... etc. I think at least half the people here have flipped out a few times thinking they've had colon cancer. It incapacitated me for a couple of months.You DO NOT have colon cancer. Your symptoms aren't consistent with it. My GI doc said that he has never, ever seen anyone who had chronic pain for years that turned out to be colon cancer. By the time colon cancer hurts, the disease is already very advanced. You couldn't have been in pain for a few years and still be alive. The others are also right that colon cancer bleeds constantly, not intermittantly. You have hemorrhoids or, ABSOLUTE worse-case scenario, bleeding polyps. You're going to be fine. I've just gotten done going through the same thing (read my posts if you want; it's a train wreck.)I think the guy you know if going to be fine, too. Stage 2 cancer has a very good prognosis, especially since he's young. It's when colon cancer spreads other organs that it's a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, I read your posts and I am glad that I am not the only one suffering from this kind of anxiety. I can't talk with anybody in person about my fears because I know they think I am crazy. I am feeling o.k right now but I know the symptoms always come back. I am glad this support group exists and I don't know what I would do without it.
 

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Alot of people will suffer anxiety when dealing with chronic isses like IBS. And some of us go to extremes of how we self-diagnose ourselves with colon cancer.Whats funny is how I was thinking about the fear I once had, and I had a list I made:pros:No blood in stoolMultiple negative FOBTs(And by multiple I mean way over the top amount of tests
)100% CBCDaily BMs with no constipationNegative Ultrasound29 years old, young for CCNo family history of CCNo pain when Im asleep, only awakeSometimes days, if not weeks with no pain.Pain is not localized, but generalized(Travels)Cons:pain in generalYet somehow, I avoided all those Pros and just focused on the 1 con, and convinced myself I was probably going to die. So as you see and how Kathleen pointed out, we all try to think of the worst, which would be an incredible long shot, rather than thinking of the best,and what is most probably. The newfound issues your having are 100% related to the fact you just found out someone that is just like you has cancer. Enjoy your vacation and enjoy life
 

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We're all here for you, hassenfuss. =) And you're not crazy-- just anxious.I got a colonoscopy, which cost an arm and a leg since I don't have insurance, but I feel SO much better now that I've got that reassurance. The fact that you've met a young person with colon cancer doesn't mean that you have it. My cancer flip-out started when my friend was diagnosed with terminal, stage IV pancreatic cancer at 28. I couldn't get the fear out of my head. But you'll meet people who have had all KINDS of strange things happen to them. My own husband has been struck by lightning THREE TIMES-- really, really weird. But I'm not going to spend the rest of my life indoors thinking that it will happen to me, too. Strange stuff happens.
 
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