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  1. #1

    Bowel cancer fears

    I am a longtime lurker here and decided to post for the first time for some advice and support. A few years ago (about 4) I had a huge bout of health anxiety that lead to me losing my job and almost my life. I was so sure I was dying of everything and spent thousands on medical testing. I was at the doctors each week and was convinced I had cancer. For me it is always cancer and always stage 4.

    Long story shorter, I had the following tests done within the past 4 years:

    Multiple blood test
    Breast ultrasounds
    Chest x-rays
    Oral surgeon consult (scared of mouth cancer)
    Pelvic ultrasound internal and external twice
    Colonoscopy
    MRI of the brain

    All these tests were normal for the most part (I have fibrous breasts and endometriosis)

    Here I am though 27 year old female medicated on SSRI and anti-anxiety meds in a rigorous nursing program trying to start my career and family and I have suddenly become obsessed again with bowel cancer. I have been diagnosed IBS diarrhea since my last bout of HA based on a clear and perfect colonoscopy. I have pain (dull) in my left lower abdomen only and I poke and prod looking for lumps. I have like squishy lumpy tissue in my abdominal wall and my GP assured me this was normal fatty tissue that most women have. She even told me she has lumpy tissue in her lower abdomen. This past week I have had soft bowel movements and several bouts of straight up diarrhea. I don't have blood, never have, and no unexplained weight loss. But with my anxiety my bowels are constantly moving and I go about 3 times each morning.

    My questions are, if I had a clear colonoscopy 4years ago, am I safe to not request another one? I stupidly googled and found tons of tragic stories about people in their late 20s and 30s being diagnosed with agressive bowel cancer. It sent me over the edge and I have missed work for two weeks and feel paralyzed. My GP has done a rectal exam with an anoscope and a tummy exam. I am waiting on blood work which is making me FREAKED in case I am anemic.

    Anyways help me please. Support or stories or just guidance would be great.

  2. #2

    Re: Bowel cancer fears

    Quote Originally Posted by abm0611 View Post
    I am a longtime lurker here and decided to post for the first time for some advice and support. A few years ago (about 4) I had a huge bout of health anxiety that lead to me losing my job and almost my life. I was so sure I was dying of everything and spent thousands on medical testing. I was at the doctors each week and was convinced I had cancer. For me it is always cancer and always stage 4.

    Long story shorter, I had the following tests done within the past 4 years:

    Multiple blood test
    Breast ultrasounds
    Chest x-rays
    Oral surgeon consult (scared of mouth cancer)
    Pelvic ultrasound internal and external twice
    Colonoscopy
    MRI of the brain

    All these tests were normal for the most part (I have fibrous breasts and endometriosis)

    Here I am though 27 year old female medicated on SSRI and anti-anxiety meds in a rigorous nursing program trying to start my career and family and I have suddenly become obsessed again with bowel cancer. I have been diagnosed IBS diarrhea since my last bout of HA based on a clear and perfect colonoscopy. I have pain (dull) in my left lower abdomen only and I poke and prod looking for lumps. I have like squishy lumpy tissue in my abdominal wall and my GP assured me this was normal fatty tissue that most women have. She even told me she has lumpy tissue in her lower abdomen. This past week I have had soft bowel movements and several bouts of straight up diarrhea. I don't have blood, never have, and no unexplained weight loss. But with my anxiety my bowels are constantly moving and I go about 3 times each morning.

    My questions are, if I had a clear colonoscopy 4years ago, am I safe to not request another one? I stupidly googled and found tons of tragic stories about people in their late 20s and 30s being diagnosed with agressive bowel cancer. It sent me over the edge and I have missed work for two weeks and feel paralyzed. My GP has done a rectal exam with an anoscope and a tummy exam. I am waiting on blood work which is making me FREAKED in case I am anemic.

    Anyways help me please. Support or stories or just guidance would be great.
    I'm going through similar symptoms on my lower right side, plus bloating. I've spent a lot of time reading medical literature on bowel cancer, and the two most specific symptoms for the disease are blood in stools and rapid weight loss. You have neither. All the other things you mention are far more commonly caused by IBS, anxiety etc. Bowel cancer is a kind of adenocarcinoma, which takes a long time to develop from precancerous polyps in the tissue within your colon (we're talking up to a decade or more). The chances that you went from a clear colonoscopy (I take it they found no polyps?) to a full-blown malignant symptom-causing tumor in 4 years is basically zero, especially at such a young age.

  3. #3

    Re: Bowel cancer fears

    Thank you for replying to this thread. I am still suffering with my health anxiety on this topic although my bowels have calmed down. I have had normal stools the last two days thank goodness. I still can't shake the anxiety and depression that this horrible health anxiety is back in my life. To answer your question, yes they didn't find any polyps and I have never had bleeding or weight loss. My GP is aware of my health anxiety and she handles me very well. She told me that I need to accept my IBS is directly linked to my bouts of anxiety and that right now we need to focus on my mental health. She did do a full blood panel on me which came back normal.

    What I find hard is the overwhelming desire to poke and prod at my abdomen looking for lumps and tumors. I hate that OCD type behavior. I am currently seeing a free therapist at my GP's office until my CBT comes through via referral. I am just so hoping I can trust my doctor and believe her when she says I am okay. I have the awful tempation to ask for a CT scan, but I know this will add more anxiety and I am utterly terrified they would find something and then my life would be over.

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