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Thread: terrified of rectal cancer!

  1. #1
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    terrified of rectal cancer!

    Hi, i'm worrying terribly again, this time about rectal cancer. I've had ibs for 20 years now and every now and then i get flare ups, my last one was a couple of weeks ago when i was extremely stressed. My stomach was quite unsettled for a few days after but then started to settle down. I have had ongoing lower abdominal/pelvic discomfort and some rectal pain aswell over the past few days. I mainly get this pain when i have a bowel movement and the pain seems to radiate from the pelvis to the back passage or maybe its the other way round, not too sure its just there. I also get some discomfort if i cough and when i sit down initially but then it goes away. Anyway i went to my gp yesterday and explained this to him, i told him that i was worried about rectal cancer and he said that it was most likely to be piles or a fissure and that if i wanted he would do a rectal examination. I asked him if it was very important to do one and he said not really, but to try some treatment first and if i was still having problems after that then to go back and he would do the examination.

    So i left with a prescription for suppositries but still feel very worried, the pain i feel seems to be too far in too be a fissure or piles and surely that would'nt cause the pelvic pain. He also examined my stomach and said that it felt fine "no bumps or lumps". He told me that if someone in there 50's or 60's came in with the same complaint he would have insisted on the rectal exam. I did ask him if he thought that i really should have one done and that if he thought i should then i would. Maybe he just did'nt feel like doing one! I also wondered about the possibility of endometriosis but not sure about the symptoms. My periods have been a bit haywire the last couple of months also but the gp did'nt seem to think the 2 were connected.

    I'm 43 with 5 children.

  2. #2
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    sorry to be a nuisance just hoping that someone has some words of reassurance for me.

  3. #3
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    I have had endometriosis prior to my hysterectomy and the pain is a bit like labour bearing down pains and can go right through to you lower back. I also have IBS (gosh falling to bits!!) and after a flare up it takes a few weeks for my symptoms to calm down...guess everyone is different in this respect. Try the medication and you will probably get some relief. Remember that if it is going to prey on your mind that you can always ask the Doc for an examination after all to put your mind at rest. I am sure you have nothing to worry about lol XX
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    Mhairi

  4. #4
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    thanks for getting back to me, i appreciate it. I've read about endometriosis and it says that it is more common in women who have never had children so don't know if that rules that out for me. We're going on holiday in a week and i'm just so scared that if i go back for the examination then they will find something awful and we won't be able to go on holiday, my kids would be so dissapointed. When you say that you had like bearing down pains was that in your back passage and was it often or did it come and go?

  5. #5
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    Pain was in my pelvic area but referred to my lower back and sometimes felt worse/sharper when I sat down but only for a moment...generally worse when standing. The underlying ache was there pretty much all the time but the severity changed with my cycle, bowel movements (weird) and pretty much whenever it felt like it!! Don't know how to reassure you about the examination...you know it would be negative but I understand where the H/A takes over and you ask 'what if..' Decision is of course yours and whatever you decide hope you are soon in less pain and stress and enjoy your holiday.
    XXX
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    Mhairi

  6. #6
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    Hello Rainbow, I think the pain maybe due to piles, they can be quite sharp pains and of course pain tends to travel along nerves which could be causing the pain in your back/pelvis. If I was you, I would ask your doctor to arrange a sigmoidoscopy for you, this is not painful, just a little uncomfortable, I have had three of them, and unlike a colonoscopy you only have to use a pessary to cleanse the bowel on the morning you have the exam. A little camera is put a short way into the bowel which would be able to see anything that was there. I know it isn't a pleasant procedure but it would put your mind at rest - what is the alternative. Also my piles tend to ache when I have upset them. Do hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    hi thanks foryour post, i went back to my gp today, a different one from the one i saw on tuesday but this one knows me well. I explained it all to him and he was reluctant to do a rectal examination, he did'nt seem to think it was necessary but seemed to think i need to address my anxiety first. He said that most people would turn up at the surgery saying they think they have piles but i turn up saying i think i have rectal cancer. He said i'm showing no signs of rectal cancer. He said if i feel the need next week then to go back and he'll do the examination. I said to him that just because i have HA does'nt mean that i can't get cancer.

    You were saying that you have piles, are they internal or external? I've not been using the suppositries like i should have been so things are'nt improving.

  8. #8
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    Hello Rainbow

    I have had similar symptoms since giving birth to my 3rd child 6 months ago (I'm 37). Like you, pain seems to radiate to my pelvis when I have a bowel movement, and lingers for sometime afterwards. However, I have also had bleeding as well, which I'm sure is down to a fissure because I am prone to them. However, although the fissure is very painful in iteself, I can't work out why the pain would radiate. This is what concerns me too.

  9. #9
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    Hi, just wondering if you have pain and discomfort when you sit down aswell? Have you been to see your gp about the pain? As someone said in a previous post that pain travels along nerve endings that could be the cause of the pain travelling to your pelvic area. I'm hoping thats the reason for it happening to me.

  10. #10
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    Re: terrified of rectal cancer!

    I certainly have suffered from pain/discomfort when I sat down. I first had these symptoms after the birth of my 2nd child 3 years ago (though didn't have the pelvic pain then). I was in constant pain every time I had a bowel movement that lasted all day. It was a hot, radiating pain almost like childbirth. I did go to my GP at that time and was told it was a fissure. It took 11 months to heal and I thought at the time the pain would never go. After 2 years free from the pain, the same happened again after my last child was born, except this time I have pelvic pain too. I hope it is just something like the nerve endings causing the radiation of pain.

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