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Younger people with bowel cancer


Super anxious...

Hi all,

I'm a 33 year old male and I've lately gotten really worried about some bowel symptoms.

I've had bright red blood when I wipe on and off for years. I always put this down to haemorrhoids, given that I have spent a lot of time on the toilet straining in the past. I remember looking at a home remedy once that involved white vinegar and advised limiting time on the toilet to a few minutes. That seemed to clear things up, so I thought nothing of it. Since then I have experienced it on and off still, but always seemed to find results were better when I didn't strain for too long on the toilet.

Also for a good many years now, I have experienced bloating and cramps, though usually only after a night of drinking or eating raw food (I followed a raw food diet for a while to help rid me of some severe eczema some years ago). I'd say I haven't had bloating or cramps for a good 4/5/6 months now. I have recently been having some stomach discomfort though. Not a full on stomach ache, just a slight dull ache that seems to come and go.

Anyway, these past few weeks I have been experiencing increased frequency of bowel movements (usually just go once a day but recently have been going twice a lot of days). Stool is still pretty normal looking (and usually quite a lot when I go the first time, as I have porridge for breakfast every day, along with usually salad for lunch and lots of vegetables for dinner). I do notice that I sometimes get the urge to go very soon after eating.

I've been a keen cyclist for years and cycle at least 12 miles a day, and most days I run about 5.5 miles during my lunch break. I like to think I'm a pretty healthy vegetarian.

I recently had a blood test and the GP said that everything was normal, except that my red blood cell level was slightly outside the normal range. She said this didn't show that I was anaemic, but that perhaps my iron stores were a bit low. I had a full blood test done in March 2016 which showed my iron levels to be normal.

Anyway, now I'm totally freaking out that it could be colon cancer and I'm scaring myself witless. I've been using suppositories the last couple of days, which seemed to have helped the blood on toilet paper issue, but I just keep thinking about the iron deficiency, the stomach troubles and the increased bowel movement, and it all really scares me.

Needless to say, my anxiety levels are pretty high too, so at this point I can't tell what symptoms might be purely physical and which might be anxiety fuelled.

I have a colonoscopy scheduled next week and I'm absolutely dreading it.

Sorry for the long post, I just don't know what to do with myself at the moment. I know I should just wait for the colonoscopy, but I just really fear them saying something and my mind keeps racing.



Oh @tirez, I feel for you, anxiety is horrible. There are lots of things that could be causing your symptoms (including your anxiety - well known for disrupting bowel habits and digestion). And your age means cancer is (statistically) unlikely. But sadly not impossible. If you are unlucky enough to be told cancer this week, there are so many effective treatments and options. And support.

In the meantime try to find things that relax you - music, a warm bath, a walk etc to help with the racing mind.

Will you have someone with you for your 'oscopy? Have you thought/decided about whether to go for sedation? It might be an idea to have sedation if you are still very anxious on the day. Best of luck


Thanks Eleanor, I'm really trying.

I don't think there will be anyone with me as I will have to ask for some time off work. I'm assuming it will be during the day. Is sedation the best option? What else do they offer?


It's good that you are having colonoscooy as that will show exactly what is going on, I had sedation and it was fine :x:

springer michelle

At least youre having a colonoscopy, deep breaths and try to relax. Once you know what's wrong you can deal with whatever. It will be fine. :x::x:


@tirez Welcome to the Forum at this worrying time. we are here for you. Please don't dread the colonoscopy; it's not nearly half as bad as you imagine and it's a superb way of them making an accurate diagnosis of your situation. You might like to read our Detect and Diagnose booklet for reassurance. It's here: Whatever the outcome. we will support and encourage you. Once you know what you're dealing with and have treatment options, you'll feel much more in control. All good wishes, B


Hi @tirez and welcome to the forum! I'm glad your GP has arranged a colonoscopy and I sincerely hope this goes well and puts your mind at rest. I've had one colonoscopy and chose to have it without sedation. It was not nearly as bad as the bowel prep, that's all I can say! It was a little uncomfortable at times but quite interesting actually watching on the to screen and reassuring to see and hear them say all looks well! Let us know how you go! Whatever the outcome, we are with you! Xx?


Hello and welcome. The fact you have been referred for a Colonoscopy is great news as i found this was not easy to get. It will most likely be nothing to worry about and you can then be reassured. If it is then the good thing is that then you know what you are dealing with and can get on and treat it and get better. I had sedation when i had mine. Lots of luck :x:


@tirez Hiya mate. The prep for a colonscopy is no fun to be honest, but its the main way for checking whats going on. What day is it? You picked up a prep kit yet? I was sedated for mine, easy as, you'll be fine doing this.
Were all madly hoping it is nothning!, worst case scenario - you're already in the best place for the lowdown with this blasted disease.
Be sure to check back into us. All the best man.:x:


Have you had the colonoscopy yet @tirez? Sorry, not been on here for a few days - if you tag people using the @ sign then you they get a notification.

Hoping for good news for you :x:


Thank you all so much for the messages of support.

So it turns out that despite my GP saying that I would be having a colonoscopy, it was simply a referral to a colorectal specialist. I went on Wednesday and the first thing he said when I walked in was, "So, your GP hasn't really put much in your notes, except to say that she found a mass. Perhaps you could fill me in?" I think I went white as a sheet at this point. I was like, mass? What mass?!?

He then had me waiting on a bed in his office while he went to get a nurse to take a look himself. He did a basic rectal exam and then put what look like a turkey baster which blew air into my colon to have a closer look. He said he could see some small haemorrhoids, but couldn't find any mass.

After sitting me down, he said the next step was a sigmoidoscopy. I confess, I hadn't looked at this before, so I just assumed it was a similar procedure to a colonoscopy. It was only when I got home that I realised it only looks at the left side of the colon. Does anyone know why he would have suggested this and not a full colonoscopy? Should I try and push for the latter instead?

He also disputed my GP's assertion that my red blood cell count was low, saying it looked pretty normal and it may just have been that I was a bit dehydrated when I went for the blood test.

On a more positive note, I phoned the GP yesterday about the full blood count and iron tests that I did earlier this week and they have both come back as normal. So I'm not anaemic at least. The issue of blood on the toilet paper also appears to have stopped since I have been using the suppositories.

The only symptoms I am left with now are going twice a day instead of once and some slight stomach discomfort (which the last 4/5 days appears to have come on at around 5pm, almost like clockwork). This wasn't the case yesterday, although I woke up last night with a bit of discomfort and feeling quite gassy. However, I do wonder if maybe that is because I had some leftovers for dinner last night that had been in the fridge for a while, including some kale that I didn't realise was a month past its best before date! Whoops...

What does everyone think I should do about the sigmoidoscopy? It's still been fast-tracked, so should happen within the next 2 weeks. But I'm not sure I could push for the colonoscopy now anyway, as I'd have to meet the GP, arrange an appointment with the specialist again, and then set another date for the procedure...


@tirez Good to have your update. It's great that your GP took decisive action and got you referred early. So often they fob folk off. Being under the care of a consultant should give you confidence. I suggest you let things take their course as planned. If they think you need a colonoscopy, they'll organise one. It's invasive, and they wouldn't put you through it (and sedation) if you really don't need it. For reassurance, why don't you simply ask him why he doesn't think a colonoscopy is required? The answer might set your mind at rest. All good wishes, B :x:


@tirez is there a further update to this?


Hi @tirez

I think you need to calm down and take one thing at a time, as far as I can see you have been referred fairly rapidly and will get the appropriate follow up with consultant. And as before if you need further investigation then you will get the full works.

Cheers :x:


@tirez personally i'd push for the colonoscopy. That way we know for sure, right!?
Good luck!

david watt

Is this a year old post that some people have replied to thinking it's new or is there a problem with dates at the top of posts?

Lady GT

@david watt , I think it's been pushed into the Latest Activity category because buntikumar asked recently if there was any update.
Yes, it's a year-old post.