Patient Comments: Colon Cancer - Symptoms

Question:

What symptoms and signs did you experience with colon cancer? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Debbie, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 10

My husband is 52. Two years ago he was seeing his primary care physician for constipation, right side stomach pain, night sweats, and back pain. She told him he was going through man-o-pause, and needed to go to physical therapy. He decided he must just be overweight, but continued to consult with her. One night he came home from work (truck driver) with a 106 temperature. We went to the emergency room and he was taken by ambulance to a larger hospital. His colon, after 6 months of seeing his doctor for his symptoms, was already perforated by a 9 cm tumor. He had 4 lymph nodes that were involved. Two couldn't be removed (one was by the artery to his heart). He responded well to oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and Avastin. After a year and a half of chemotherapy he had 3 scans that showed no sign of colon cancer. However, his last scan showed an inconclusive 1 to 1 1/2 cm spot on his liver. It is too small to see with an ultrasound so we are waiting to find out what they feel they need to do to find out what it is. This whole cancer thing really messes with your head and heart. Waiting is the worst.

Comment from: Too hot to handle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Applying Burt Bees diaper rash cream with baby powder to the affected areas helps a lot with heat rash. It provides a cooling sensation and helps eliminate wetness.

Comment from: biddy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I had a change in bowel movements. I noticed some small round fecal matter, but no blood visible. After another month or so went by I experienced sporadic (once a week at night) pain in my stomach area, rolling pain like labor pains that came and went with regularity. By this time I had been referred to a gynecologist physician. Ultra sound showed no abnormalities. This doctor suggested I go see a gastric surgeon. I only saw a physician's assistant at this office, however she gave me a take home fecal test which I returned to be told it had blood in it. She suggested I have a colonoscopy. Before I had the colonoscopy I experienced a particularly nasty night of pain and was waiting outside before the doctor's office opened. I was sent immediately for a CAT scan and as I got home, the phone was ringing with the news that a mass in the descending colon had been found. I had the colonoscopy a week or so later and the surgeon could not get the mass so surgery was scheduled two weeks later. Tumor was removed via keyhole surgery, 39 lymph nodes removed, all negative and was staged as 2B. I was offered adjuvant therapy but declined. I hope that was not a mistake on my part. That was in March 2014. I am being followed by surgeon and oncologist on an interval basis. Lesson, listen to your body, do not ignore pain or change in bowel habits and insist on a colonoscopy. It is easy, painless and could save your life; absolutely. A polyp in time saves you from cancer!

Comment from: PADAKI, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was diagnosed November 11, 2010 (47 years old at the time) with stage IV colon/rectal cancer. I had 7 surgeries, bag installed and then taken off, several feet/inches colon removed, 6 plus weeks radiation, 8 to 12 weeks chemotherapy twice and it has been hard. I continue to struggle with immense pain, uncontrolled bowel and am exhausted all the time. I am told cancer is not growing but shows some activity so not sure what that means. I am fighting but honestly wish I would have gone to the doctors sooner back when I had all the stomach pain and blood in stool (which my general physician said was irritable bowel syndrome or ulcer). Listen to your body and seek the right doctors to listen to you.

Comment from: ure53, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 18

My mother has recently died of undiagnosed malignant colon cancer. She had no weight loss, dizziness bowel issues or bleeding. She actually went into hospital for recurrent bladder infections. They found after a scan that the cancer was right through her bowels, liver, and kidneys. Her blood tests showed nothing until after the liver biopsy was done and then her counts rose on a daily basis. She died 23 days later. I had a 5 cm sessile tumor removed three years ago, it was not malignant, and a year later had a polyp removed where the tumor was taken from. Two years later I am having to go back for a colonoscopy after an 8 kilo weight loss in three weeks. I am tired and so thirsty all the time but sleep eludes me till early hours. One of my diabetic tablets have been stopped altogether and my insulin reduced by 30 percent. I am not sure what will happen next or what they might find but life is a little freaky at present.

Comment from: Tecno P k.., 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 12

I have bleeding through the anus with the inner part of the rectum coming out for a while leaving some fluids or stains on the clothes. It happens irregularly especially after consumption of alcohol without eating. I am concerned about colon cancer.

Comment from: Steph, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 04

First of all I need to say that after the past six months of suffering from terrible abdominal cramps, constant diarrhea and occasional nausea I have just found out that I don't have colon cancer. I had convinced myself that all the symptoms fitted. After a colonoscopy which I had to wait seemingly endless months for the biopsies came back negative. The stomach and terminal claim (end bit of the colon) however were very inflamed and partially ulcerated. The reason why I'm posting this is to give everyone who is in the awful position of waiting for diagnosis hope. A week ago I started a low FODMAP diet and after the initial first few days of increased pain and diarrhea, the symptoms have improved so much. For the very first time in six months the pain has eased and the constant cramps in the colon have nearly stopped. It's worth a try. For some it really may just be irritable bowel syndrome. All the best to everyone and keep insisting on what you want from your general physician and specialist.

Comment from: MenopauseMom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I'm 50 in a few weeks and have been experiencing the regular peri-menopause symptoms of irritability (to say the least), restlessness, weight gain, irregular periods, anxiety, dry skin, interrupted sleep, urinating in my panties, and I'm an emotional wreck! At this point, I'm just hoping that my husband and I can make it through this and I don't eat my young.

Comment from: sally89, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

With colon cancer, I was throwing up all the time and it was bloody. I was constantly on the toilet passing nothing but bloody water. I couldn't eat for days at a time and was in severe pain. I was losing the ability to control my bowels. I was so weak it was hard to even get up, and lost a lot of weight very fast. I had headaches and was always having hot and cold flashes. I also had blackouts.

Comment from: Marilyn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

For a year and a half I felt tired all the time, and had major dizzy spells. My doctor told me I was anemic and to take iron pills. When I went to the Red Cross Bloodmobile to donate blood, they told me I was very anemic and to go directly to my doctor. This time she scheduled me for a colonoscopy, and I was found to have stage 4 colon cancer. I had surgery and 9 months of Folfiri.

Comment from: Tommyjane, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I thought I was going through menopause because I was having problems with multiple periods. I had four blood transfusions. Then I developed an ulcer with severe knifing abdominal pain and was experiencing constipation. Finally, blood showed up in one of my bowel movements. I was too weak to call my doctor. I had always checked my stools because I'm from a family of three generations of colon cancer survivors. I left the stool in the toilet overnight and the blood diffused into the water. That's when I called my doctor.AI was diagnosed with high stage 2a cancer that had not metastasized. I was told the cancer had been in me for about a year. I had two large tumors located on both sides of the transverse and lost my entire large colon, but I have no colostomy bag. I wasn't heavy to begin with, I left the hospital at 98 lbs. I'm here today five years later and back to work, thanks to a team of doctors from Loma Linda University.

Comment from: Bob, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 15

I just had 12 inches of my colon removed on December 1 2015. After having colonoscopy a week earlier, the doctor pointed out I had a tumor in my colon and there was no sign of spreading. I just got the result today, December 14 that the cancer did reach the lymph node last layer but not through and might be wise for precaution to do some form of chemotherapy. I just turned 50 and am fairly healthy and have an active lifestyle. I have small symptoms such as fatigue, increase in bowel movement, but no weight gain or loss.

Comment from: yusuffy, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 02

My wife had a serious stomach upset. At a point she had bloody stool, but it has stopped for now, but she used to have this sharp pain at night to the extent that she needed to be given injection before she could sleep. Also whenever she goes to the toilet she barely has any stool; little or nothing. I want to be sure if it is ulcer or colon cancer.

Comment from: david40, Male (Patient) Published: November 02

I had severe bone pain rectal bleeding! I found I had rectal cancer on the rectum muscle and had radiation, chemotherapy, and operation for permanent colostomy. I have chemotherapy infusion and chemotherapy pills twice daily! I have about 20 days left of chemotherapy. Please, if you are 40 years old please get checked!

Comment from: Toadstool, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

I have tons of gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, major fatigue and weight loss. I have had a partial colectomy for a blockage in my colon. The colectomy was done 6 years ago. The symptoms are new as of two months ago. I have had nothing but the run around. My gastrointestinal doctor will not do a colonoscopy. He says my symptoms are side effects of some of my daily medications. I am miserable and scared about colon cancer. I don't see any blood in my stool.

Comment from: vicki, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I have had gastrointestinal (GI) problems for many years, GERD and IBS being two diagnoses. Last couple of months, things have gotten worse. Bloating/distended upper mid and right abdomen, severe pain, spasms, constipation, and feeling of pressure and fullness. I'm chronically anemic, and fatigued and short of breath when moving. I can barely move. Things are made worse when I lay down as the weight of whatever is in me pulls and increases the spasms and pain. I am waiting for an EGD and first colonoscopy. I wonder if this could be colon cancer.

Comment from: Dwallace96, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 30

My husband was 22 when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. His symptoms included severe abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. We went to the doctor for about a year. They kept telling us it was ulcers, indigestion, etc. Finally they did CT scans and a colonoscopy and found a massive tumor. It was attaching to his liver and pelvic bone. They did surgery and thankfully he has been in remission for 7 years.

Comment from: Olivers, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 20

It all started with a stomach flu and diarrhea, which went away after 2 or 3 days. About a week later I had diarrhea again. My first thought was the stomach flu came back. After about 2 weeks of diarrhea bright red blood started to occur. I went to the doctor and she submitted me the same day for a CT scan followed by a colonoscopy a couple of days later. CT scan showed a shadow on my liver and colonoscopy revealed a malignant growth in my rectum a cancerous polyp in the colon. Followed by another CT scan and eventually a PET scan the diagnosis was stage 4 metastatic colon cancer that has spread to the liver. 2nd opinion at City of Hope came to the same conclusion. I was told it had spread only to the liver. It did not spread to the lings or to any lymph nodes or anywhere else.

Comment from: Hopeful, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I had constipation, then severe pain from gallbladder disease, pancreatic disease, appendix had a stone in it and there was a large mass in my abdomen. My doctor doesn't tell me much but I have no appetite, nausea, and constant pain. We started on a mushy vegetable mostly diet, our dog has cancer too, so we all eat mushy veg/fruit/fish/diets with protein from meat for the dogs, fish, chicken for us. We eat 2 cups of soft boiled cauliflower; I boil it in chicken broth. We eat very little prepared foods, lots of brown rice. Slowly I am getting more energy and less pain. My symptoms were there for years but the doctors kept ignoring them, telling me I had irritable bowel, etc, until they found tumors in the center of my liver. But that was several years ago and I'm still here, lots of pain and lots of sleeping, no energy, rarely leave the house, but now with the new diet I have more energy, so maybe this will give others hope. Food really matters and if I can even eat this new mushy diet, maybe others can benefit too. Please give it a try. I can't go to the store but others help with the shopping I am so grateful for that. I'm able to cook a little; it's so simple to cook vegetables!

Comment from: Liz, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: November 02

My sister in Germany was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer 5 years ago. She was doing fine even with metastasis invading her body. Now one of those metastasis growth on her lower belly has busted. Because she is over 75 and the doctors are disinterested to do anything about it.

Comment from: deb5055, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I was 39 when my symptoms became very painful. I was first diagnosed with IBS, then depression, and even after passing bloody stool, I was basically ignored. I finally had an ultrasound done that showed my appendix was enlarged. The opted to do an appendectomy, and when they got into the site found a large stage 3 carcinoma in the cecum. They did a bowel resection. I did 6 months of 5FU weekly treatments, and have been cancer free for almost 17 years. There is hope, and my advice is to be persistent in finding treatment.

Comment from: Sad Dad, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 16

It started with loose stools leading to blood in the stool. Having had hemorrhoids, this was not a big concern at first. This condition persisted for several months. A colonoscopy was scheduled and 1 polyp and 1 growth were found.

Comment from: Jim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 20

I had blood streak on my stool every time. I had a dull hard pain in my bowels I waited for a year and had a colonoscopy showed a tumor in the rectal muscle. Removal and colostomy bag for life. I tried to find a doctor that might consider re attaching but all stated that there will be not enough rectum to re attach so Here I am 9 months later.

Comment from: lgolden, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 23

I was 39 years of age a working mother of 5 I first started to notice real bad sweats and I felt like a 90 year old women it became very hard for me to move my body was breaking down and i didn't no way I new something was wrong but did not know what I went to doctor after doctor they ran test they all said nothing was wrong I new at that point something was very wrong my systems where getting worst and then the bleeding began by that time I was at stage 3 the cancer ate all my rectum and most of my colon i now where a colostomy bag for life.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 11

Since coping with colon cancer I've experienced blood in stool, massive weight loss over a short time (70 pounds in 4 months), and extreme fatigue.

Comment from: Horse lover, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I was just 46 at the time that I was diagnosed. I had severe pain in the abdominal area and could not eat anything. I lost 36 pounds in 3 weeks. Finally had a colonoscopy and discovered that I had a tumor. Had surgery and took 120 chemo treatments. It was a really tough time in my life, but I never thought that I was going to die from cancer. Well that has been 11 years ago and I am still here, through the grace of God. The only problem that I still have is fatigue and some diarrhea. They said that I had probably had the tumor for about 2 years and that I did have stage 3 cancer. It is very important to keep a positive attitude regardless of the pain and sickness. Please keep your head up and think about getting well, not about being sick. Good luck to all that are suffering with this disease.

Comment from: marina, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I grew severely anemic, my iron level was 2 , I was short of breath, tired and no energy to walk or do anything. I went to emergency where I received 3 blood transfusions, underwent 2 colonoscopies and they showed colon cancer in 2 places. Just had operation, waiting on decision of doctor for chemo or/and radiation.

Comment from: Steve, 45-54 (Patient) Published: May 12

After visiting my GP several times with fatigue and chest palpitaions I finally got a full blood test that showed I was anaemic. After that a colonoscopy/endoscopy found a significant growth in my upper colon near my appendix. Scans and biopsies proved Type 3 T1 tumour with no further spread. After a hemi colonoectomy I am on 8/12 chemo regime and have been given a pretty positive prognosis. Pretty cool about it until I hear bad news of other sufferers or lose faith. Best wishes to all.

Comment from: dylan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I was diagnosed with stage 3a cancer May 16/10. No symptoms other than feeling tired. Have since had radiation, surgery, and now on 4th on 8 chemo sessions. Chemo week has me feeling tired and slightly nauseous. Then it's back to normal until the next chemo in 3 weeks. No history of colorectal cancer and always ate well, exercised regularly, no excess weight. Thank goodness my family doctor insisted on stool screen! It saved my life!

Comment from: Grateful, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I was only 39 so colon cancer was the last thing on my mind, but I started having significant rectal bleeding. Also, in hindsight, I had been a little constipated for an extended period of time but nothing really alarming. My husband encouraged me to see a doctor, and she referred me to a gastroenterologist, who did an endoscopy first. The rectal bleeding stopped so I asked him if the colonoscopy was necessary and he said yes. Thank God, because they found a very large cancerous polyp.

Comment from: corbans, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I was mostly constipated. It was difficult to eat because I felt full most of the time. Swelling of the lower abdomen was also a symptom which appeared at times. My bowel motions swung between chronic constipation and diarrhea. Low energy and anemia were big signs for me. I spent a lot of time in bed not knowing why and hiding it from my family. My skin in face was yellow due to spread to liver. Diagnosis happened through colonoscopy. I am under 65 and this is a 65+ year old type of cancer and so I was misdiagnosed for at least a year.

Comment from: Andrea, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

My symptoms were weight loss, blood in stool, clear liquid in stool then later on I started having sharp pains on my left side and I was very thirsty I could not sleep through the night I would wake up and have to have a lot of water.

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