Hi, and thank you for your patience.
I am a 33 year old male and have an extensive history of gastro-intestinal issues.
Despite everything, my diet is well balanced and I try to move as much as possible despite having sedentary job as software developer. I am 6'2 and 180 lbs. So more on a skinnier side.
I have been intermittently bleeding since I was 13. As a family we have always attributed it to my habit of long toilet visits, because of reading on the toilet. There is no colon cancer in my bloodline as far as I know (yet). Also, I am heterosexual and have never had any anal injury.
I had a sigmoidoscopy done at the age 21 and it came out all clear. Bleeding continued, but apart from that , there were no intestinal issues (maybe only occasional anal pain).
I had another sigmoidoscopy for the same issues at the age of 28, but there were no issues found. Intermittent bleeding continued.
At the age of 31 (2 years ago) I have started to see narrowing of the stool, occasional bleeding and had sigmoidoscopy done again. They found only some skin tags in the vicinity of the inner rectum lining. There was no follow-up. In the meantime, my stool caliber has started to diminish and the stool became more ribbon-like.
I had gastrocopy done and was diagnosed with GERD and hiatus hernia. I take PPI (such as omeprasole) on a regular basis.
I had already n-th blood works done and sonography/ecography done and it has not shown any structural issues.
However, about a year ago I developed some postprandial palpitations (rapid/irregular heartbeat after meals). This prompted me to see cardiologist who assumed there might be a stimulation of vagal nerve due to proximity of esophagus. I am currently awaiting for Holter monitor placement.
The doctor said there might be a rare anatomical connection. Lucky me.
In the meantime I spotted that intermittent bleeding has been forced by my increasing constipation and I have started to pass more mucus as well.
I was supposed to have both gastroscopy/colonoscopy done but it was postponed because of Covid outbreak. Now I feel that I have incomplete bowel movement, feel bloated with left-sided pain and it is yet again more difficult to pass the stool. This have had a flat appearance for past two something years. Moreover, I feel anal fullness and the whole area is sore. There are no visible external haemorrhoids.
My concern is this - would sigmoidoscopy (numerous) miss a bigger mass in area up to splenic flexure? Would ecography miss any tumour growth closer to anus/prostate?
Can the stool be flat if the tumour is higher than splenic flexure? This does not make any sense as the stool gets its shape in descending and sigmoid colon and its shape is due to recto-sigmoid spasms. People with tumours of traverse and proximal colon usually report constipation, but not the narrowing of the stool, or do they?
How can I have suffered for 2 years increasing bloating, intermittent bleeding and constipation without potential bowel cancer?
I have no other symptoms, such as vomiting (blockage of proximal colon), weight loss (cachexia due to cancer growth) or iron deficient anaemia (due to significant loss of blood). I have diarrhoea rarely.
I am waiting for NHS' scheduled colonoscopy, but it got postponed yet again due to fall/autumn Covid outbreak.
I am really getting anxious and the symptoms make no sense to me. The only thing that I can think of is cancer and my diminishing window for curability.
Or can it be combination of issues with peristalsis and internal haemorrhoids?
I have read multitude of studies and meta-studies from medical journals and they all lead to one diagnosis - bowel cancer, but they are not consistent with my symptoms and previous examinations. I am anxious, frustrated and not sure how to get NHS to speed up the process as I have respect for their work during these hard times of pandemic.
Sorry for the long read. Dear reader, if you made it this far, thank you and I would really appreciate any comments as I am losing my mind.