How long for colon cancer to develop? - Colon Cancer Conn...

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How long for colon cancer to develop?

Hopingforgoodnews profile image

I’m 60... had a colonoscopy 14 years ago. No polyps, normal colon except for internal hemorrhoids.

4 years ago had endoscopy for food stuck in throat. Esophagus, stomach and duodenum all examined after food removed and “no abnormalities were seen” other than irritation in esophagus from stuck food.

Now I took 2 home FIT tests, both positive, and I see evidence of black or dried blood in small section of stool.

No change in bowel habits

No weight loss

No pain in abdomen

Only problem I’m seeing is this one section of stool with hard, black streaks . I’ve ruled out anything I’ve eaten or supplements.

Of course I’ve scoured the internet for some type of reassurance but can’t find similar situation .. and from what I’ve read it takes years for polyps, that I didn’t have 14 years ago, to arise and develop into cancerous polyps.

Any reassuring info greatly appreciated. Have phone call with gastric doctor in a few days but it’s driving me crazy.... thank you!

12 Replies

A colonoscopy at age 46 seems unusually young, what provoked the need for that?

"home FIT tests" -- done properly and evaluated by a credible laboratory?

If so, I think you're due or a bit overdue, for another colonoscopy.

I'm also curious why you had a colonoscopy at 46, as that's well before the typical age for bowel cancer screening.

FIT tests have a high false positive rate, and a positive result can be caused by lots of other things other than bowel cancer. Internal hemorrhoids can cause blood in your stools and I believe could cause a positive FIT result (although the blood would usually be red rather than black). Try not to get ahead of yourself until you've spoken to the gastric doctor. They will most likely send you for a colonoscopy to find out what's going on.

The colonoscopy at 46 was part of a process of elimination after I had been feeling miserable for a long time and doctor had exhausted all other ideas.....I'm speaking with the gastro dr. tomorrow via teleconference and colonoscopy and full blood work have been ordered. I'm concerned because of the time since last colonoscopy and symptoms...although I have read that it takes many years for cancer to develop without detection.....

It'll be interesting and hopefully a relief to finally get some answers....

Ok that makes sense. I hope you get some answers from the doc tomorrow.

Nicole_GCCA profile image
Nicole_GCCAAdministrator in reply to delio123

Hello delio123 -

Thank you so much for posting and participating in the community. I especially appreciate your comment on "not getting ahead of yourself" - I know it is easier said than done but truly it is all we can do. (And with the GI system being so impacted by anxiety, it is even more important to try to remain calm).

In regards to the screening age, there are many efforts underway to lower the guidelines. The US just had a comment period with the United States Preventative Task Force Services where we are lobbying for their support of what the American Cancer Society has already recommended, which is age 45 for average-risk individuals.

The recommendation by American Cancer Society for African Americans has been at age 45 for several years but is largely unknown. The reason for this is the high incidence rate of late-stage diagnosis of African American individuals at or before what was the "normal" screening rate of 50.

Thanks again for your participation in our community.

~Nicole @ GCCA

delio123 profile image
delio123 in reply to Nicole_GCCA

That's interesting Nicole, I wasn't aware of that. I had rectal cancer at 33, so I'm all for earlier screening.

Nicole_GCCA profile image
Nicole_GCCAAdministrator in reply to delio123

Hi delio123

We definitely need more research to understand why so many young and healthy people are getting diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer. Just read about an 11-year-old who has colorectal cancer. Yes, that's rare, but one is too many.

Are you out of treatment now?

We appreciate your participating in our online community!

delio123 profile image
delio123 in reply to Nicole_GCCA

That is very sad at just 11 years old.

Thankfully I have been in remission for 4.5 years now, and hoping to stay that way!

NoName86 profile image
NoName86 in reply to delio123

What was the symptoms?

I'm 62 just had first colonoscopy couple months ago...put it off for years ,for fear of prep and procedure. started experiencing rectal bleeding about 6 months ago...scared the hell out of me,because,i knew i had put off the screening for years,and all i could think of right up to day of screening was,what are they going to find...well as it turns out ,they did find 2 large polyps,one was almost 3cm...,it was the one that was bleeding, they were able to do a polypectomy,and remove both polyps. Thank God, they both were benign...I really thought the day the doc told me what he found,especially ,the size,that this is it, i have cancer, i didn't sleep well for the 5 days it took to get the biopsy reports on the polyps...the doc also said that i have diverticulosis, and recommended a change to a high fiber diet,and another screening in a year. due mainly to the size of the polyps...all of the bleeding has cleared up,so glad i had the screening and they found the cause..

Glad to hear you got great news and can now move forward taking control!

Nicole_GCCA profile image

Dear Hopingforgoodnews ,

How did the phone call go with the gastric doctor?

I hope you have a colonoscopy scheduled soon.

Science is continuing to advance but at one point it was widely believed that the time frame for a polyp (if it is going to turn cancerous, not all do), to reach stage IV metastatic disease, was roughly 10 years.

Of course, everyone is different, and we know that there are seemingly some forms of colorectal cancer that seem to be more aggressive, particularly in those under 50.

Please keep us updated - we want you to get that colonoscopy as soon as possible, and are hoping for the best.

~Nicole @ GCCA

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