Terrified I have rectal/colon cancer - Colon Cancer Conn...

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Terrified I have rectal/colon cancer


Hi Everyone,

For the past 10 days I’ve had a lot of symptoms that have me terrified I have cancer. I’ve been crying a lot. Sorry for the lengthy message.

It started with insane amounts of mucus/pus coming out of my rectum. This also kept making me feel I had to poop, but it was just mucus throughout the day coming out. Then I started to notice blood in my stools and toilet paper/baby wipes when I wiped for the past 5-6 days. It’s been consistent. My poops look smaller. I’ve had lower left abdominal pain that comes and goes.

I didn’t want to waste any time so I was able to quickly get an appointment directly with a colorectal surgeon specialist 2 days ago. He examined me, did a finger exam in my rectum (think this is the digital rectal exam?) and he said my diagnosis is Proctitis. He said I have a lot of inflammation in my rectum that he can see and he can see the pus/mucus inside. He wants me to do a colonoscopy as well, which is scheduled early next week. He said he can only see so far up with the digital exam, and we need to see how far the inflammation goes up with the colonoscopy. I told him I was really terrified about colon cancer and he said colon cancer doesn’t usually cause mucus/pus like I am experiencing, and it is most likely due to inflammation. I just turned 35, and I’ve been so worried constantly. I can barely function thinking about this colonoscopy this Tuesday. Please help!

16 Replies

I know how you feel. I was on the same boat a few months ago. I was bleeding whenever I went to the bathroom and my stool always looked so weird. I'm also having abdominal pain. I'm 35 years old too and I was absolutely terrified, crying constantly. It was really hard to function. It's so scary too google your symptoms and read the horror that comes up.

I had both a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and both turned out fine. I just had some internal hemorrhoids.

Just try to get the colonoscopy as soon as possible so that you can get answers. I know that for me...it didn't really matter what anyone said...I was convinced. The only way to know for sure was the colonoscopy.

You will be fine. You're young and the doctor said it was probably just inflammation. I really think you are just fine! Try distracting your mind. I had to start playing games on my phone and watching movies to distract myself...that might work for you too. Maybe watch some comedy?

Hopping for the best for you. Keep us updated!

bobo1986 in reply to Amarilys

Thank you so much for all the kind words and quick response. I will definitely keep you updated. Sorry this might be too much info - but do you mind if I ask how your blood was in your poop? When I have my BM, there is usually a few drops of fresh red blood in the toilet. Then, my poop came out in four pieces. Two were fine, the other two pieces had a long red streak of blood in the middle - kind of hard to explain. Just all so scary and worrisome . Best

greatgran28 in reply to bobo1986

Felt poorly this morning, managed to get private appointment this morning with the same consultant I am seeing next week on the NHS. Felt stomach, and was very surprised when he gave me a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. Had so much mucus he did it twice, he said when he first read my notes he was thinking cancer, but now he has seen my rectum thinks it may be colitis. Has referred me for a two week CT scan, but a colonoscopy even on an urgent referral on the NHS can be up to six weeks. Decided to have a private one, don't feel I can wait as feel so rough at the moment. Very sore so not looking forward to the prep! Blood and mucus.

bobo1986 in reply to greatgran28

HiThe Colorectal Surgeon Specialist I saw this week said cancer of the colon or rectum doesn’t cause mucus - it’s more then likely I sign of inflammation. Good sign that he thinks it’s colitis no? I know how you feel though, such scary stuff. It’s all I can really think about. I was able to be seen, get a digital rectal exam, and get a colonoscopy in a matter of 2 weeks. I fought for quick scheduling. 6 weeks is ridiculous!

greatgran28 in reply to bobo1986

Thank you - keep me posted when you had your colonoscopy, lucky you getting it in two weeks - you must live in a better area than north Bedfordshire!! x

bobo1986 in reply to greatgran28

I will keep you updated. I live in California! X

greatgran28 in reply to bobo1986

Love to you in the USA then from the UK x

Nicole_GCCAAdministrator in reply to greatgran28

Dear greatgran28 ,

Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry to hear that you are experiencing these symptoms and then on top of that were told about the wait for the colonoscopy.

I'm glad to hear that going private is an option for you.

When is your colonoscopy scheduled for? See above (below) for some tips I posted in my reply to the original post here, that we suggest for a successful prep.

If you are already sore prior to starting prep, you are right to not be looking forward to the prep just that wiping will further irritate your already sore areas. Do you have a bidet? I know a lot of people purchased them because of the pandemic and the big fear of no toilet paper in 2020... and for people with chronic bowel issues, they can be a really great way to minimize irritation.

Please keep us posted, we'll be thinking of you and hoping for good results!

~Nicole, GCCA Staff Member & Colon Cancer Connected Site Administrator.

Just a reminder - this group is here to offer support, share experiences, and offer our thoughts - but this is not medical advice, and you should always consult your medical professional(s). Additionally, for all emergencies, seek urgent medical care, never delay.

Thanks I have a walk in shower and stand in that x

Mooora in reply to Amarilys

Please can you give an assistance to my post no one seems to reply 🥲

Hi, this is scary stuff for sure. I know exactly how you feel and don’t blame you for being worried. I had the same symptoms as you that started in beginning of December. Literally every time I thought I had to have a bowel movement blood would come out. I pooped blood/mucus first thing every morning. I lost over 10 lbs. , major constipation, little pain (not much) and overall weak. Any foods I had made me feel the urgent to go. I was certain I had cancer which stressed me out more and of course, caused more stomach issues. Digital exam didn’t find any hemorrhoids which I thought it was. I felt gutted.m as I thought for sure it’s cancer then. I had my first ever colonoscopy 1/20. No cancer or polyps. I had inflammation ( up 20cm) confined to my rectum. I was diagnosed with proctitis. Dr. said mine is very mild and wants me to start low dose of melasamine and suppositories ( short term). It’s still IBD but so grateful the inflammation isn’t beyond my rectum. I’m happy it’s not cancer but don’t like the idea of taking meds the rest of my life. It’s all so life changing and I’m still processing. Just wanted to share my experience and hope it gives you a bit of hope to know it’s likely proctitis like he said. Hang in there and keep us posted. Good Luck!


Dear bobo1986,

Thank you for posting in Colon Cancer Connected. I'm sorry to read about your symptoms, that must be causing you a great deal of anxiety. I am glad to hear that you have your colonoscopy coming up so soon - is it this Tuesday as in three days from now? That's great news if so. Unfortunately due to COVID and wait-lists, many of our members on our site have had to wait several months or are even still waiting for a colonoscopy, so I'm glad to hear yours is scheduled.

It sounds like you had a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and the view is limited, but it sounds like it is very clear that you have inflammation, and your symptoms are in line with proctitis.

The best advice we can give is to put your energy into planning for the colonoscopy and distracting yourself the best you can. You are doing everything you "should" be doing. Many people find that distracting themselves is helpful in getting through the time period in waiting for a doctor's appointment test results, etc. Some suggestions: binging Netflix, a self-care routine such as yoga, taking a bath, face-timing with friends/family, going for a walk, doing arts/crafts, writing down in a diary about how you are feeling, etc.

Here are some tips to get you through your colonoscopy:

1. Once you get the prescription for the prep that you'll drink, follow your doctor's instructions exactly. Your doctor may give you a prescription, or they may tell you a particular over the counter laxatives to purchase.

You want to have the cleanest colon for the doctor to be able to see everything with no fecal matter obscuring the way. We like this tool that Kaiser Permanente put together (with drawings!) that shows food to avoid and foods to eat leading up to when you actually start drinking the prep: wa.kaiserpermanente.org/htm...

2. Get prepared to prep! Many people say the prep is the worst part of the colonoscopy procedure as a whole. Depending on what your doctor prescribes, it may be a lot of the same drink with the medication mixed in (such as Gatorade) vs. a smaller volume of prep that you drink, and then separately drink a certain amount of liquid of your choice (excluding something like a red Gatorade which could stain your colon for the test).

a. In addition to picking up your prescription, buy yourself some supplies:

*Toilet paper (necessary!)

*Wet wipes (never flush wipes even if they say flushable, the last thing you want is a clogged toilet when you are in the midst of prepping for a colonoscopy),


b. While you are going through prep, many treat themselves to buying a movie or series they've been wanting to see.

3. If during your prep you have any concerns or don't feel well (nauseous, etc.) call your doctor to let them know what is going on.

4. Most places will require you to have a family member or friend drive you home (you can not drive for the rest of the day), most places won't want you taking a taxi or Uber home alone. Bringing a family member or friend who can take notes on what the doctor tells you when you are in the recovery area will be key - you most likely won't remember what they say.

Good luck and please keep us posted. We'll be thinking of you and hoping for good news.

~Nicole, GCCA Staff Member & Colon Cancer Connected Site Administrator.

Just a reminder - this group is here to offer support, share experiences, and offer our thoughts - but this is not medical advice, and you should always consult your medical professional(s). Additionally, for all emergencies, seek urgent medical care, never delay.

bobo1986 in reply to Nicole_GCCA

Hi Nicole,

Thank you so much for all your kind words and support. Yes, my colonoscopy is this Tuesday. The whole process has moved along rather quickly. I started having symptoms on January 30th and my colonoscopy is on February 16th. All the best X

The best of luck to you, I am having to pay for my colonoscopy as even on the two week wait it is 6 weeks plus. I hope you will OK on the "prep" day, my thoughts are with you. x

Hi Guys,

I wanted to update everyone. Had my colonoscopy today. Had rectal ulceration and inflammation to 12cm inside rectum. No visible inflammation anywhere else in the colon. The doctor took biopsies of the ulceration. I’m starting Canasa today for proctitis. Feeling relieved no tumors or polyps. Just need to wait for the biopsy results


bobo1986 - thanks for giving us an update. So glad to hear that there were no visible tumors or polyps. I hope the medication helps with the proctitis and you start to feel better soon!

~Nicole @ GCCA

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