IBS

Have had bowel problems for many years and have had many tests which didn't show what the problem was, so was told that 'it must be Irritable bowel syndrome and I would just have to learn to put up with it.'

When I first had pain it was put down to this, both by me and the Doctor, on returning to the Doctor when the pain got worse I was finally examined. I had a cat scan that afternoon, had blood tests the following day, saw the gynaecological oncologist the following day and six days after seeing my Doctor I had my Op. The cancer had spread to the tubes, uterus and bowel so had to have some of my bowel removed as well as having the hysterectomy . I had an ileostomy bag which has since been reversed.

During my journey with cancer I have met five other woman who were diagnosed with IBS before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Maybe Doctors need to be more aware of this as many of the symptoms are similar, so perhaps if a woman presents with the symptoms of IBS they should routinely be examined just in case it is ovarian cancer.

My cancer recurred last year and I have just finished six more treatments of chemo and have now started a maintenance programme of chemo every 28 days.

5 Replies

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  • What a dreadful experience. You're quite right that women are frequently diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Ovarian Cancer is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mostly manifest themselves when it's too late to hope for a cure. It must be all the more difficult when women have ongoing bowel or abdominal problems prior to developing ovarian cancer.

    You're absolutely right about GPs misdiagnosing ovarian cancer as IBS. Target Ovarian Caner have a free 35 minute accredited training for GPs on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. They say over 10,000 GPs have completed it and I just hope the word gets round and all GPs complete it.

    Perhaps something to see your MP about? My Assembly Member is Mark Drakeford who happens to be the Minister for Health for Wales. I went along to see him last Saturday to ask what he could do to ensure all GPs in Wales are aware of the problem and complete the training. Not sure who you'd approach in England or N Ireland. Scotland's Association of GPs have already pledged to promote the training to all GPs there.

    I hope the treatment has gone well. What is the maintenance treatment every 28 days? I've not heard of that before. Sounds interesting.

    I hope you enjoy the spring and warm summer now you've finished your chemo treatment.

    xx Annie

  • Hi s-d,

    So sorry this happened to you. I also think if one of my GPs had put two and two together I may have been diagnosed earlier (there are lots at our practise and you get who you get). They also ask you to only speak about one thing at an appointment and get a new appointment for anything else that's bothering you. How can they make a judgement with only half the information? Sadly it all boils down to the fact that they are rushed and trying to see as many people as possible. I got diagnosed because I had a crisis and my GP did suddenly realise what the problem was. From then on they moved very fast and I had my op last Nov.

    I went through a very angry stage, but the anger just made me more agitated and I've been able to let it go, now just taking each day as it comes.

    Wishing you well

    Aemi x

  • This exactly what happened to me,it's a dreadful state of affairs x

  • and me!

  • sorry to hear that.i 100% agree with whippet .i haven't been given a definite diagnosis for my swollen stomach/pelvis.i only found out my gp thought I had IBS when he put in a letter to the DWP.the only thing he said to me verbally in way of a diagnosis was "its your stomach" yet from the time I first told them 4 years ago that I wasn't eating cos never felt hungry /full straightaway when i did eat something and my bowels were normal that wasn't considered a problem.last week I weighed myself and scales said I had lost 3lbs and I weighed myself again this morning and a few more ounces lost.it s come off my hips and legs ,as my stomach has increased by 1.5" and is so much heavier it affects everything I do.i have never had cramps or spasms that come with IBS.and like s-d-61-s-c-k have had tests/scans which don't show what the problem is.

    I agree with her that doctors need to be made aware of this.the gp I saw last week actually told me they diagnose IBS when they don't know what things.

    .

    my dogs sense something isnt right .if I only had IBS then they wouldn't be so concerned for me.they have totally changed behaviour- wise in the last couple of years and I do believe pet dogs sense illness in their owners.

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