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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index


I just turned 45 years old and have a long history of iron deficiency anemia related to blood loss due to heavy and frequent periods. Approximately 3 months ago, however, I noticed a LARGE "glob" of coagulated blood in my stool, I would say burdundy in color. I've always had issues with constipation and GERD (w/ Barrett's Esophagus). I have to drink a detoxifying herbal tea to help me go to the bathroom 2 or 3x a month. This particular time I had a large volume of stool because I was backed up. The tea doesn't cause diarrhea exactly, but it doesn't soften it to a "mush-like" undefined consistency. When I finished and went to flush the toilet, I noticed a very large pool of blood on TOP of the stool, NOT before, which I would suspect if the issue was related to hemorroids since they are closer to the rectum. The fact that the blood came AFTER I had completely "evacuated," I became concerned. But I was so busy at work I chalked it up to hemorroids and didn't go to the doctor.

My hemoglobin up to this point, while very low, was stable at around an 8.5 or 9. Since I couldn't afford iron infusions anymore because of changes in insurance coverage, I had basically just kept an eye on it by getting regular CBCs. In late March it was hovering around an 8.3, then suddenly plummeted to a 7 in 3 weeks with no period in between! I was so symptomatic - couldn't breathe and sleeping 12-16 hours a day and still nodding off - I went to the ER and they gave me a 2-unit transfusion. I immediately felt better. But I was very concerned where the blood loss was coming from if not my periods.

Because I have Barrett's, I see a gastroenterologist and have for years for endoscopies. When I first became anemic, I got a colonoscopy and he found (and removed) 3 benign polyps. I was only 36. I got annual endoscopies/colonoscopies for 3 years - all clean - and was scheduled for them every 3 years after that. But I never went back due to insurance. So it's been about 5 years since my last one. I went to see him and he seemed very concerned, especially since I have a history of polyps and a family history of colon cancer on both sides of my family, both genders. I also had a high hs-CRP result at 9.41 mg/L.

I am scheduled for a colonoscopy on June 21st, the first available, but I am scared. Can anyone share your thoughts or experiences prior to diagnosis and opinion of what is going on? I am not so panicked as I am just wanting to be prepared for bad news if I receive any. I handle things much better that way, no matter what it is, as long as I'm not blindsided. Should I be concerned?

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