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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

First of all, colon cancer at 26 would be EXTREMELY rare, unless you have one of two genetic conditions within your family (FAP and HNPCC) that you would have known about by now. Don't let your father's pre-cancerous polyps concern you too much, those are fairly common in a man his age and are quite treatable via removal. Your age and symptoms really aren't consistent with colon cancer - occult blood in the stool and fatigue (from anemia) are usually one of the first signs and symptoms, and peak incidence for colorectal cancer is 60 to 79 years, so you can almost rule it out on age alone.

What is more likely is the possibility of a few inflammatory and malabsorption disorders. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are two possibilities in someone your age. These are chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon and/or small intestine and, although somewhat rare in the US, are often treated surgically and with corticosteroids (to control inflammation). Other possibilities are Celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten, a component of many foods such as wheat, oat, rye) and lactose intolerance (AKA disacharidase deficiency). The most common possibility is IBS, a general irritation of the colon. This is very common and is also managed medicinally.

Only your GI doc will be able to tell you for sure what the problem is after tests and the colonoscopy. I really wouldn't worry about colon cancer, you just don't fit the profile for it. Please come back and let us know how everything went for you.

[This message has been edited by fudd (edited 10-26-2003).]

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