Viewer Comments: Rectal Cancer - Symptoms

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Rectal Cancer - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with rectal cancer?

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Comment from: alphamatic, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 23

6-7 months ago prior to being diagnosed with rectal cancer, I noticed that I have to go to washroom more than one time a day, which was my routine. It was not painful to have a bowel movement. I would think I was finished, but in a few minutes need to return to the bathroom. I told my family doctor, but he did not react very much for six month. After I had a bowel test through a cancer agency they told me I need to do spectroscopy which result was that have rectal cancer. Now they will start with chemo and radiation for five weeks, then a five-week break, and then surgery. I never had blood, pain or other sign to make me concerned about it. If you are over 50 years old let your family doctor write a bowel test every year for you.

Comment from: VKN, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

Before being diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer I experienced the urge to defecate but would strain a lot and then only thin stool would come out. I would never feel fully finished. I also had blood in my stool.

Comment from: Newsynurse, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

Prior to being diagnosed with rectal cancer, I began to notice some bright red blood that seemed to be "wrapped around" the stool. It was not painful to have a bowel movement, but the shape would be different on different days, often looking like it had been pushed through a "Play Dough" machine--long and thin and star-shaped. I would think I was finished, but in a few minutes need to return to the bathroom. I also had a lot of gas after eating, even when I was very careful about my diet. My physician diagnosed me with hemorrhoidal bleeding because the blood was bright red. Please be aware that if the blood comes from the lower rectum it may be bright red, not dark as if coming from the upper colon. Also, sometimes I would pass strange mucous that did not have an odor like stool. After seven months of daily bleeding, I went to another doctor who took time to really listen. It took her less than five minutes during a rectal exam to feel the tumor; she referred me to a colon-rectal specialist who performed a colonoscopy the same week. I am now awaiting staging and a surgery/chemo/radiation plan from an oncology surgeon. Please note that the first doctor never bothered to perform a digital exam. Be persistent if you feel something is not right; if you simply have hemorrhoids that is just good news. I have no known risk factors other than age, and am a Registered Nurse. I also had a normal colonoscopy 10 years prior to diagnosis. Advocate for your own health!

Published: June 10

Before I was actually diagnosed with rectal cancer, I experienced rectal bleeding and irregular bowel movements.

Comment from: Vern, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 24

I had no pain or symptoms of any kind until one day I stood up from going to the toilet and the bowl was full of blood. I knew it was time to go to my doctor. I hoped that it was the world's worst case of hemorrhoids, but I had a feeling that it was far beyond that. Now four years of treatments, radiation, two rounds of chemo and four surgeries later, I am still here. My fear of having a colonoscopy was my worst enemy. As it turned out the test was nothing, and not having it done sooner was my biggest mistake ever. I advise everyone to be tested. Don't make my mistake.

Comment from: thedarkman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 24

The first symptom and in fact the only symptom for a long time was a small amount of blood in the stool. The doctor thought I had a bleeding hemorrhoid. This was followed by dark red blood showing up in the stool and also free of stool bleeding. Blood tests were negative for cancer even the day before surgery. I also had loose bowel movements about 18 months after the first symptom. Was informed by family doctor that I did not have cancer, when symptoms did not subside with his treatment I saw a specialist. It was then I was informed I had rectal/colon cancer (stage two) cancer had penetrated the colon wall but had not spread to the lymph nodes. I did not experience pain or cramps but an increase in bloating/gas pressure. I hope this helps someone.

Comment from: Dtum1951@aol.com, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I had blood in my stools and I noticed that my stools were very narrow (pencil like). I had NO pain whatsoever and decided to have a colonscopy just to be sure and it showed a 15cm growth. I will be starting chemo and radiation next week.

Comment from: rena, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: April 08

My mother experienced pain, thin stools and the feeling that she wasn't emptying herself.

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Rectal Cancer - Treatment

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