Rectal Cancer - Symptoms

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rectal Cancer.
What symptoms did you experience with rectal cancer?
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See what others are saying

Published: September 09

I just found out yesterday after my colonoscopy that I have rectal cancer. I started having bleeding 2 years ago after a very large bowel movement. I mentioned it to my family doctor on my 2 subsequent annual checkups and he said he thought it was just a fissure, and if the blood is on the outside of the stool, it was not of concern. Finally, this year, he referred me to a surgeon and advised endoscopy. At the consult, as soon as I said I had bleeding, he said I needed a colonoscopy; case closed, no discussion. Before the procedure, I described my symptoms, he said it sounded like hemorrhoids, but you always need to have a look. As soon as I woke up, he was there to deliver the bad news. It looks like an MRI, surgery in 6 weeks, who knows what else, and he said it looked like 'a couple of centimeters'. I have to wait till Tuesday to book a follow up appointment for more information. I suspect the MRI is to see how bad things really are. I have had a feeling for the past 6 months that things weren't right. If only I had insisted on follow up 2 years ago. Interestingly, 2 FOBTs (fetal occult blood tests) came back negative. Advocate for yourself! If you have any blood at all insist on a colonoscopy. The test is nothing, you sleep through the whole thing..

Published: September 14

I had diarrhea on and off for approximately three months after my 48th birthday. I had lots of indigestion for approximately 3 years prior to this. My GP requested I have a colonoscopy. I had a 4cm tumor. I had surgery, 6 sets of chemotherapy and combined chemo and radiation. I have recently cleared all my yearly screenings. I currently still experience frequent stools due to the damage done to my digestive system as a result of the chemo. In February 2011, I experienced severe pain in the region of my heart. My doctor suggested I have an endoscope. The cause of the pain was due to the presence of thrush in my esophagus caused by the chemotherapy. I am very grateful to be alive, I advise people not to ignore any problem with your digestive system and never ever self diagnose as I did thinking I only had diarrhea..