Severna Park, Maryland
I was diagnosed with an anal fissure 9 years ago and recently started having similar symptoms. Since I was 47, my G.I. doctor didn’t seem too concerned and asked if I thought I wanted to have a colonoscopy.
Dealing with the symptoms off and on for several months, I was concerned and pushed to have the procedure as a baseline and to identify the issue and possibly get it fixed during the exam.
After my colonoscopy, I was waiting in the patient recovery room. I was expecting the doctor to find another fissure, or maybe a hemorrhoid. I was in complete shock when the doctor informed me that he discovered a tumor in my upper rectum and that he was 95% sure it was malignant.
I couldn’t even think at that moment, everything just seemed to stop, and I was numb.
This can’t be right, there must be some mistake, this can’t be happening to me were some of the thoughts that I had after hearing the doctor tell me about the tumor.
I have no family history, and I’m under 50.
I was referred to a colorectal surgeon, and after CT and MRI testing it was determined that my tumor was a stage 1B Adenocarcinoma and that it had not spread to any other organs. During my surgery, my surgeon removed about a foot of my colon and the upper half of my rectum, and post-surgery testing found no spread of cancer in any of the 22 lymph nodes removed.
It was recommended that I follow up with an oncologist, and he determined that there was no need for chemo or radiation therapy. I consider myself very fortunate in that I caught my cancer so early, and that I pushed my doctor to have myself tested.
You know your body best. If something has changed in your eating, sleeping or bathroom routine, don’t hesitate, get it checked out.