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Does colon cancer show in blood work?
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Does colon cancer show in blood work?

When I was 20 I had a colon cancer scare. I had bloody stool with occult blood in stool samples. Severe abdominal pain and lost thirty pounds in two months. During the colonoscopy they found a fold\ lesion and the doctor took a biopsy. It came back negative and the doctor ordered all kinds of test. Upper GI, CT Scan, and ultra sounds are the ones I recall. Anyway nothing ever explained what he found during the colonoscopy. I let it drop as the pain went away and the blood had not killed me at that point. Fast forward twelve years and I feel like I am some what reliving that point in time. Though this time they found an abnormal thickening in the walls of my colon. They feel it is endometriosis, though cancer can present the same way. I honestly believe it is endometriosis, but cancer being mentioned is always scary. So my question is, if it was cancer wouldn't they see signs in my blood work or the biopsy that was taken? Shouldn't that rule cancer out? It bothers me that they even mentioned it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Colon cancer normally arises at age 50+ but there are very rare occasions when it develops earlier and I have seen postings on Medhelp where it has been noticed in the 20's.  However, I believe that this happens when there is a family history of cancer - especially colon cancer.

If detected early, colon cancer is generally treated successfully and I would suggest that you may wish to discuss regular colonoscopies (perhaps every 3-5 years) with a G.I. specialist if it is felt that you are amongst those who are predisposed to earlier development of colon cancer.

I think that a colonoscopy is the most reliable test to confirm/eliminate the presence of colon cancer usually after noticing initial indications such as pain, blood in motions etc etc.

Furthermore I would suggest that for your own peace of mind you do not allow what I would call "airy-fairy medical presumptions" (i.e. "well it looks as if it might be anal fissure, haemorrhoids, some other minor cause....") to obstruct what I think you would prefer - namely a colonoscopy.

I know that we exchanged messages some weeks ago and if you are unfortunate enough to have developed colon cancer then you have my own recollections of the surgery (total colectomy) if ultimately needed.

Good luck

regards
Morecambe
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Avatar_f_tn
There are two forms of hereditary cancer......Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Attenuated Familial Adenomatous Polyposis.  With the first polyps appear between puberty and up to age 20.  They can turn cancerous at anytime but always by the late 30's.  In AFAP, you develop fewer polyps and more slowly and they can turn cancerous at any time but generally in the 40's and early 50's.  I've had 5 family members with FAP and lost a son at 31 and grandson at 18 due to the growth of a Desmoid which can be part of FAP.  You need to be your own advocate and ask them exactly what they found, and why they feel you had it.  You were very young to have a serious colon issue like this and need to know exactly what they are calling a lesion...and was it a polyp.  I hope this helps and I wish you all the best!
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to mention that they can detect cancer in a blood test if they are looking for it.
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987242_tn?1335494370
I've already had a colonoscopy followed by a sigmoidoscopy and a ct scan. Thereis something closing my sigmoid colon in both the colonoscopy and sgimoid, but biopsies came back negative. The ct scan shows an abnormal thickening of the colon wall. They believe it is my endometriosis, but always mention that colon cancer can have the same apperance as what my ct scan is showing. I also believe it is endo, but them mentioning cancer everytime is scaring me. So basically I was only trying to assure myself when I start to worry.
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987242_tn?1335494370
They have not told me I have cancer. My ct scan shows an abnormal thickening in my bowel wall that they believe is enometriosis, but they keep mentioning that colon cancer can also have this apperance.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thickening of the colon wall can indicate several bowel conditions to include early cancer.  They have to rule out all causes, so try not to worry, and hopefully it is just the endometriosis.
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