Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
160 Doctors are Online

Are abdominal pain and diarrhea signs of colon cancer?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Gastroenterologist
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 65 Questions
Question
I am 47, Caucasian male. I had lower abdominal pain, mild, one week ago, followed by diarrhea for 1 day, and then constipation. After 3 days constipation, including some fever and chills, I saw a doctor, two days ago. He prescribed stool softeners. Yesterday, 6 small BMs, but not large and not all evacuated. Today, day 2 of medication, totally blocked again, with grumbling belly. Doctor said if not better in 5 days, endoscope to look for 'masses' in the colon. It is not looking like the laxatives / softeners will work. There is mucous, and there may be a little blood in my stool, but if so, very little indeed. Id colon cancer a real possibility for a 47 yr old male who have lived in Asia for 20 years? I'm tend to over worry about my health, and I may be doing it again here. But this has never happened to me before. Thank you.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Colon Cancer
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Banait 13 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for the query,

1. I am 47, Caucasian male. I had lower abdominal pain, mild, one week ago, followed by diarrhea for one day, and then constipation. After 3 days constipation, including some fever and chills.
-- This appears to be related to some intrabdominal (colonic) infection as you had fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
2. Constipation: Did you take any antidiarrheal medication like imodium etc?

3.There is mucous, and there may be a little blood in my stool, but if so, very little indeed.
--This indicate that there is colonic ulceration (possible, other lesions that bleed include polyps, diverticulii, malignancy). If the blood is seen on toilet paper only or is sepaerate from stool, hemorrhoidal (piles) bleeding is possibility.

4.Is colon cancer a real possibility for a 47 yr old male who have lived in Asia for 20 years?
--If you had colonic polyps, other malignancy or have first degree relative with cancer, then the probability of malignancy increases.

Considering short history of abdominal pain, and diarrhea in absence of risk factors, probability is low. Though nothing could be dogmatically said in individual case based on history alone.

Decision to colonoscope should be best left to your consultant. If not malignacy, he might like to rule out other causes of rectal bleeding that we discussed.

Regards,

Vaibhav Banait, DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Are abdominal pain and diarrhea signs of colon cancer? 3 hours later
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX

Thank you very much.

2. Constipation: Did you take any antidiarrheal medication like imodium etc?

I took Esomeprazole in the morning, and drank a Thai herbal antacid during the day of the runs. I had a meeting that night, and I had to get it to stop in the afternoon.

The doctor two days ago prescribed for me colofac, senokot, and forlax. Yesterday morning, 6 small BMs, but I still worried about obstruction because so small and difficult to pass.

Last night, pain, pain, pain, no BM, until the morning. This morning I realized, however, that I had without doubt passed what I had eaten last night. I thought I had days of food caught in my system, but with this evidence, it cannot be the case.

So now, I feel less at risk of having obstruction, and there must be another reason for all this bloating and pain. The lower abdomen pain is gone also.

Thank you for your help. I was quite concerned. with Regards, XXXXXXX

 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Banait 17 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the follow up.

Let me now go through it...

Yesterday morning, 6 small BMs, but I still worried about obstruction because so small and difficult to pass.
== If you are getting pain during defecation at anus, you may be having anal fissure.

So now, I feel less at risk of having obstruction, and there must be another reason for all this bloating and pain. The lower abdomen pain is gone also.
== I am happy to know that you are not obstructed and pain has subsided. Bloating and pain may be a part of infection and it takes time. Generally we give a time of two weeks before we intervene and investigate.

I was quite concerned.
== It is natural. Be in contact with your doctor. Please let me know if you have any specific query.

Regards,

Dr Vaibhav Banait. MD; DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Drug/Medication
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Oncologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor