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Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Question
Hi the gp has been monitoring my dads weight and the following are the readings:

March 65kg XXXXXXX 64.6kg
End of XXXXXXX 64kg
August 63 kg
October 62kg

Is this regarded as weight loss and should we be worrief about this ?

Thanks
Posted Thu, 31 Oct 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
NO

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am happy to hear that your GP has been doing a great job monitoring the weight of your dad. This is not often the case, so are there any specific reasons for him doing this?

The change in weight is so minimal that doesn't represents any major change of significance. However, if this weight is being monitored for specific reasons then please let us know and judge this in context. If there are no reasons for this, please stay calm and not be worried.

Beside, what is the height of your dad as the two give an even better representation and offers a better platform for interpretation.

Thank you so much for using our services and feel free to ask for clarification or provide more information if need be.
I wish you and your dad well and above all good health.l.
Thanks.

Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 17 minutes later
Hi

Thanks for the early response .

His height is around 5.4 i think . He has had low hb readings from 10.5 recently dropping to 6.8 so had a blood transfussion .

A endoscopy revealed oesaphagitis but they now want to do a colonoscopy . Could there be a poss of colon cancer . He has been anemic for 18 months but more recently that needed a transfussion . He has no other bowel symptoms apart from this drop in kg.

The gp really should have referred him earlier for colonoscopy than wait this long .
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
See below

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for following up with me.


His weight is okay for his height with an estimated BMI of 23.1kg/m2

Oesophagitis can lead to chronic blood loss that could explain the anemia. However, all unexplained anemia in elderly warrants a colonoscopy. There is really nothing suggestive of a colon cancer at this time but the possibility cannot be totally ruled out. Has he been doing his routine screening colonoscopy since turning 50? Has he ever done an occult fecal blood testing? Hope so.

Well, I cannot understand why the anemia went on for so long without any proper investigation as to what could be the possible cause. I can only wish him the best at this time and hope nothing concerning but for chronic blood loss from the oesophagitis comes up as a possible cause.

I wish him well and do follow up with his gastroenterologist for this.
Feel free to ask for more information and thanks for using our services.
Dr. Ditah, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 8 minutes later
No he had not had any screening since 50 nor a occult blood stool test . I am annoyed why no action was taken sooner as to his anemia .

With colon cancer can u just have anemia alone?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, but rarely as an isolated symptom.

Detailed Answer:
It is a possibility but in most cases it is often associated with at least another digestive tract symptoms. Also, if it were to be cancer, it would be at a relatively early stage where treatment would be a lot easier and complete.

I understand your frustration at this time. However, it is not going to help us move forward. Please, stay calm and let's pursue options that can address the problem and help beginning with the colonoscopy.

I wish your father the best.
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 2 days later
Hi

We have found out from the gp that it is microcytic anemia he has -and he was fearful to have colonoscopy so this has been postponed. Would a ultrasound or barium enema suffice ?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
No..Collonoscopy is gold standard

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for following up with me.

It is rather unfortunate that he is fearful of colonoscopy and has been postponed. This is the gold standard in the screening for colon pathologies. An ultrasound has very little value while barium enema is a poor choice compared to standard colonoscopy.

This is a very safe procedure. Maybe he need some more time to make up his mind. Hope he does sooner than later. Get some print outs on this from the hospital and let him go through and aybe he would soon change his mentality about this test.

Did his doctor consider putting him iron supplements? This would be of great help in microcytic and probably hypochromic anemia.

I wish him well.. Thank you for using our services and feel free to ask for more clarifications if need be.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 8 hours later
Hes been on ferrous sulphate for a long time . Can this type anemia be caused by colon cancer?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes

Detailed Answer:
Microcytic anemia often results from chronic blood loss. It could be fro bleeding ulcers, esophagitis, intestinal worms etc in the digestive tract. It can also be caused by cancer which bleed in small volumes over a long time.

Hope this helps. It is very non specific for the diagnosis of a colon cancer. Only further investigations can make the suspicion stronger or not. Don't associate microcytic anemia with cancer of the colon. There is so much lacking to support such a diagnosis now.

Hope this helps. I wish him well.
Dr. Ditah, Md
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 17 minutes later
Thank you , you have been very helpful indeed.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thank you, too!

Detailed Answer:
Am humbled to know I was of help to you.

I hope you did enjoyed the services and wouldn't hesitate to orient and direct future friends to make use of out platform.

May I suggest that you consider closing the discussion at this point if there is no more related question? Also, help us write a short review so that we can improve on our services to better serve you next time.

I wish you well and thanks for having offered me the opportunity to exchange with you on this.

I wish your dad well.

Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 4 minutes later
Sorry final thing, his weight from 65kg in march to 62 kg now not much to worry about then?

Would it be a good idea to monitir it weekly?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No

Detailed Answer:
The main thing to do now is to investigate and establish the cause of his microcytic anemia. This would permit proper management. Monitoring weight would simply be like watching a stone fall from a height without doing anything to prevent it from happening. That's being passive and not proactive. Step out and address the problem rather than expectantly wait for consequences that may include weight loss.

I hope this helps.
THanks!
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Having weigh loss and anemia. Diagnosed with oesaphagitis. Scheduled for colonoscopy. Colon cancer? 3 minutes later
So true, thanks . If colon cancer is not advanced can it be cured?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for this query.

Yes, it can be cured in early stages.

All the best.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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