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Abdominal cramps, mucusy diarrhea, weight loss, loss of apetite, fatigue. Can this be colon cancer?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
I am a 26 year old female and weigh 113 and am 5'7"tall. I've been having abdominal cramps mainly on lower left side, bright yellow mucusy diarrhea like the color of bile and smells like burnt rubber. This has been going on about 4 months now. I keep having unnecessary weight loss, fatigue, decreased appetite, and seems to be getting worse. Sometimes I go 2-3 times a day and sometimes it's like 15 times. My father's father died of colon cancer so there is a history of it in my family. What is wrong with me?
Posted Thu, 5 Jul 2012 in Colon Cancer
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 1 hour later

Thanks for writing in.

Taking into consideration your family history as well as your past history of cervical cancer there are 3 possibilities which have to be investigated.

1. Inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Colonic cancer (sigmoid colonic cancer)
3. Lateral invasion into the colon from the cervix.

Since you are significantly symptomatic the investigations for each possibility have to done at the earliest.

A colonoscopy with help in the diagnosis of either inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. It can also reveal indentation into the lumen in case there is extension into the wall by the adjacent cancer. The other test for investigating spread from the surrounding cancer would be a double contrast CT of the abdomen.

I hope this answers your doubt. Please do write back in case you have follow up queries.

With regards
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Follow-up: Abdominal cramps, mucusy diarrhea, weight loss, loss of apetite, fatigue. Can this be colon cancer? 6 hours later
Is it uncommon for a young female to develop colonic cancer? and also, what medications would be recommended for my specific situation?
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 4 hours later

Thank you for the feedback.

Yes the overall chance of having cancer at this age is very less. Your symptoms are more likely to be due to inflammatory bowel disease. However the possibility of cancer needs to be kept in mind in view of the family history of cancer. Colonoscopy would help in determining the etiology.

Medications which slow the motility such as lomotil (one tablet twice a day) will give symptomatic relief only. A short course of antibiotics would also be helpful. After the course of antibiotic is completed then a course of probiotic preparation for at least 10 days will help the bowel develop the indigenous bacterial flora.

I hope this answers your query.

With regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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