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Colon Cancer/Blood in stool

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Question
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

My father went to the local community health center (we are in northern California) almost three months ago.   My father is 70.  They recommended that he take send a stool sample into the lab.

After he didn't hear anything for 71 days (yes, we counted), we had just figured everything was okay.

On the 71st day, a nurse called to discuss his results.

My father found out that there was blood in his stool and they were setting up a date for a colonoscopy.


While I know you cannot give me much information until he gets the results from the colonoscopy, I am wondering if you have anything that could possibly ease him mind about the colonoscopy process or have an resources online that are reliable for him to read?  

We are having a really hard time knowing that we didn't get his results for so long and not knowing how far the potential cancer (god forbid) has progressed or spread.

My father's brother had colon cancer so we are very concerned.  

Any information or resources would be much appreciated.  

Thank you again,

Katherine

Answer
Blood in the stool may have many causes of which colon cancer is just one. So while it is possible that this is caused by a colon cancer that is by no means the only possible explanation. Hemorrhoids, rifts in the lining of his anus and many other things are also possible causes. I am of about the same age as your father. Since I have had radiation therapy for a prostate cancer with a rather heavy radiation dosage in my rectum I have colonoscopies regularly once a year. My 6th colonoscopy will take place on August 27. During these 6 years 4 polyps were found during my colonoscopies and removed. None of them was cancerous. These colonoscopies were all done here in Sweden. I think that in the USA the patients that undergo this procedure are sedated. Though I may be mistaken about that. Not so here anyway. Here all patients undergoing this are fully awake. That has not been any problem. Not to me anyway. I have not had any problem before, during or after these procedures. The bowel cleaning before the procedure is not fun but not a big problem in any way. You must also abstain from eating while the cleaning takes place. Again not a big problem. Even if it is not certain that there is a cancer in your father's case the risk of it is still big enough to make a colonoscopy absolutely necessary. So in short, this procedure is in itself nothing to worry about. The result of it is of course something else. But again even though there may indeed be a cancer it is still far from certain that there is one. Good luck! P.S. Call the clinic where it will be done and ask for their information material. That way you will get precise information with regards to sedation etc.



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I do NOT understand why it took such a long time for them to tell you this. If in your situation I would demand an explanation! Good luck!



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Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!

Colon Cancer

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.

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I`m a doctor of medicine and a specialist in radiation therapy and medical oncology. I have long experience with regards to this cancer.

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I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions on the number of questions there.

I also answer questions in these categories: Oncology (General Cancer), General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer.

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I'm a medical doctor and a specialist in medical oncology & radiation therapy.

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