Together we will beat cancer


IBS or bowel cancer?

10 Jul 2019 12:25

I thought I made a post a few days ago but I cant find it? Anyway, starting again...

About 4 years ago I started to get a extended stomach, especially when eating (I still do to this day). I've gained around 7kg in weight in those 4 years. Other symptoms were acid reflux (although I don't get that now), constant change in stools ie.. One day soft, next day rock hard, next day all fluffy, next day piles, next day diahrea, then back hard again,..etc. so they keep alternating, I've also get (although not lately) bright red dots of blood on the paper. I went to the GP, had a fecal test, blood test and it all came back fine so they diagnosed me with IBS. They adivised im way too young (31 at the time im 35 now) to have bowel cancer despite my nan and grandad (mothers side) both dying with bowel cancer at age 62 and 72.

Anyway, fast forward a number of years and im getting more and more concerned by my condition.

In the last 5 days my bowel habbits are still the same, but the colour is very much different. I am now pooping very dark (hard to class it has black, possible very very very dark brown) which I've never done before. When its this dark, its relatively hard and in the form of piles. It will also be accompanied with softer stool which is a normal light brown in colour. So the contrast each time I have a bowel movement is quite unique.

My diet has remained the same and nothing has changed in the last 5 days, hence my concern.

Obviously the first port of call should be a GP. Unfortunately its virtually impossible to get an appointment with my surgery. They now demand you call in at 8am (I cant as I am busy at that time), and on the rare ocassion when I could call in at 8am, the lines are so busy, I once got through after 25 mins to be told no appointments available.

So, i'd very much appreciate as much info from here if possible.

IBS or bowel cancer?

10 Jul 2019 12:50 in response to J9y

Hi j9y. Welcome to the forum.

I am not a doctor, just a lifelong sufferer of IBS. 

What you describe could well be IBS, but there is also a very small possibility that it's cancer.

Unfortunately, no one on the internet can give you a diagnosis so I'm afraid you have to persevere with your GP.


IBS or bowel cancer?

10 Jul 2019 15:27 in response to J9y

Hi sorry your going through all this. Go to your Dr's get checked out. I was told I had ibs. My symptoms changed  and I started to have acid reflux, eggy burps, occasional vomiting, gas, blood in stools. I went vegan. Did fodmap kept seeing Dr's. My bloods and a stool sample came back fine. Stool sample came back as showing no blood. There was though I'd told the Dr's several times. Anyways for me blood loss got worse and I was telephone diagnosed with piles.... I then sought out a new gp and surgery and went in with photos of what I was experiencing. 6 weeks later and I'm all lined up for surgery next week. Pop in to the Dr's speak to reception find out if there's another way to book (I found out I could book a gp appointment on line. So much easier!) get seen to. Never too young and it could be many things other than CRC but ya best making that appointment and be heard. Xxxx good luck to you hope it all gets resolved xxxx

IBS or bowel cancer?

12 Jul 2019 03:33 in response to telemando

You're right. It's the only way really isn't it. 

IBS or bowel cancer?

12 Jul 2019 03:36 in response to Dandelios

Sorry to hear about your story, hopefully you've caught it in time, do keep the forum updated. If it helps in any way, my neighbour found blood in his stools some years ago, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he's about 70 years old.. and... He won the fight. So there's plenty of hope. 

Do you mind me asking your age? 

IBS or bowel cancer?

13 Jul 2019 07:57 in response to J9y

Hi J9y,

I am suffering with the same problem. I have alternating (with blood) constipation, diarrhea, sometimes thin stools, sometimes larger stools, sometimes normal coloured, sometimes not! It’s been happening for about 2 weeks now. I’ve had abnormal pain too.  I’ve had blood tests (showed no signs of anemia or nothing abnormal) and awaiting a stool sample result! 

Please try to visit your GP. You can book appointments online with my GP. Perhaps that’s something you could consider. My GP has a system where you have to call up at 8am - but try to call them for 8am and be persistent with it! You will get through! 

Dandelios, how old are you? I’m sorry to hear. I wish you all the best. 

IBS or bowel cancer?

13 Jul 2019 22:33 in response to Worriedguy1996

My understanding is that cancer doesn't really give you pain if symptoms have only just developed. That's normally IBS related from what I've read. I don't get pain at all other than bloated discomfort. Annoyingly IBS and bowel cancer symptoms seem to be quite similar. They say they're not linked, but both my grandparents had ibs and then followed bowel cancer.

From that experience I'd say ibs, anxiety, stress, depression, diet, bowel cancer are related in some way. Just my personal opinion.

I used to work for a good 7 years as a field engineer, as I was on the road often I'd eat mcdonalds or any fast food I found for many many years, back then I was fine. I was then made redundant and started eating healthy home food, it was soon after that when my stomach went nuts and I developed all these problems. So I'd say my diet has contributed to this, I was also bullied with my old employer, I ended up going to work hoping I'd have a crash or something, it got that bad to work for them due to the stress they piled on me, again, I believe that's contributed.


IBS or bowel cancer?

27 Jul 2019 13:04 in response to J9y

sorry for the delay have had issues getting into my account!, Im 41, had surgery 8 days ago and feeling great, fingers crossed thats all that will be required. how are you?

IBS or bowel cancer?

27 Jul 2019 13:29 in response to J9y

Hi, I am speaking from experience, don't let your GP keep telling you it' IBS if you are not happy with this. It may well be but so many bowel cancer cases are missed like this. Almost 5 years ago I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 49. I had seen 5 or 6 different Dr's at my practice, all telling me it was IBS. This went on for 18 months. You need to insist on a colonoscopy, it is the only way to rule cancer out and get rid of the cancer worry which if it is IBS, stress makes worse. I had stool samples that came back normal. I did have problems with my iron levels but as far as pain just indigestion and the 'knotting pain' like on the tv ad. I had surgery. Last year it came back, symptoms were different this time, I had almost everything on the bowel cancer list except weight loss. Again I had surgery followed by chemo and my last ct was ok. Any age can get bowel cancer and if close relatives had it before 55 you are more at risk. You will probably be fine but PLEASE find out for sure. If it is anything serious, the earlier it is treated the better chance of a full recovery. Good luck and keep on and demand the test.

IBS or bowel cancer?

27 Jul 2019 16:20 in response to Dandelios

Wishing you a speedy recovery. I've been there twice. Hopefully you won't need chemo but if you do it quickly passes and then you can get on with life. It does change us as a person doesn't it.

IBS or bowel cancer?

28 Jul 2019 09:21 in response to Dandelios

Glad you're feeling ok dandelios. Hope you a speedy recovery. 

My situation is the same in terms of not being able to see a GP. However, my stools remained very dark for 5 days but then stopped. Its now not as dark and my symptoms i was feeling at the time of posting have gone. My stools remain on the 'soft' side though. It may be possible that i had a "ibs flare up". I am hoping that is all it was. 

IBS or bowel cancer?

28 Jul 2019 09:25 in response to Ineedabreak

Thanks Ineedabreak, you're right, a colonoscopy is the only way. I will put the request forward to ny GP as soon as i can get an appt with them.

How are you coping now? I take it you're free from it now? 

IBS or bowel cancer?

28 Jul 2019 11:47 in response to J9y

Please do, it's the only way. Once you get the all clear you can forget it and the stress. If it is IBS this will probably improve with less stress too. Don't let them fob you off, insist.


As far as I know, I'm ok thank you. My 10 month post op CT was fine. I have a colonoscopy in 2 weeks, I was due one in about a year but my consultant knows I worry so said if if would put my mind at rest he would do it soon. I only have about a third of my bowel left so shouldn't take long.

It does mess with your head though, every little ache/pain causes major panic and a visit to my GP, usually turns out to be nothing but my new theory is..... whatever it is, get it checked out straight away. If it is something, best to find it early and if it's nothing you can forget it.


Let me know how you go on.

IBS or bowel cancer?

28 Jul 2019 11:49 in response to J9y

Get a colonoscopy just to make sure.

Early detection is the key if it is something else. No-one was more shocked than me with my diagnosis.

IBS or bowel cancer?

19 Oct 2020 10:21 in response to J9y

Hi I don't know if you are diagnosed with anything more than IBS but my partner was suffering from reflux, IBS and pain in his upper abdomen and always feeling full. We were going several times to the Hospital and he was offered a fundoplication operation to make a new valve into his stomach. Not keen on this he went private, Hallelujah the wonderful consultant ordered different scans and results were he had neurendocrine tumours in his small bowel. Five weeks ago he had most of his small bowel removed, has one metre left but is doing great. 
apparently he had tumours growing for years.

All the best