I am an 29 year old women. I have always been in good health until recently. I have been experiencing constipation which I have attributed to medication I am on. (Tramadol 50 mg.) Recently, I have noticed blood when I wipe after a bowel movement. I went to the doctor yesterday and she did an fecal occult blood test which tested positive for blood. I have an appointment for a colonoscopy. But I am really concerned because of family history of colon cancer on my mother's side. I have had an great-grandfather( he did not die from it), great-aunt, great-uncle and his 25 year old son all died from it. Everything I have read about colon cancer says you are at an increased risk if a first-degree relative had it. Is this true? So far, I have not had a first-degree relative have it. Am I at an increased risk from these relatives having it? Please help me I am driving myself crazy worrying about this!! Thanks!!
It is true that having multiple 1st and/or 2nd degree relatives with colorectal cancer also increases your risk of this disease. At the same time, rectal bleeding is rather common in people with constipation, and so rectal bleeding, alone, does not mean that you have colorectal cancer. Given your family history, though, it is important that you undergo colonoscopy. Additionally, it might also be appropriate for you to see a genetic counselor after your colonoscopy, to further discuss your family history of colorectal cancer.
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