‘I was crushed’: 35-year-old woman’s anemia turned out to be bowel cancer

Colon cancer does not always tend to show symptoms. Warning signs that do appear are often blurry and barely visible. Daisy Fenwick of Essex knows this all too well. At that time, the 35-year-old man did not notice the culprit in the toilet, like many other patients with bowel cancer. Instead, something completely different alerted Mom.

Colon cancer often rings alarm bells when you visit toilet number two, but it’s not the only warning sign of a dreaded condition.

In Daisy’s case, her general condition was the first red flag that led to a diagnosis of bowel cancer.

She told Bowel Cancer UK: “I went to the hospital to get a blood transfusion for severe anemia.

“My level was so low that I don’t quite understand how I survived, which explains why the climb to the top was like a marathon.

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“The doctors seemed a little taken aback and chalked it up to heavy periods as I was only 35 so cancer was never mentioned even though it crossed my mind.”

Anemia describes a condition where you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to your body’s tissues.

Leaving you tired and weak, anemia can be caused by a variety of things, including deficiency.

Daisy was prescribed iron tablets to deal with this, but the treatment didn’t solve her problem, so she continued to see her GP.

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Eventually, she was referred for a colonoscopy, which revealed a “mass” in her intestines.

She said: “The expression on the doctor’s face and the tilt of his head will stay with me forever when he said the words that everyone fears: ‘Sorry, you have cancer.’

“I was crushed.”

Anemia can be one of the many symptoms and warning signs of bowel cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Bowel cancer can often bleed into the digestive tract, causing blood to appear in the stool.

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Over time, blood loss can increase and cause a decrease in the number of red blood cells, also known as anemia.

The NHS also notes that iron deficiency anemia can indicate the presence of intestinal bleeding that you are not aware of, as blood is not always found in your stool.

According to the Health Service, other “basic” symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Permanent changes in your bowel habits (you have to poop more and your stools may become more liquid)
  • Persistent pain in the lower abdomen (abdomen), bloating or discomfort (always caused by eating)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant unintentional weight loss.

The National Health Service recommends that you see your GP if you have any symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.

Daisy had to undergo surgery to remove most of her colon, as well as chemotherapy.

The woman added: “After stopping chemo, my scans and blood tests came back over the summer, showing that I don’t have cancer.

“I’m still alive, still smiling, still positive, still full of life.”

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