Sigmoidoscopy last November, now colonoscopy

Last November I had a one-off rectal bleed and the doctor arranged a sigmoidoscopy which happened swiftly and showed no problems other than diverticulosis, no other symptoms then or since. Had my regular two yearly NHS bowel screening (FIT) two weeks ago which came back as "needing further tests" which will be a colonoscopy!! Again no other symptoms of any kind. I'm just wondering why they didn't do a full colonoscopy last November so now I'm worried. The letter doesn't give a FIT score so I've no idea what it is but understand anything over 10 is a call back. Clinic appointment next Wednesday and due to go away in two weeks, if I was lucky enough to get the procedure early due to a cancellation I wouldn't be able to fly for two weeks afterwards apparently anyway, but health comes before a holiday. Feeling very anxious.

  • Hello IreneX50, 

    You must be feeling a bit worried after having had a sigmoidoscopy recently to find yourself having to have the full colonoscopy following the results of your bowel screening. The flexible sigmoidoscopy looks at the lower part of your large bowel so it seems like, back in November,  your doctor deemed that it was enough for their investigations to just look at this part of your bowel and it did flag diverticulitis which may explain your past symptoms. The colonoscopy looks at the whole of the inside of your large bowel so it will give you a fuller picture of what is going on but rest assured the sigmoidoscopy is also a good diagnostic test but the colonoscopy will be even more in-depth and will allow them to look at everything closely and may well just flag the diverticulitis again but it's good you are having it done so you have a complete examination of your bowel and get some clarity and hopefully peace of mind very soon. 

    If you'd like to talk to our nurses about these procedures and about when you might be offered a sigmoidoscopy instead of a colonoscopy, feel free to give our nurses a call on this free number 0808 800 4040 and they will be happy to explain everything to you - their line is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. 

    I hope that you will hear from other forum members who have been in a similar position before and that they will share their story with you. 

    Best of luck for your appointment and I hope you still manage to go on your holiday in two weeks' time! Perhaps double check when you have your appointment how long you are not able to fly for after a colonoscopy. I am no medical expert but two weeks sounds like a long time to me and I had a look on the NHS website and it mentions that flying should be avoided only for a day after a colonoscopy. I would definitely ask them at the hospital when you have the colonoscopy done - they will be able to tell you for sure. 

    Best wishes, 

    Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Many thanks Lucie. It has been an anxious week and will have questions for my appointment on Wednesday. I'm hoping that the diverticulosis is the culprit and nothing more sinister. It's unlikely that the colonoscopy appointment will come through before my holiday in any event unless I'm offered a it's looking likely I'll go away worrying, if I go, as I'd really like this sorted as quickly as possible obviously. I will double check regarding flying though, just in case. Many thanks for the information.

  • I had a FIT score of just 15 and I had a colonoscopy ( which I didn't ask for ) which found Diverticulitis and a few other harmless things ,so even just over 10 they send you for a colonoscopy which is good in my opinion ,I'm sure scores can be in the hundreds and still be ok I've heard 

  • Thanks Jenny, my letter didn't give a score but I will ask on Wednesday, I've read anything over 10 gets a callback. I agree it's good that they get you checked out even if the FIT score is low and I have seen scores in the hundreds. I think the test can detect even a minuscule amount of blood because I haven't seen any, yet anyway.

    Just read your previous posts Jenny, so pleased all is going well for you now, that's great to hear.

  • Thank you ,before last September cancer had never even entered my head it was a complete shock ,I'd never seen any blood either ,I must say though it made me paranoid for a while ,I'm ok though I struck up a friendship with a lady on here we catch up now and again I like to help people if I can from experience .

  • I now have a date for my colonoscopy after seeing a lovely nurse yesterday who talked me through everything. 20th April, four weeks to wait, how nerve racking is that going to be!! Still no other symptoms so I'm trying to stay positive but not very good at it. Need the begin the bowel prep on the last day of our holiday which won't be fun but didn't want to delay the procedure any longer. I think the worry is upsetting my bowels anyway which is making my anxiety worse.

  • Try not to think about it on holiday ,easier said than done I know but I'm sure you'll be fine ,have a lovely time .