May have bowel cancer at 18? Not sure what to do

I'm 18 years of age, and have recently exhibited some strange symptoms which are extremely worrying, I helped lift several heavy objects for a family member, and soon after noticed a painless lump just above and to the right of my groin, it seemed to fit the description of an inguinal hernia really well, could push back in etc. I also knew random abdomen pain was a side effect of an inguinal hernia, and cramps, etc. However looking into it, I've experienced some symptoms of bowel cancer too, inconsistency of stool etc, and recently had blood on toilet paper, obviously its embarrasing talking about stuff like that, especially with the placement of the lump, and complications with social anxiety, i'm not really sure how to go about talking to my GP about it, as its more of a group of GP's, and dont know what i should go about asking them etc, my life has been complete crap for near enough a year now, with A levels and struggles in my social life, so my mental state is in a terrible place right now, i'm not fully sure i'm confident enough to actually talk to a GP, hell i'm sweating even writing this. forcing myself on the phone is even harder, and im especially paranoid if someone hears me talking about it on the phone and becomes worried about it. I have no real clue what to do, and im afraid this may completely destroy me mentally if i do have cancer, my mental state also may be leading to me over worrying myself, but i'd rather be safe than sorry.

  • Hey, 

    Bowel cancer is exceptionally rare in young people. Things that are a lot more likely to be causing you issues are things like irritable bowel, Crohns or intolerances. Bleeding onto tissue rather than having blood mixed into your stool implies it’s more of an issue with your anus rather than the bowel, like haemorrhoids or a fissure. Most people with bowel cancer aren’t aware of the blood because it’s higher up in the bowel so gets mixed in with the stool and isn’t visible unless taking the screening test. 


    I know it’s scary and not the most pleasant of topics, but your GP will speak to several people a day about bowel issues and it won’t phase them. I would recommend getting an appointment just to talk through your concerns and put your mind at rest. Good luck!

  • While bowel cancer is less common in under 25 its on the increase.  Any symptom of bowel should be investigated.   

    My 19 year old told he was too young for five months.  He was eventually diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer.   A 2 inch t4 tumour was removed along with 25% of his bowel and lymph nodes.  Then chemo for 6 months.  

    He had text book symptoms.  Yet told he was too young.   

  • Hi HJF

    so it never fails to make me cringe to read 'May have bowel cancer' when you are yet to visit or speak to a healthcare professional. 

    one must be very careful of delving too deep into the depths of Google to diagnose a condition as this is very often innacurate. I can tell from what you've written that a great deal of your time has been spent scouring the Internet trying to piece together symptoms.

    despite the alarming statistics on cancer it is, still, extremely unlikely that you would contract it at your young age (especially bowel cancer).. that being said - it is definitely worth contacting GP to discuss your concerns and maybe have a blood test to see what is going on 

    all the best