If you start noticing a change in your bowel habits, believe it or not, you want it to be IBS if it’s going to be an ongoing issue. Colon Cancer and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) both have closely related symptoms and can leave you in bad shape when it comes to how you feel. The largest difference between the two is obviously that the Cancer will kill you if it’s not taken care of.
Most Doctors will agree that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. Basically what this means is that after every other thing has been tested and you are showing to have an otherwise healthy colon, this is the last thing you will be diagnosed with.
Colon Cancer affects over 100,000 new people each year and has roughly a 33% mortality rate each year as well. The key being that you want to find the disease before it has a chance to spread.
IBS is a more common disease that affects your bowel habits and can mimic the same symptoms as the cancer. Loose stools (diarrhea), constipation, pencil thin stools, frequent defecation.
Because these are so similar, many Doctors will run extensive tests to make sure there is no tumors in your large intestine which is mainly done through what is known as a colonoscopy. This is where a long snake like hose is inserted through the rectum and travels through the large intestine in search for abnormalities and other differences in structure.
These are easy procedures to have done as you are normally sedated. The key is to not be scared to talk with your Doctor if you notice any of the symptoms above.