Colon cancer is a serious disease, but it is easy to treat if detected early. Colon cancer may not cause symptoms in its early stages, but the earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat. If you notice any of these changes and they don’t go away on their own within a few days, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Changes in bowel function
Changes in bowel structure can be one of the first signs of colon cancer. For example, there may be constipation, diarrhea, and loose stools. All these changes can be normal if they are temporary, but if they do not go away after a few days, you should tell your doctor.
Keep in mind that some people experience long-term changes in bowel function due to other serious conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. However, if your bowel pattern changes and does not return to normal, you should always see your doctor to rule out cancer.
blood in the stool
One of the main symptoms of colon cancer is blood in the stool. In some cases, this blood can be bright red and very noticeable. It can manifest itself, or it can be observed only with bowel movements. In other cases, blood from colon cancer can darken the stool. Bleeding can be so small that it is not visible at all.
Blood in the stool can be caused by hemorrhoids or other problems for a variety of reasons. However, blood on the toilet paper or stool should be reported to the doctor, especially if it occurs more than once.
Colon cancer can cause bleeding without you even knowing it. Anemia can occur with regular bleeding. Anemia occurs when there are too few red blood cells to effectively carry oxygen around the body.
You can find out if you have anemia through regular blood tests, or you can suspect it if you experience symptoms of anemia such as extreme tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, cold hands and feet, and pale skin.
Anemia can have many causes, including a lack of iron in your diet. However, you may have internal bleeding and not notice it, so the cause of the anemia should always be investigated to rule out a more serious condition, such as colon cancer.
Depending on the location of the tumor and other factors, some people with colon cancer may not have symptoms until the disease is advanced. But for others, abdominal pain can be the first symptom of colon cancer. As with other colon cancer symptoms, abdominal pain can have many other causes. If you’re experiencing abdominal pain that isn’t caused by another medical condition, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
Weight loss for no apparent reason
Unexplained weight loss is another symptom of colon cancer. In fact, unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of several types of cancer. If you lose more than ten pounds in a few months without any effort, this could be a sign of a problem.
If you notice any of these changes or other symptoms of colon cancer, see your doctor as soon as possible. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend blood tests, a colonoscopy, or other tests to rule out colon cancer. If you are over 50 or at risk for the disease, it is important to get screened for colon cancer as recommended by your doctor.