Colon cancer may not be obvious in the early stages. Manifestations of the colon cancer usually occur after the cancer has progressed and is in a more advanced stage. Screening is very important for finding any type of cancer (including the colon one) at an early stage. However, until you schedule a screening test, it is essential to know the symptoms of colon cancer to act as quickly as possible in the direction of stopping or slowing cancer progression.
Manifestations found in colon cancer
– Blood in the stool. Blood in the stool is a sign commonly found in colon cancer. Stool analyzes are necessary to detect blood in the stool that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The presence of blood in the stool is associated with other less serious health problems, such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Remember that by eating certain foods, such as beets and watermelon, the stool might have a reddish color. In order not to be misled if you notice that the stool is red, trying to remember what foods you have eaten in the last 24 hours and analyze the color of the stool in the next 2-3 days.
– Thin stool. Stool size can provide insight into what happens inside the intestines. Thin stools, like a ribbon, indicate that the stool could be obstructed by a tumor, for example, preventing the passage from the intestine to the anus. The term thin ribbon stool refers to the ones that have a diameter similar to that of a pencil. If you find that you are constantly having thin stools (even if they are not as thin as a pencil), make this known to your doctor. Other situations that can cause thin stools are the presence of larger benign polyps or hemorrhoids.
– Constipation. Constipation is not a specific symptom of colon cancer. Frequent constipation can be a manifestation of many conditions that are considerably less serious than colon cancer. However, chronic constipation can be serious.
– Abdominal pain. Vague abdominal pain is a symptom. This typically occurs when the colon is blocked by a tumor. In this case, abdominal pain is caused by the accumulation of gas in the intestines because the tumor does not allow gas to pass properly through the colon to the anus.
– Fatigue. Fatigue that persists for more than a few days may indicate a medical problem. Regarding colon cancer, fatigue is the result of anemia caused by blood loss from the body through stool. Like other symptoms of colon cancer, fatigue is a vague symptom and can be associated with a number of less serious conditions.
– Feeling the need to empty the bowel, even when not necessary. This symptom may indicate the presence of a tumor, whereby the patient may feel that his bowels are full, even when not consuming too much food.
Talk to your doctor about any changes in stool or normal movements of the digestive tract to allow experts to find in time the colon cancer or any other serious condition. The sooner the colon cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of recovery and survival.