Colon cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage than many other common cancers simply because symptoms do not manifest when the disease is in early stages. However, any persistent, unexplained changes in your health should always be reported to your physician. More common symptoms of colon cancer can include a change in bowel habits lasting multiple weeks, and a change in the consistency of your stool.
The symptoms of colon cancer often mimic signs of other non-cancerous gastrointestinal disorders or even other types of cancer. There are also rare and uncommon symptoms that can be associated with a colon cancer diagnosis. While your symptoms are likely due to a non-cancerous cause, always be diligent about any changes in your normal health.
Sharp abdominal pain could indicate a blockage or perforation in the bowel. Severe and long lasting abdominal pain, bloating and cramping can be a sign of growing tumors, as can nausea and vomiting.
Fatigue related to colon cancer will be severe and will not go away even with plenty of rest. The resultant exhaustion may be caused by internal bleeding and anemia.
Black tar or bloody stool should always be reported to a doctor. The presence of either bright red blood, very dark or black stool, or dried blood can be one of the later onset symptoms of colon cancer and should never be ignored.
Unexplained weight loss, especially in a short period of time can occur because your body is not absorbing nutrients, or because of a release of substances into the body from cancer cells. Cancer cells also use a lot of energy, sometimes leading to unintentional weight loss.
Pain in your rectum or the urge to have a bowel movement without producing one could be a sign that a tumor is growing in the rectum and causing stool to become trapped.
Again, many of these signs and symptoms are indicators of minor ailments and non-cancerous disorders. It is always pertinent to report these and other troubling symptoms to your health care provider. If you need or think you may need treatment, call Regional Cancer Care Associates today.