What Are The Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?
People over 50 and those in high-risk groups should be familiar with the symptoms of colon cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates in 2010 there will be 102,900 new cases of colon cancer and 39,760 new cases of rectal cancer; the estimated death toll for colon and rectal cancer in 2010 is 51,378. Colon cancer impacts both men and women; although women actually have a slightly higher rate of colon cancer. The average American has a 1 in 20 chance of contracting colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
Colon cancer, known as colorectal cancer, is a disease that impacts the large intestine and rectum. The colon is a tube roughly five feet long that absorbs water and nutrients from food. Discovered early, the prognosis for colon cancer is good with a 90 percent recovery rate.
- No symptoms—Like many cancers in the early stages, there may be no signs of colorectal cancer and no pain. It is important for people over 50 and those in high-risk groups to be checked regularly.
- Blood in the stool—Blood in the stool is a symptom of colon cancer, but can be a symptom of other medical issues. If you have blood in your stool, you should have the issue checked immediately.
- Irregular bowel movements—A change in the frequency of bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation or not feeling completely empty after bowl movements are indications of colon cancer. Narrower stool can also be a symptom of colon cancer.
- Abdominal pains—Abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramps and a feeling of fullness can also be symptoms of colon cancer. Abdominal pains can be indications of a number of medical problems. It is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- Polyps—Rectal polyps can be an indication of colon cancer. Polyps are not cancerous, but should be removed as a preventive measure. Most colon cancers develop from polyps.
- Weight loss, constant fatigue and vomiting—Significant weight loss for no apparent reason is another indicator of colorectal cancer. Constant fatigue and being out of energy is an indication that something is wrong; chronic lack of energy is a symptom of colon cancer. Unexplained regular vomiting may also be a sign of colon cancer.
The symptoms described above can indicate a number of medical problems and it is important that you see your doctor for the proper tests, diagnosis and treatment. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if caught early. Often, in the early stages of cancer, symptoms may not be apparent. People over 50 and those that are in high-risk groups should be tested regularly.