Colorectal cancer or colon and rectal cancer continues to be one of the most common forms of cancer in people. With early detection, it also becomes one of the most treatable ones. The presence of little to no signs in the beginning, makes regular screenings essential. Despite that, there are certain colon cancer symptoms which should be cause enough to set alarm bells ringing.
Finding blood in your stool may or may not be a cause of concern. This could be the result of a cut or fissure near the anal region, or somewhere inside the rectum. Piles or haemorrhoids may also be a possible reason, and in the worst case it will be an indicative sign of colorectal cancer.
Erratic bowel movements or narrower stools
If you notice a sudden and persistent change in your trips to the loo, beware. This can happen in the form of diarrhoea (loose stools) or constipation. Also notice the consistency of your stools regularly (we know, gross! But it’s for the greater good). If your stools feel narrower than usual, and a feeling of not completely emptying your bowels remains, it’s time to pay your doctor a visit.
Prolonged abdominal pain
An intestinal perforation can be the possible cause behind this. Your lower abdomen or groin area may begin to feel tender. Apart from this, you may experience stomach pain, which may either happen in sporadic spurts or could be continual. You will realize how it is different from a digestive pain when the pain feels external instead of internal.
This is an additional symptom as a result of the bleeding. The loss of blood will cause iron levels to fall, and hence the anemia. Regular blood tests can easily reveal an iron deficiency in the blood. This is yet another possible indicator for colon cancer.
Fatigue or weakness
If you think you have been feeling tired or weak for quite some time, despite no apparent physical exertion. Also, the tiredness doesn’t seem to go away even after a long night’s rest, then you must bring it up with your healthcare professional.
Unexplained or unintended weight loss
While weight loss can come as a relief to many of us, if you haven’t been actively pursuing it, this should not happen. If you notice a significant weight loss over a period of 4 or more months with no apparent change in weight or exercise routine, this could be because your body’s metabolism is disturbed.
Some of these symptoms can be characteristic of other gastric disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or haemorrhoids. When in doubt, consult your physician for a comprehensive medical opinion