Colon Cancer Symptoms: Should I Seek Professional Help?

Symptoms that point to colon cancer can be concerning. Sometimes, colon cancer symptoms are minor or even non-existent when you or a loved one are in an earlier stage of the disease. As we all know, catching any kind of cancer early-on can help improve the likelihood that treatment will be successful. 

If there is a history of cancer in your family and you are worried that you may have symptoms, however slight, it is a good idea to have a screening scheduled. If you have a family history, having regular screenings will help keep you safe as well, particularly if you are over 50 years of age. 

The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor. However, we will go over the possible symptoms of colon cancer so that you have the information you need to determine if you need to schedule a screening, even if you are not high-risk. 

Colon Cancer Symptoms: Should I Seek Professional Help?

It is never a bad idea to get regular cancer screenings, particularly if you have a family history of cancer or are over 50 years of age. However, cancer can strike at any time whether you have a family history or not. Use the following information to determine if you should seek an appointment with your doctor even if the above qualifications do not apply to you.

The Earliest Warning Signs of Colon Cancer

Cancers in the colon, as well as the rectum, usually begin as polyps in those areas. The symptoms associated with those polyps are often the earliest detectable warning signs that you may have colon cancer. However, polyps can happen without cancer, so it is important to schedule a screening with your doctor to make a final determination. The earliest symptoms can include:

  • Rectal bleeding
    • Both bright red and dark red bleeding could be associated
  • Narrow Stools
  • Feeling like you need to pass stool but being unable to
  • Anemic symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

It is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor, as there are other causes for these symptoms that are much less serious. If you are having these symptoms, do not panic. Other causes can be issues such as hemorrhoids and ulcers, or conditions such as Crohn’s disease. 

If you have blood in your stool you should always discuss this with your doctor. Hopefully, it is not cancer, but whatever is causing it is something that should be addressed by your healthcare professional.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Other symptoms of colon cancer may appear before or after the above symptoms. If you have any of these, it is a good idea to go speak with your doctor and have a cancer screening done. These symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal bleeding
  • Cramps
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Thin or runny stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue 

Symptoms of Colon Cancer That Has Spread

If cancer has begun to metastasize and spread to other organs, you may experience other symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Bone pain and fractures
  • Shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Jaundice
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Seizures

Conclusion

The above symptoms can all be traced to different causes or even different cancers. It is important to get a screening and discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional before you jump to a conclusion. However, if you are experiencing a variety of the symptoms we have discussed in this article, you should always speak to your doctor. If you would like to know more, please visit this guide.

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