Screening for Colorectal Cancer
Regular screening will discover polyps before they start developing colorectal cancer
Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
As mentioned in the introduction, screening tests help to identify the risk of developing some types of cancer before you have any symptoms.
Even if you are tested regularly, knowing the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer is very important. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if it is diagnosed in its early stages.
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away but if it does the common symptoms may include:
- An ongoing change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days (diarrhea, constipation or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely)
- Stools that are narrower than usual
- Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or abdominal cramps
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Feeling very tired (weakness and fatigue)
Some colorectal cancer symptoms are mostly noticeable through changes in your digestive tract but others can impact your entire body.
These can vary based on the person and the signs will also differ in severity based on the cancer’s location in the colon or rectum and size and growth.
If you have any signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer… do not ignore them!
Check with your doctor if you experience any of the above, regardless of your age.
It is pretty common for other conditions to mimic some colorectal cancer symptoms. An infection, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other gastrointestinal problems can create similar symptoms.
It is very important to know your body and speak with your doctor to discover the cause of your symptoms and seek treatment.