Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer That You Can not Ignore

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Early-stage colon cancer generally does not show significant symptoms, so many people who fail to get an early diagnosis and the cancer may have already spread and been treated too late. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of colon cancer so that handling can be better and more effective.

What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

In general, colon cancer symptoms may include one or more of the following conditions:

  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or short feces, lasting for more than a few days
  • The feeling that you have to defecate but not get relief afterwards
  • The anus bleeds
  • There's blood in the stool that can make it look dark
  • Pain or abdominal cramps
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Weight loss is not intentional

Colorectal cancer can cause bleeding. Although sometimes blood can be seen or make the color of the stool becomes darker, faeces often look normal. Blood loss occurs slowly and accumulates over time, resulting in a decrease in the number of red blood cells (anemia). Sometimes the first sign of colon cancer is a blood test that shows a low red blood cell count.

Most of these problems are more often caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. However, if you experience any of these problems, it is important for you to see your doctor immediately so that the cause can be found and treated if necessary.

Symptoms of colon cancer that has spread (metastasis)

Symptoms of colon cancer that has spread (metastasis) depends on the location where the cancer spread, size, and location of tumors in the body. Metastatic colon cancer patients are not always aware of symptoms before diagnosis.

If the bone is affected, symptoms may include pain, fracture, constipation or decreased alertness due to high levels of calcium,
If the lungs are affected, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain, or extreme fatigue.
If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal thickness, swelling of the feet and hands due to accumulation of fluid, and skin itching or yellowing.
If the lymph nodes in the stomach are affected, symptoms may include bloating, abdominal swelling, or loss of appetite.
If the brain or spinal cord is affected, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, double vision or blur, difficulty speaking, difficulty moving or seizures.

When to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if any of these symptoms last for several weeks or become severe. Also consult a doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms or signs in this list and ask to schedule a colonoscopy to find the cause of your problem.

Colon cancer generally occurs in the elderly, but did not rule out can also occur in children though. Therefore, regardless of age, if you experience or suspect symptoms of colon cancer you should see a doctor to find out if you should undergo a colonoscopy. The doctor will ask how long and how often you have symptoms, as well as other questions. This is to help find the cause of the problem, called diagnosis.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving the symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. Make sure you talk to your health care team about the symptoms you're experiencing, including new symptoms or changes in symptoms.
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