Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to cancer. Most of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
Colorectal cancer may develop very gradually over the years, and symptoms may not be initially noticeable. For this reason, it is especially important to have regular screening tests, which may detect the presence of precancerous polyps (adenomas) or tumors while they are still treatable.
Cancer in the Colon
When symptoms do occur, they may include one or more of the following:
- Change in bowel habits
- Blood (either bright red or black and tarry) in the stool (feces)
- Stools that are narrower than usual
- Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant feeling of fatigue or tiredness
- Stool that is lighter or more tan in color
- Stools that are particularly foul-smelling
- Stools that more regularly float to the surface of the toilet bowl
Last reviewed February 2003 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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