Colon Cancer Warning Signs

Colon cancer affects approximately 150,000 Americans each year, with 50,000 people succumbing from their battle with this disease each year. Colon cancer can be detected in the early stages of the disease if people heed the warning signs that their body is presenting them. If warning signs go unnoticed or unchecked then people will be at a higher risk of suffering from colon cancer. In some cases, the warning signs can also coincide with another disease or problem within the colon that might not be cancer so it is always safe to check with a doctor if warning signs arise or symptoms persist for a long period.

One of the most prominent and common warning signs of colon cancer is constipation. Now, constipation can occur at anytime and affect any person because of their lack of exercise, their diet, or as a side effect of a medication they are taking. When constipation cannot be cured or persists for longer than a couple of months then the cause can be something more serious than the person’s diet. In this case, colorectal cancer could be the cause. If a tumor has grown in the colon it could be blocking the path of the excrement, not allowing it to exit the body. Other warning signs include the following:

  • Blood in the stool or on the stool
  • Constant cramps that last for more than a couple of days
  • Weight loss for no known reason at all
  • Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely after making a bowel movement
  • Constant tiredness
  • Development of diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
  • Bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Frequent gas pains
  • A continuing need to move bowels without satisfaction or success

Not all of these warning signs will be prominent with the development of colorectal cancer and most do not show up until the cancer has already developed into its later stages. People who are at a higher risk of developing the cancer include the following:

  • Anyone aged 50 years or older
  • People diagnosed with polyps or an early stage of colorectal cancer
  • People with a family history of colorectal cancer
  • People with a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or uterine cancer that is inherited
  • Anyone who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis

If any of these warning signs or risk factors apply to you, contact your physician immediately to set up an appointment. The doctor can then review your medical history, examine you, and determine if further tests need to be performed on the colon. The second leading cause of deaths related to cancer in the United States is colon cancer. Colon cancer is also the third-leading cancer diagnosed each year across the country. Colon cancer is a dangerous disease that should not be taken lightly. If any of these symptoms arise a doctor should be consulted with immediately. It does not mean that the underlying problem in the colon has been caused by colon cancer but it is always better to be safe than sorry.