Signs of colon cancer has many factors, in this article you will know some of the most important signal you shouldn't ignore.
Medical professionals often refer to colorectal cancer, in which includes colon cancer that affects the large intestine and rectal cancer that affects the lower most part of the large intestine.
American Cancer Society says that, 1 in 20 people is at risk of developing colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
It is unknown what is the exact cause of colorectal or bowel cancer. However, it is possible to develop when the healthy cells become abnormal and start growing in numbers and accumulate in the lining of the colon, forming polyps. If it left untreated, polyps may become cancerous.
There are several factors that increase your risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, including aging (above 50 years), some types of bowel diseases, family history, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, a sedentary lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes and regular intake of processed foods or red meats.
African-Americans are at a greater risk of colon cancer than people of other races.
As it is, it can be difficult to treat colon cancer after it spreads to nearby areas, it’s very important to know what the early symptoms are. This can help you seek early treatment and give you a better chance in recovery.
Here are the top 10 warning signs of colon cancer you shouldn’t ignore.
Constipation is an important sign of cancer in the colon. A 2011 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention highlights the link between constipation and colorectal cancer risk.
An earlier 2004 study published in the European Journal of Cancer supported the hypothesis that constipation or laxative use increases the risk of colon cancer.
A tumor present at the far end of the colon can make it very difficult to eliminate waste products, as a result of that it cause constipation.
If you continuously have fewer bowel movements per week, without any problem of constipation, consult your doctor soon to find out what is the exact cause.
If you are suffering from diarrhea for more than a couple of weeks, it may be an early symptom of colon cancer.
When a tumor partially get in the way of the bowel, it can cause alternating constipation and diarrhea due to leakage of liquid stool.
You may also experience frequent gas, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Plus, a tumor may also irritate or narrow the lining of the intestine.
It is important to consult your doctor when you have diarrhea that lasts more than a few days, as it can lead to dehydration, drain your body of nutrients and signal other serious problems, such as cancer.
3. Blood in Stools
Most often, the blood in the stool is due to piles (hemorrhoids), where is the veins in the back passage have become fragile and will cause a little bleeding during a bowel movement. This type of bleeding is generally red.
However, if you notice dark red or black blood in your stool, it is a possible sign of cancer, such as bowel, rectal or colon cancer. Or It is also be due to a stomach ulcer.
Whether bleeding is due to piles, a stomach ulcer or cancer, it is very much important to get it checked by a doctor. Proper diagnosis is essential for appropriate treatment.
4. Constant Feeling of a Bowel Movement
If you have a constant feeling of a pressing need to have a bowel movement or to strain but no stool is passed, it’s not a good sign. This feeling can occur even after having a bowel movement.
Changes in your pattern of bowel movements can be a sign of colon cancer. It is possible when a tumor blocks the bowel and prevents you from completely emptying your bowels.
If you continuously have the sensation of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement, discuss the problem with your doctor.
5. Narrow Stools
Also, slight stools is also a warning of a possible colon cancer. A tumor present in the left side of the colon blocking the passageway and may often leads to narrow stools.
Don’t be late about discussing any change in your stools with your doctor. Diverticulitis and anal cancer can also cause the narrowing of the stools.
6. Tender Abdomen or Abdominal Pain
If your abdomen, especially the lower part, hurts or felt like tender when its touch early indication of tumor growth in the digestive tract, colon or rectum. As a matter of fact, abdominal pain is common in people who are later diagnosed with colon cancer.
A tumor can cause a block in the colon, restricting blood flow. This leads to abdominal pain that can be most severe. This pain also can indicate that the cancer has begun to spread to other organs.
If the abdominal pain or tenderness continue for more than 2 to 3 days, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis.
7. Unexplained Anemia
Anemia refers to a very low red blood cell count in the body. The hemoglobin in red blood cells carries oxygen throughout the body.
Symptoms of anemia, such as having a pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and cold hands and feet, should not be taken lightly,Unexplained anemia may be due to colon cancer. cancer in the right-side of the colon causes iron-deficiency anemia. This will happen when the tumors start bleeding slowly into the digestive tract, causing blood loss over time.
A study also confirms iron deficiency as an independent predictor of cancer.
2008 study published in the British Journal of Cancer confirms a strong connection between anemia and cancer, with the risk rising as the hemoglobin level falls.
If you have signs of anemia, consult your doctor immediately to get your hemoglobin level checked.
8. Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are above the age of 50 and is abruptly losing weight without any known reason, this a cause for concern. Sudden, unexplained weight loss can indicate a serious health problem, including colon or rectal cancer.
A 2006 study published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England found that unexplained weight loss happens mostly during advanced stages of colorectal cancers.
The growth of a tumor can lead to loss of your appetite, as cancer can affect your metabolism, thus it will cause weight loss.
If you are rapidly losing weight without changing your diet or exercise routine, discuss this with your doctor.
9. Weakness and Fatigue
Weakness and general malaise. Fatigue and tiredness after doing a laborious task is to be expected, but if you feel tired and weak most of the time, despite resting, do not take it lightly. This is an early symptom of colon cancer.
Large polyps or tumors in the colon can lead to iron-deficiency anemia that causes lower oxygen levels in the blood. This contributes to fatigue.
Fatigue and weakness can also be related to a number of chronic illnesses and medical disorders, so visit your doctor soon to find out the exact cause.
10. Gas and Bloating
Most people suffer from gas and bloating now and then, but if the problem occurs along with some of the other symptoms mentioned here, it may be an indication of a tumor growing in the colon.
A tumor is the cause of the obstruction in the colon. It is depends on the severity of the blockage, gas, solid and liquid may be prevented from passing out of the body. This in turn causes progressive bloating as well as gas.
If you have a lot of discomfort due to gas and bloating, see a doctor to rule out the possibility of cancer.
Tips to reduce your risk of colon cancer:
Include a variety of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
Try to avoid drinking alcohol, or at least drink just in moderation.
Stop smoking and use of other tobacco products.
Exercise for at least 30 to 40 minutes, at least 5 times a week.
If you are overweight, take steps to lose weight gradually.
Opt for regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer.