symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer, can present with a variety of symptoms. However, it’s important to note that in its early stages, colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms, which is why screening is crucial for early detection. Common symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  1. Changes in bowel habits: Persistent changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or a change in stool consistency (e.g., narrower stools) that lasts for more than a few days.
  2. Rectal bleeding: Blood in the stool (either bright red or dark), which may be visible in the stool or on toilet paper, can be a sign of colorectal cancer. However, rectal bleeding can also be caused by other conditions such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
  3. Abdominal discomfort: Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps, gas, bloating, or feeling full despite not eating much.
  4. Unexplained weight loss: Significant and unexplained weight loss, especially if it occurs rapidly and without changes in diet or exercise habits, may be a symptom of colorectal cancer.
  5. Fatigue: Persistent fatigue or weakness that doesn’t improve with rest can sometimes be a symptom of advanced colorectal cancer.
  6. Feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely: This sensation, known as tenesmus, can occur even after a bowel movement.
  7. Anemia: Low red blood cell count (anemia) can result from chronic bleeding in the colon or rectum, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath.
  8. Abdominal pain or discomfort: Cramping, pain, or discomfort in the abdomen, particularly if it persists and is not relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, or gastrointestinal infections. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they persist or worsen over time, it’s essential to see a healthcare professional for evaluation and appropriate testing. Screening tests such as colonoscopy or stool-based tests (e.g., fecal occult blood test) are recommended for early detection of colorectal cancer, particularly in individuals at average or increased risk. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve outcomes for colorectal cancer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *