The term ‘Colon cancer’ has been widespread for quite some time and the fact that it is yet another type of the fatal diseases makes it all the more scary. However, the good news is that with the diagnosis and proper treatment at the right time can help prevent it and the patient could lead a normal life.
Colon Cancer or as it is known as the ‘Rectal Cancer’ is the cancer of a segment of the large intestine, colon; which is the lower part of digestive system. The beginning of this type of cancer is with the formation of polyps and the growth of them into malignant ones. The regular screening is strictly advised by the doctors so to catch up with any of the symptoms of colon cancer the moment they begin to show in a person’s body.
The earlier stages of the colon cancer are the ones where the treatment is relatively easier than the last ones, and the cure is much more guaranteed too. However, in many cases the symptoms aren’t noticeable until the stage of the cancer advances, thus it is better to get routine checkups for even the minor signs that could show the cancer growth.
1. A Change in Bowel Habits
One of the most important symptoms of the colon cancer is the change in bowel habits. By this it is meant that, it should be noted how often you have bowel movement, how much control do you have on it and the consistency of it. It has to be kept in mind, though, that the ‘normal’ bowel movements differentiate from person to person, so as you note a change in yours it is advised to consult the medical practitioner as soon as possible.
The common changes in the bowel movement include:
a) White colored stools
b) Clay colored stools
c) Dry stools
d) Watery stools
e) Dark red stools
f) Hard stools
g) Stools accompanied with mucus or fluid
The changes in frequency of the bowel movement almost never goes unnoticed and in such a case it is important to see the doctor if the changes occur abnormally. The inability to exercise control over the bowel movements is also an important indication of a problem which needs to be identified in order to be treated in time.
2. Rectal Bleeding
In simple terms rectal bleeding refers to blood that passes through the anus. However this is usually assumed that the rectal bleeding is passing from the colon or the rectum (the lower parts of the large intestine) and the reason could be an infection or colon cancer. This is yet another of the important symptoms that should not be ignored at all (it’s not that a person experiences rectal bleeding every now and then), and with the occurrence of it, the next step has to be a visit to the doctor.
The blood of rectal bleeding could range from bright red shade to dark and thick maroon color and it could appear on the toilet paper or you could witness it in the stool in the toilet bowl.
Constipated people know what pain it is and how this could be a symptom of various irregularities in the body. Constipation doesn’t necessarily mean a person is suffering from colon cancer but recurrence of it along with other symptoms need to be taken very seriously and a medical checkup has to be done as soon as possible.
No wonder this is one of the symptoms everyone would be aware of, just like constipation and this is one of the signs of colon cancer that go unnoticed if it occurs without any other symptom accompanying it. It is one of the common discomforts people face due to stomach infections, laxative abuse, allergies and side effects of some medicines etc. But this is also one of the symptoms of colon cancer.
Another factor to keep in mind regarding the symptoms of colon cancer is the alternating diarrhea and constipation, which are two different conditions of the bowel movement. These two different conditions may occur time to time following one another could be signs of colon cancer and it should never be taken lightly.
5. Inability of Feeling Light After a Bowel Movement
One of the symptoms of colon cancer involves that the patient does not feel, after discharge of stool, that their bowel is completely empty. The tender soreness could be one of the reasons or that the irregular bowel movements would make the patient feel like that. Sadly, this symptom is often ignored and not taken seriously. With people having regular stools which are thinner than normal could also feel this type of discomfort and if it is persistent, it has to be checked.
6. Abdominal Discomfort
Abdominal discomfort involves cramps and bloating of the lower abdominal region. Many people would relate it to digestive issues or fatigue but this could be a sign of colon cancer. With the location of the colon in the lower part of the large intestine, that could be the region where the patient would feel discomfort and soreness that wouldn’t go away. Get medical help immediately before the condition worsens, as a physical discomfort or pain is a clear sign the disease is getting strong.
7. Loss of Appetite
The colon cancer definitely impacts the digestive system, and though the signs of the cancer in large intestine might not be apparent, the systemic symptoms of colon cancer would be giving signals to the person to get himself/ herself some medical help. The impact of colon cancer on the digestive system would result in a loss of appetite and if the condition persists for long, then it is better not to ignore it.
8. Weight Loss
While normal weight loss is considered as ‘shedding pounds’ in people who are already concerned with excessive weight, they might actually be glad for not even trying to lose pounds and their system already helping them. But that could be a sign of colon cancer, and that is definitely not something one could be glad about. Weight loss could take place for various reasons, but if the diet and routine hasn’t changed, the significant weight loss has to be monitored for any of the signs of cancer.
Fatigue, nausea and in some cases jaundice also prove to be an indication by the body about the disease spreading in the layers of the colon. The sooner it is treated the better it is. SO if anyone of you, or anyone of the friends/ family members are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms (all or few), it is better to get themselves checked and tested for colon cancer so to make sure it is treated in time.
(RELATED: Colon Cancer: learn everything from causes to symptoms to treatments)