Colon cancer symptoms
Colon cancer symptoms. Signs and symptoms may include one or more of the following trusted sources:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Changes in stool consistency, such as loose, stringy stools
- Blood in the stool, which can make the stool appear dark brown or black
- Bright red bleeding from the rectum
- Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating or gas
- Constant urging to pass stool despite passing stool
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Upset stomach problems
- Iron deficiency anemia
Weight loss and abdominal pain usually occur in the later stages of the disease.
If the cancer has spread to a new place in the body, such as the liver, it can cause additional symptoms such as jaundice.
Colon cancer often causes no symptoms in the early stages, but symptoms can become more noticeable as the disease progresses. If people have symptoms in the early stages, they may include:
- Blood in the stool
- Change in frequency or pattern of bowel movements, such as diarrhea, constipation, or loose, stringy stools
- A feeling of not emptying the bowels after a bowel movement
- Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anemia, due to intestinal bleeding
- loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
Symptoms in men
Colon cancer symptoms are generally similar in men and women, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Men may notice the symptoms listed above.
Symptoms in women
Symptoms of colon cancer in women include diarrhea, constipation, unintentional weight loss, and bloody stools. Although these are the same for anyone with colon cancer, symptoms in women can be mistakenly attributed to digestive disorders that affect them more often than men.
Some of the more subtle symptoms of colon cancer in women can also be mistaken for gynecological or menstrual problems.
This article reviews colon cancer symptoms in women and discusses risk factors to be aware of. It also explains the importance of colon cancer screening and when you should see health care
Stages of colon cancer
Doctors use staging as a general guideline to determine how far the cancer is. It is important for a doctor to know the stage of the cancer because it helps determine the best treatment plan for you. This is a good way to estimate your long-term outlook.
Stage its 0 colon cancer is the earliest stage, and stage 4 is the most advanced stage. Here is how the steps are defined:
- Stage 0. Also known as carcinoma in situ, at this stage the abnormal cells are only in the inner lining of the colon or rectum.
- Stage 1. This cancer has invaded the lining or mucosa of the colon or rectum and may have grown into the muscle layer. This is not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
- Stage 2. The cancer has spread to the wall of the colon or rectum, or through the wall to nearby tissues, but has not affected the lymph nodes.
- Stage 3.The Cancer has spread to lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.
- Stage 4. This Cancer has spread to other distant organs, such as the liver or lungs.
Stage 3 or 4 symptoms (end-stage symptoms)
Symptoms of colon cancer are more noticeable in stages 3 and 4. In addition to the above symptoms, you may also experience:
- Excessive fatigue
- Unexplained weakness
- Unintentional weight loss
- Changes in your stool that last more than a month
- Feeling that bowels will not empty completely
- vomitingIf colon cancer has spread to other parts of your body, you may also experience:
- Jaundice, or yellow eyes and skin
- Swelling of the hands or feet
- Breathing problems
- Chronic headache
- blurred vision
- broken bones
How do doctors know if it’s cancer?
How do doctors know if it’s cancer?
If you have symptoms that could be caused by colorectal cancer or if something doesn’t look normal on screening tests, your doctor will want to do more tests to find the cause.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history to learn about possible risk factors, including checking for symptoms and knowing your family history. You will also be asked if you have any symptoms and if so, when they started and how long they have been there
You may be suitable to make a virtual visit to talk with your croaker about symptoms or threat factors that may concern you. But, depending on your symptoms, your croaker may want to record an in- person visit to get you checked out. As part of a physical test, your croaker will precisely feel your tummy for millions or enlarged organs and also examine the rest of your body. You may have one
Digital rectal examination( DRE). During this test, the croaker inserts a oiled, gloved cutlet into your rectum to feel for any abnormal areas.
Your doctor may want you to do more tests such as:
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a test in which a thin tube is passed through the rectum, with a light attached to take a closer look at the inside of the rectum and colon. If there is an abnormal lump (mass) or growth
(polyp) is found, a piece of it can be taken (a biopsy) and tested in the lab for cancer cells.
- Biopsy: During a biopsy, the doctor removes a small piece of tissue where the cancer may be. The tissue is examined for cancer cells. It is the best way to know if you have cancer.
- CT or CAT scan: A CT scan is similar to an X-ray, but the pictures inside you are more detailed. CT scans may also be used to help perform biopsies and show if the cancer has spread.
- Ultrasound: For this test, a small wand is moved around your skin. It emits sound waves and picks up echoes when they hit tissue. The echoes are visualized on a computer screen. It is used to help find cancer and see if it has spread.
- Gene and protein testing: Cancer cells in biopsy tissue can be tested for genes or proteins such as KRAS, BRAF, MMR and MSI. Knowing which genes or proteins are present in your cancer can help doctors decide whether treatments like targeted therapy or immunotherapy might help.
Other tests, such as MRI scans, X-rays and blood tests, may also be done to see how large the cancer is and whether it has spread.
What if I have colorectal cancer?
If you have colon or rectal cancer, treatment depends on the type of cancer, how big it is, and whether it has spread. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. Many receive more than one type of treatment. It’s important to talk openly with your doctor and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
There’s no guaranteed way to help colon cancer. still, some preventative measures may includeTrusted Source
- Maintaining a moderate weight
- Exercising regularly
- Consuming plenitude of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- limiting the input of impregnated fats and red meat
People should also consider limiting their alcohol consumption or quitting smoking.