Colon Cancer Warning Signs
Colon cancer is globally the third most common cancer. In combination or alone, the following five warning signs could potentially mean there is the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous tumors within the colon or rectum. It is important to share any changes in your bowel functions or the onset of these symptoms with your physician who may order a screening colonoscopy. The good news is colon cancer recovery is possible, if caught in its early stages and there is no spread outside of the colon wall. To find a DMC physician or gastroenterologist, visit DMC.org/find-a-doctor or call 313-577-7261.
- Abnormal Stool Color or Shape
Bleeding within the lower digestive tract or the rectum can cause changes in the color of stools. Another abnormal stool appearance to be on the look-out for is persistent “pencil stool”.
- Abdominal Discomfort, Loss of Appetite and Nausea
Bloating, pelvic pain, stomach cramps, frequent episodes of gas or belching, loss of appetite and nausea can all be signs of colon cancer.
- Weight Loss
Nutrient loss can occur due to persistent vomiting. Also, during the rapid growth of colon cancer cells, the body expends additional energy which can lead to unexplained changes in a person’s weight.
Individuals, both men and women, over the age of 50 are more likely to experience iron-deficiency anemia when colon cancer develops. The symptoms of anemia include feeling unusually weak or drained.
- Shortness of Breath
Feeling short of breath is another commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked symptom of colon cancer. These symptoms on their own should be taken very seriously and often require prompt medical attention.