What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Cleveland Clinic answered:
Unfortunately, colorectal cancer might strike without symptoms. For this reason, it is very important to have regular examinations, called colorectal screenings, to detect problems early.However, not all colorectal cancers are without symptoms. One of the early symptoms of colon cancer might be bleeding. Often, tumors bleed only small amounts, off and on, and evidence of the blood is found only during chemical testing of the stool. When tumors have grown larger, other symptoms might develop. They include:
- Change in bowel habits — Constipation, diarrhea, and bowel incontinence, although usually symptoms of other, less serious, problems, can also be a sign of colorectal cancer.
- Blood on or in the stool — By far the most alarming of all the symptoms, blood on or in the stool can be a symptom of colorectal cancer. However, it does not necessarily indicate cancer. Numerous other problems can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, including hemorrhoids, ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, to name only a few. In addition, iron and some foods, such as beets, can give the stool a black or red appearance, falsely indicating blood in the stool. However, if you notice blood in your stool, see your doctor to rule out a serious condition and to ensure proper treatment is received.
- Unexplained anemia — Anemia is a shortage of red blood cells, the sort that carry oxygen throughout the body. If you are anemic you will most likely feel tired and sluggish, so much so that rest does not make you feel better.
- Unusual stomach or gas pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Aurora Health Care answered:
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum, both of which make up the large bowel) is most curable when found before it causes symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they might include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool (bright red or very dark)
- Abdominal (stomach) cramps or frequent gas pains or bloating
- Unexplained weight loss or fatigue
Riverside Cancer Care Center answered:
A common symptom of colorectal cancer is a change in bowel habits. Symptoms include:
• Having diarrhea or constipation
• Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
• Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
• Finding your stools are narrower than usual
• Frequently having gas pains or cramps, or feeling full or bloated Losing weight with no known reason
• Feeling very tired all the time
• Having nausea or vomiting
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems can cause the same symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.
This answer is based on source information from National Cancer Institute.