Colon cancer symptoms: what are they?
The signs and symptoms of colon cancer depend on the location of the tumor, and whether or not it has spread to other areas in the body (metastasis). Most of the colon cancer symptoms can be divided into two: local or systemic.
Local colon cancer symptoms
Local colon cancer symptoms are those that have a direct effect on the colon or the rectum. Symptoms include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal bloating, cramps, and discomfort
- Stools that are thinner than normal
- Feeling that your stool isn’t emptying completely
Systemic colon cancer symptoms
These symptoms affect the entire body. Symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Anemia: Some of the colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. While blood can be seen in the stool, oftentimes the stool will look normal. However, over time, the blood loss can build up and lead to anemia.
- Weakness or fatigue
If you are still concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, consult your doctor, who should ask how long and how often you have been experiencing these symptom(s), in addition to other questions that will help find out the cause of the problem. Remember that these symptoms can be caused by many other conditions. Most people with these symptoms will not have cancer. But if it is cancer, then the sooner it is diagnosed, the quicker your doctor can start a course of treatment for you.