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Know the Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Since early colorectal cancers may not show any symptoms, it is critical to have your routine screening done.

People with colorectal cancer may notice one or more of these symptoms:

  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool, that takes place for more than a few days.
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so.
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool, which may cause the stool to look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

In people with colorectal cancer, blood loss can build up and lead to low red blood cell counts (anemia). In some instances, the first sign of colorectal cancer is a blood test showing a low red blood cell count.

Many of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer are more often caused by something other than colorectal cancer, such as an infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. If you have any of these symptoms, see your healthcare provider so the cause can be identified and treated.

Know the signs of colon cancer
Know the Signs of Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States – but the good news is that’s it’s also one of the most preventable. The best way to catch colorectal cancer in the early stages – when it’s most treatable – is through routine colonoscopies.

FMC Colon Cancer Patient Tracy

Colon Cancer Screening Early Detection Saves Lives

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Early detection significantly increases survival rates. Colon cancer screenings are recommended for anyone 45 or older. However, family history can also put you at higher risk.

If colorectal cancer runs in your family, DO NOT WAIT to talk with your healthcare provider to assess your risk for colorectal cancer.

We're Here to Help

If you are experiencing possible colon cancer symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or call our Cancer Care team at 740-687-6900.