Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers. The chance of developing this disease increases with age, and most cases are caused by polyps in the colon. Because of its location in the abdomen and its ability to spread, colon cancer has a high mortality rate. However, if colon cancer is caught early, the cure rate is very high. Understanding the common symptoms of colon cancer can be very helpful in early treatment.
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?1. DiarrheaPeople with colon cancer sometimes have problems with bowel movements. Bowel movements are usually regular and firm, but you may have more frequent bowel movements, or you may have diarrhea. If diarrhea lasts for more than a few weeks, it may be a sign of colon cancer.
2. ConstipationConstipation is common and can be caused by a poor diet, changes in eating habits, dehydration and lack of exercise. But be aware that colon cancer can also cause constipation, in which case bowel movements become less frequent and may become difficult, which may be a sign of colon cancer. If constipation persists for two weeks or longer, it should be evaluated.
3. Narrow stoolIf you find that your stools are narrower than normal, you may need more dietary fiber in your diet. If there are no other symptoms, there is no need to worry. But be aware that narrowing of the stool is a common symptom of colon cancer, where the stool becomes very thin.
4. Sudden weight lossWeight loss is one of the most common symptoms experienced by cancer patients and often occurs in the later stages of cancer. In people with colon cancer, weight loss may be due to the progression of the cancer, accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea or abdominal pain, causing patients to eat less.
5. Weakness and fatigueWeakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness may be another sign of colon cancer. Colon cancer sometimes causes intestinal bleeding, and chronic bleeding can lead to anemia and symptoms of weakness and fatigue due to iron deficiency. Even without heavy bleeding, cancer itself can cause fatigue as the growing cancer consumes the body's energy. Many types of cancer can cause fatigue, so it's not unique to colon cancer.
6. Blood in the stoolAs the cancer progresses, it invades the colon wall and damages blood vessels, and blood from these damaged vessels can enter the colon. In this case, blood in the stool occurs, which is more common in cancers involving the colon and rectum.
7. Intestinal painAs colon cancer progresses, it will irritate the intestinal wall, causing spasm and pain. This sign is not unique to colon cancer. Enteritis can also cause intestinal pain. Sometimes patients with colon cancer will not have symptoms of intestinal pain.