What Is Colon Cancer?
The colon is the main part of the large intestine. It passes from the caecum to the rectum and absorbs water and electrolytes from food that has remained undigested. It is also known as the large bowel.
Colon cancer occurs in the large intestine, which is the last part of the digestive tract. In most cases, colon cancer starts out as a noncancerous clump of cells, which is referred to as adenomatous polyps, but it can develop into colon cancer over time. It is also called colorectal cancer.
Regular medical checkups are important because if the polyps are discovered early on, they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms to be Aware Of
Truth be told, colon cancer, unlike other forms of cancer, has no unique symptoms. The symptoms of colon cancer are so common they can be mistaken for something else. It is very possible for an individual to think they have a very minor health issue when in fact, they could be experiencing early signs of colon cancer.
Over time, health practitioners have encouraged the public to get screened for cancer whether they are susceptible or not. It is always important to seek medical advice and treatment from a doctor if you experience any health symptoms that are out of the ordinary.
Below are six common colon cancer symptoms.
A hemorrhoid is an engorged, dilated, and easily broken varicosity in the perianal area, and is often accompanied by intense itching and throbbing pains. They are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum similar to varicose veins.
When you have a hemorrhoid, the veins of your anus bulge and get irritated during bowel movements. This is one of the major causes of rectal bleeding.
Sometimes, the swollen vein may be internal and not very painful, which makes the diagnosis difficult. The only reliable evidence of a hemorrhoid is rectal bleeding, regardless of whether the swelling is internal or external.
Most people don’t take hemorrhoids seriously because they can be easily treated, but it is important to report a very painful or extended hemorrhoid in case it is a symptom of colon cancer.
Diarrhea occurs when you have loose watery bowel movements. You know you have diarrhea when you have this kind of stool more than three times a day.
When you have diarrhea, you often feel pressed, and it feels as if you can’t control your bowel. Usually, diarrhea lasts for at most three days, but when it extends into weeks, it is an indication of a serious illness.
Visit your doctor for a correct diagnosis if your diarrhea does not go away after a few days.
When you are constipated, you have trouble passing bowel movements. This usually happens when you don’t empty your bowel frequently. If after three days, you still haven’t emptied your bowel, the feces becomes harder and more difficult to pass.
This is also called rectal bleeding. It is the presence of blood in your stool, or blood during bowel movements. While it can be scary when you look down and noticed the see blood in your toilet, it is usually a result of upper gastrointestinal or lower gastrointestinal bleeding.
However, it is not usually a result of tear in the anus; rather, it comes out as fresh blood in your stool. Though it is usually not a serious problem, it can be an indicator of a larger issue such as colon cancer.
This is a dark colored or tarry stool. It may or may not be accompanied with blood. It can indicate bleeding or injuries in the gastrointestinal tract.
Abdominal cramping is painful, and can feel dull, achy, sharp, or crampy. There are many causes for abdominal cramping, but when it gets very painful and becomes consistent, you should visit your doctor.
Fatigue or Body Weakness
This is a feeling of overtiredness and having low energy. This may be due to overworking or strenuous activities, but when it becomes consistent, you should pay your doctor a visit.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are losing weight without altering your diet or increasing your exercise, it may be a symptom of a larger issue.
Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. When anemia occurs as a colon cancer symptom, it is usually accompanied by gastrointestinal pain and irregular stool. This should not be overlooked, because it could be an early warning sign of cancer.
Consistent Stomach Swelling
This is often accompanied by abdominal pain.
Vomiting should be taken seriously if you are also experiencing abdominal pain.
Dizziness can also be described as feeling lightheaded. It is usually not taken seriously, but it is essential to have it checked by a doctor if you are consistently feeling dizzy.
Many of these common colon cancer symptoms can also occur due to other ailments. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor.