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Symptoms Colon Cancer - Key Warning Symptoms of Colon Cancer

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Over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed in both men and women annually, according to the American Cancer Society. Colon cancer is considered the second leading cancer cause of death, which is why knowing what the key warning symptoms are and responding to them quickly can mean the difference between a successful recovery or an untimely death.

Among the most common symptom of colon cancer is a change in bowel habits, which means an individual may be more constipated than usual or have more frequent bouts of diarrhea. Most individuals with healthy colons have a regular time during the day for a bowel movement and any change in this regularity is cause for concern. Likewise, episodes of prolonged constipation or diarrhea are both warning symptoms of colon cancer.

When an individual feels that they cannot completely evacuate their bowels and their stool samples are very thin, that is another symptom of colon cancer. Intermittent episodes of constipation and diarrhea with no regular firm bowel movements indicates a need for the colon to be checked. Any stools that are dark and tarry, are bright red or dark red from blood are another warning sign of colon cancer. Prolonged feelings of cramping or distension in the abdominal area is another signal that warrants an examination to determine if colon cancer is present. The American Cancer Society recommends seeking an appointment with your physician as soon as possible for any colon cancer symptoms that persist for at least two weeks.

There are several other warning indicators when certain conditions exist that affect the entire body. These include weight loss that is unexpected, constant fatigue, lack of appetite, jaundice, anemia and regular episodes of vomiting and nausea without explanation. All of these are potential symptoms of colon cancer that warrant a doctor’s examination.

Individuals with a family history of cancer, particularly colon cancer, should be proactive and not wait until any of the above symptoms develop. In general, colon cancer screenings begin around age 50, but some physicians may recommend starting earlier or undergoing more frequent screenings if there is a family predisposition toward cancer or other factors are present.

The symptoms of colon cancer should never be taken for granted, because early detection gives the individual a much improved chance of eradicating the cancer and living a long and healthy life. In virtually every case where a warning symptom was taken seriously, treatment can eradicate the disease early enough to stop the cancer from spreading to other vital organs of the body.

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