According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 140,000 men and women will be diagnosed with some form of colorectal cancer this year. In fact, the most common form of colorectal cancer is colon cancer. Health professionals often refer to colon cancer as a silent killer. It takes years for the disease to develop and symptoms to manifest. If you are concerned about developing colon cancer, it is essential that you learn to recognize the early symptoms of this frightening disease.
By detecting colon cancer in its early stages, your chances of survival will increase.
Here is our listing of 10 early warning signs of colon cancer that may save your life.
1. Prolonged Diarrhea
Diarrhea is an abnormal condition that should not last more than a couple of days. If you experience persistent diarrhea that lasts for weeks, it could be a sign that a cancerous tumor is obstructing your bowel. In conjunction with watery stools, other symptoms you should pay close attention to are vomiting, nausea, stomach pains and gas. Persistent diarrhea is a condition that should never be taken lightly. Immediately consult a physician because persistent diarrhea can contribute to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.
2. Bloody Stools
Bloody stools can be caused by hemorrhoids and colon cancer. It is important for you to be able to differentiate between symptoms of the two conditions. With hemorrhoids, small amounts of bright red blood may be noticeable when you wipe your bottom. With colon cancer, black or dark red blood may be present in your stool. Whether the blood is bright red or black, the presence of blood indicates a problem that needs to be examined. If you detect blood in your stool, this condition should not be ignored. Immediately schedule an appointment with your physician to be tested for colon cancer.
3. Prolonged Constipation
Constipation is an uncomfortable condition. If it lasts for weeks, it can be an indication that you have colon cancer. A healthy digestive tract regularly eliminates your waste. A prolonged bout with constipation should be checked out by your doctor. According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer, there is a correlation between prolonged constipation and colon cancer. If you find yourself struggling to make a bowel movement for more than 2 weeks, you should definitely consult a physician. Resist the urge to take matters into your own hands by masking your constipation problem with laxatives.
4. Lower Abdominal Pain
The presence of pain in your abdomen is an indication that something is wrong with your body. One of the most common signs of colon cancer is lower abdominal pain and tenderness. If you feel pain when you touch your lower abdomen, you should immediately share this information with your doctor. This symptom could signal a cancerous tumor in your colon. In many cases, persistent abdominal pain indicates colon cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
5. Thin Stools
The consistency of your stools can vary depending on your food intake. However, bowel movements should not be thin and narrow for long periods of time. A healthy digestive system releases bowel movements that are long, smooth and bulky. Stools that are thin and narrow can indicate the presence of a cancerous tumor that is obstructing your colon. Colon obstruction can restrict the passageway of your bowel movements. Your doctor should be contacted to determine whether this condition indicates that you have colon cancer.