Colorectal cancer or Colon cancer is any cancer that involves the rectum or large intestine and may sound painful.
Sometimes abnormal growths are formed in the colon or rectum, called polyps. Over time, some polyps may become cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. These are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer that you need to pay attention to.
To make sure that you and others are healthy and don’t miss these silent signs.
1. Silent Sign: Constipation
MD and colorectal surgeon at OU Medicine, Kristina Booth, explained that as the tumor grows, it may cause the diameter of the colon to become smaller and smaller, making it difficult for stool to pass through the colon.
2. Silent Sign: Diarrhea
A tumor in the right colon is likely to bleed and cause diarrhea, explained by Dr. Beatriz Amendola of the Innovative Cancer Institute in Miami, Florida. She noted that younger patients are more likely to be misdiagnosed due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
3. Thin & Bloody Stools
In addition to diarrhea and constipation, any other changes in the stool may be a sign of colon cancer. The director of the New York Cardiac Diagnosis Center, Steven Reisman, pointed out that it is important to pay attention to narrow or thin stools or stools with blood (black or red) in them. He explained: These symptoms may mean that the tumor has blocked the colon or penetrated into the colon.”
The Unusual BMs (Rx): If you find any abnormalities in your stool, especially blood abnormalities, you should concern a gastroenterologist and arrange a colonoscopy. Also, if you do receive a diagnosis of IBS and bowel movements do not seem to improve after treatment, then you must go back to the second opinion.
4. Hard Belly Button Lump
If you find any hardness around the belly button, don’t ignore it. Dr. Booth explained: An induration on the belly button may be sister Mary Joseph node. In addition to being a sign of colon cancer, it could also be a sign of another cancer in the abdomen, which has spread to the outer colon.
The Rx: Since this symptom can mean many types of cancer, if you find that the buttons on your abdomen are hardened, call your doctor immediately.
5. Anemia And Iron Deficiency
Anemia or iron deficiency may be symptoms of colon cancer. MD and a gastroenterologist at OU Medicine, William Tierney, explained that this is due to the gradual loss of blood in the stool. Bleeding is very slow, not visible in bowel movements, so it is silent, but it continues to occur for months to years, causing the body’s iron reserves to deplete.
The Rx: Keep up with your blood test work. Dr. Tierney said: Any non-menstrual woman and any male with iron deficiency should look for gastrointestinal blood loss, and colon cancer is a common cause.”
6. Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are losing weight and there is no explanation for it, it may be a sign of many different cancers, including colon cancer. Dr. Reisman said that if you have any other symptoms (especially any changes in stool), you should not ignore the numbers going down due to weight loss.
The Rx: You should consult a doctor to evaluate the weight loss effect, Dr. Reisman instructed.
7. Abdominal Cramping or Pain
If you feel any pain, discomfort, or cramping in your upper abdomen, and it doesn’t seem to go away, don’t ignore it. If it lasts for a long time (more than a week) or gradually deteriorates, it may indicate a tumor in the colon, Dr. Reisman explained.
The Rx: Abdominal pain and cramps may represent various health problems. Dr. Reisman recommends making an appointment with your gastroenterologist to arrange a colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer.
8. No Explainable Reason For The Loss of Appetite
The cause of poor and loss of appetite cannot be explained. It may be due to many health problems or cancers, but if it is combined with other colon cancer symptoms (especially changes in bowel habits), it should not be ignored.
The Rx: Dr. Reisman urged people to consult a doctor for blood tests and to determine whether they need a colonoscopy or not.
9. Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue and weakness may be the most common part of the day. However, this may be a symptom of iron deficiency anemia, a symptom of colon cancer, Dr. Reisman reminded.
The Rx: If you continue to feel tired and weak, you should make an appointment with your doctor for a blood test. Although anemia is not a big problem in itself, it can be a symptom of a larger health problem (such as colon cancer).
What to Do If You Experience These Kind Of Signs Or Symptoms?
If any of these symptoms or signs appear, you must discuss with the primary or seek immediate medical attention.
Dr. Masoud explained: If you have any of the above complaints, then your doctor may order an examination, but in many cases, you will need a colonoscopy for further evaluation. This kind of procedure is extremely safe and represents cancer the mainstay of prevention and detection.
Early Detection Is The Key
As with most health issues, especially cancer, early detection may be the key to good results and ultimately successful treatment.
As always, the best way to prevent cancer is to its prevention, explained by Dr. Amir Masoud, MD, and a Yale medicine gastroenterologist.
Colonoscopy and non-invasive screening tests have led to a significant reduction in cancer and related deaths. We must follow the screening recommendations and not ignore signs or symptoms that may indicate more things are happening.
Colonoscopy Can Help
FACP, MD, and physician Matthew Mintz explained that the best way to find colon cancer as early as possible is through colonoscopy. It is routinely recommended to have a colonoscopy every 10 years from the age of 50.
People with other risk factors, like first-degree relatives with colon cancer, can be screened even earlier. He said: Colonoscopy is very useful for identifying small precancerous polyps, and early-growing polyps that have not yet become cancerous.
Gastroenterologists performing colonoscopy will see these precancerous polyps and remove these cancerous polyps, saving lives. He pointed out that the problem is that most people decide not to have a colonoscopy because they are afraid of surgery or find it inconvenient.
Dr. Mintz pointed out that Cologuard is a new test that detects cancer DNA in stool. He said: It is simple and convenient, and it is almost as good as a colonoscopy (about 90%).” Although he does not approve of it as the preferred screening method for patients, it is definitely better than doing nothing. Therefore, this is a reasonable choice for patients who wish to avoid a colonoscopy.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Colon Cancer?
Unfortunately, this is common, with nearly 150,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Dr. Masoud explained: In the United States, it is still the second most deadly cancer among men and the third most deadly cancer among women. Although effective screening procedures enable people over the age of 50 to improve colorectal cancer. The rate has dropped, but we found that new cases involving younger patients are on the rise.
Can You Detect The Symptoms Of Colon Cancer At An Early Stage?
Usually, symptoms do not appear until colon cancer is in its advanced stages, although it may be helpful to have a colonoscopy before it starts to cause symptoms.
Dr. Masoud explained: It is thus imperative that we must be aware of possible warning symptoms and seek medical assistance immediately.