Colon Cancer. Know The Symptoms
March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know the symptoms of colorectal cancer? You should see your health care provider if you have any of the following:
SYMPTOMS OF COLORECTAL CANCER
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that’s not relieved when you go
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in your stool, which many make its look dark
- Cramping or belly pain
- Weakness and tiredness
- Unintended weight loss
Most of these problems are caused more often by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a health care provider right away so the cause can be found and treated if needed.
REGULAR SCREENING IS A POWERFUL WEAPON
Having regular colon and rectum (also known as colorectal) cancer screenings is one of the most powerful weapons for helping to prevent colorectal cancer or finding it early, when it’s easier to treat.
Removing polyps can help prevent colorectal cancer from ever starting. Cancers found while they are small and before they have spread (in an early stage) are easier to treat.
When people don’t get colon cancer screening tests, a cancer can grow and spread without being noticed. Early on, colorectal cancer doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms. In most cases, by the time people have symptoms the cancer is advanced and hard to treat. Regular screening is the most reliable way to find these cancers in the early stages
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
If you’re 50 or older, talk to you doctor about which test is right for you and get tested as often as recommended.
NINE OUT OF 10 PEOPLE WHOSE COLORECTAL CANCER IS DISCOVERED EARLY WILL BE ALIVE 5 YEARS LATER
Many will live a normal life span.
For more about the steps you can take to find colon cancer early:
- Visit: cancer.org/colon
- Call the American Cancer Society
- At 1—800-227-2345
Source: American Cancer Society