These days it seems like everything could be a possible symptom of cancer. So, how do you know when something is just a normal or occasional thing that a body experiences or something worse? Many people feel uncomfortable talking about things involving the colon or rectum but, when it comes to cancer it is important to push embarrassment aside and watch out for colorectal cancer warning signs. Below we discuss signs or symptoms o watch out for that could be a number of things or could be colorectal cancer. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is important to consult a physician to discuss hem right away.
- Blood In Stool or Rectal Bleeding
o Any amount of bleeding, whether small or large, could be an early warning sign of colorectal cancer. One of the first signs of colorectal cancer may be a blood test that shows anemia or low red blood cell counts. While blood may be very detectable it also may not be easily seen as it may be absorbed in the stool. A doctor will take a stool sample and have it tested should you notice any blood or have concerns about low red blood cell counts.
- Change In Stool Consistency (Diarrhea or Constipation)
o Any change in stool consistency that you would deem irregular should raise some red flags. Additionally, when stool consistency alternates between diarrhea and constipation it may also be concerning. If there is any sign of narrowing of the stool it could also be a symptom of concern. While anyone may experience a change in stool consistency for a variety of reasons, if it persists beyond a few days or 1 week it is important to discuss it with a physician.
- Abdominal Discomfort (Cramps, Bloating)
o Everyone experiences the occasional discomfort from gas or cramping but if you experience abdominal discomfort consistently or the majority of the time, it could be a possible symptom of colorectal cancer and should be discussed with your physician.
o If you are eating normally, and your diet has not been changed recently, but you are experiencing weight loss. Research has shown that significant number of colorectal cancer patients had early symptoms of unexplained weight loss.
o We all get tired from time to time but the kind of fatigue we are talking about is persistent fatigue, general malaise, or weakness. Normal activities will tire you more quickly and physical exercise may exhaust you.