Early Warning Signs Of Colon Cancer You Should NOT IGNORE

Hey there! Getting a cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly scary! It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Nearly 10 million people lost their lives to cancer in 2020 alone. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting several thousand people every year.  Over 101,000 new cases of colon cancer are reported every year in the U.S.

Your best defense against colon cancer is living a healthy lifestyle and early detection. You must know about the early signs and symptoms of colon cancer. In fact, today we are going to discuss just that. What are other symptoms besides bleeding? Could narrow stool be a sign? We’ll talk about all of this AND more…

Let’s begin by first discussing the need to pay special attention to colon cancer. 

Well, it is true cancer is one of the most lethal forms of disease a person can suffer from. It is important to keep an eye out for any signs of cancer and get it checked with your doctor immediately. Colon cancer is one of the deadlier varieties of cancer that kills a lot of people every year.

Experts suggest colorectal cancer is in the top three cancers in the U.S. It is also in the top three cancers that cause deaths in both American men and women.

If you’re under the impression it’s a type of cancer that only hits you later in life, you would be wrong. A study shows that more and more people who have been diagnosed with colon cancer are in their 20s and 30s. So, it’s never too early to be aware of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer.

There are a few signs that can tell if you are at the risk of getting colon cancer. We’ll discuss them one by one. But remember, if you have any of these indications, you should not ignore them. Reach out to your healthcare provider immediately. 

The first sign you should be aware of is bleeding. Specifically rectal bleeding

When you notice bleeding with your stool, you should immediately consult your doctor. The blood’s color would either be red or dark maroon. Bright red-colored blood means it’s fresh and there’s something wrong with your lower digestive tract. While dark maroon blood is actually digested blood that indicates problems with your upper digestive tract. 

The bleeding could be from other causes such as hemorrhoids or even if you have an injury or a cut in the area. But the bleeding due to colon cancer would be in much larger amounts than is normally the case with hemorrhoids.

It is very rare for people to look at their stool. But if you intend to catch colon cancer early, you should make this a habit. Finding blood in your stool can be an important indicator of cancer.

People tend to ignore rectal bleeding for a long time. This is mainly because the issue can be intermittent. It can happen one day and not occur for a few weeks before showing up again.

You might think you’re ok when the bleeding doesn’t happen during the intermittent phase. But that’s not necessarily the case. It’s in your best interests to immediately check with a doctor and get the right diagnosis and treatment.

We just talked about looking at your stool after you’re done. I know it’s gross. But it’s important for your health.


Another sign of colon cancer is narrow stool.

Take a look at your stool regularly to see if it’s more narrow than usual. If that’s the case, you need to consult your doctor.

You can only determine your stool has become thinner if you regularly keep track. Other indicators include changes in bowel movements. If you suffer from constipation regularly, it could be another indication of colon cancer.

While you shouldn’t diagnose yourself, it’s always a good thing to check with your doctor about the possibility of colon cancer. You can tell your doctor about the irregularities in your bowel movements, and they can determine the tests required for a proper diagnosis.

Remember, it’s not about being scared. You’re being alert and in charge of your health. It’s always better to catch cancer early than late.  

Besides keeping track of your bowel movements, you also need to get your blood work done regularly. Especially, your blood hemoglobin level to see if you’re anemic. 

Low hemoglobin count or anemia could be a sign of colon cancer. 

Losing blood through stool is usually because of colon cancer tumors. But if you’re not looking out for the blood, you’ll never know it’s happening. There is, however, another way to figure out if you’re losing blood.

When you bleed from colon tumors, you lose a lot of blood. This can cause an iron deficiency in the body. But a routine blood test can show if you have anemia.

Anemia is a result of a decrease in red blood cells. This can happen for many reasons, including bleeding from colon cancer cells. When you don’t have the right amount of healthy red blood cells, you should get yourself checked to see if you’re losing blood due to a colon cancer tumor.

Besides bleeding and narrow stool, you need to watch out for unproductive bowel movements as well. 

Have you ever had the feeling that you want to clear your bowels but when you actually try nothing happens? This is a condition called Tenesmus. 

A feeling of Tenesmus is caused frequently when you have a tumor in your colon or rectum. If you’re suffering from unproductive bowel movements, then you will need to get yourself tested by a doctor. It could prove to be due to colon cancer.

Constipation can be another sign something is wrong with your colon. 

Constipation can be caused by a number of reasons. One of the main reasons could be a lack of fiber in your diet. But usually, it does not last too long and can be fixed by improving the fiber content in the food you eat.

But if the constipation lasts for a long duration without any sign of cure, it could be because of a colon tumor. If you do have constipation for a prolonged period of time, it could even increase the severity of your colon cancer.

If you do encounter constipation for too long, then you need to get yourself checked out. It would be important to figure out if the constipation is because of a tumor or other underlying issues.


Do you have abdominal pain frequently? 

Don’t brush it off thinking it will go away on its own. Instead, get a checkup. 

If you have colon cancer, one of the signs you’ll have is abdominal pain. This is because the tumor will have caused a blockage or a tear. You’ll likely face cramps or other types of pain that can be very uncomfortable.

When your abdomen is tender or if it suffers sharp pain, that’s usually a sign of a tumor. The pain is because things are not passing through freely as they should. There’s a blockage that’s causing the cramps and pain.

You would also likely suffer from nausea and vomiting. You would have swelling in the abdomen due to the tumor. If you feel any of these issues, you need to consult your doctor. The timely intervention will reduce the chances of the tumor spreading everywhere.

Another major sign of colon cancer is unexpected weight loss.

If you are experiencing a sudden drop in your weight, along with any of the other symptoms, you need to get a thorough checkup. Colon cancer can cause weight loss. 

In fact, weight loss is a big giveaway that something is wrong with your body. 

You should keep track of how much food you’re eating. If you have been eating as you do regularly but are still losing weight, you will need to get yourself tested.

Cancerous tumors can cause problems in the way your body functions. The tumor can stop your body from absorbing all the nutrients. It also stops your body from being able to use the food you eat in the normal way.

As such, you might not be getting enough energy. Your body then starts using its reserves, causing you to lose weight.

Next on our list is fatigue

Most people ignore subtle warning signs like constant tiredness. They chalk it up to stress and a busy lifestyle. While it is true that your lifestyle could make you feel tired, chronic fatigue still shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

It could be an indication that your body is struggling to fight a cancerous tumor. If you feel tired on a regular basis even though you have not done any strenuous physical activity, it could be the cancer that’s causing it.

The tumor causes blood loss through your stool. While you may not have found indications of the blood in your stool, the constant fatigue more or less confirms that there could be a tumor.

When you lose blood, you would also have iron deficiency that causes the fatigue. Since there are much fewer red blood cells, your organs don’t get the supply of oxygen that they need for the body to function optimally.

Lastly, nausea is another sign that you may be suffering from colon cancer. 

Your body gives away several signs that something is not right. One of the most common ways for your body to react against illnesses and discomfort is nausea. Do you feel nauseous often? 

If yes, you need to discuss it with your healthcare provider. Don’t ignore it. Especially if nausea and vomiting last for an extended duration.

This is because colon cancer could cause obstruction in your bowels. If that’s the case, then you will need to get yourself checked by your doctor. If there is a tumor and is caught early, then you can get it cured before it spreads to the rest of the body.


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