How to Recognize the Symptoms of Colon Cancer

November 12, 2012

How to Recognize the Symptoms of Colon Cancer

The colon, along with the rectum and cecum is part of the large intestine and it has two roles in the body’s digestive system. Although not the major organ when it comes to absorbing foods and nutrients, that role belongs to the small intestine, the colon does help the body absorb minerals and salts and liquid from the food and water we eat and drink. The colon’s second role is to pass the body’s waste material out in the form of feces.

Colon cancer is similar to most other forms of cancer because it usually does not show any symptoms until the condition is quite well developed. It is for this reason that many countries run colon cancer screening programs. When colon cancer symptoms appear it normally means that the condition is relatively advanced.

Having an understanding of colon cancer and being able to recognize colon cancer symptoms is helpful if you are to take a responsible approach to your own health.

Colon cancer symptoms are sometimes described as local or systemic. This is only a description of symptoms it does not indicate two types of cancer. Systemic is a way of describing symptoms which affect your whole body, this could also be described as holistic. Local describes the symptoms related to the area of the colon, most of these indications will be seen in the toilet.

Common local colon cancer symptoms include bowel habits changing, it could mean the person becomes constipated or has diarrhea. The diarrhea and constipation could change over almost randomly. One day it may be diarrhea and the next constipation. The frequency of the bowel movements could change too. The person may feel that they have never completely emptied themselves and may see thinner stools. Blood may also be present in the stools, it could be red and blotchy or black. The sufferer will also have a feeling of bloatedness and discomfort around the abdomen and may suffer cramps and flatulence.

Colon cancer symptoms of a systemic or holistic nature include feelings of lethargy and weariness, waning appetite, sickness and vomiting and weight loss may occur when no effort is being made to slim down. The person may also be anemic, meaning that they have low iron in their blood cells or a low blood cell count. They may also have jaundice which has the indications of yellow skin and eyes but no pain.

If anyone experiences any of the colonic cancer symptoms for more than a few days then a visit to the doctor is prudent. The doctor can address your concerns and arrange for further tests and treatment as required. Many of these symptoms are indicative of other conditions too, it’s best to seek professional medical help to satisfy your peace of mind.

If the colon cancer symptoms have indicated to the doctor that further testing is necessary then it’s just one of those things that has to be done. Many people become upset or embarrassed at the thought of a rectal examination and other procedures however it is a very small price to pay if it aids a quick recovery. The medical staff understands the issues and there are many good drugs available to help you relax and evacuate. Remember that it is special for you but it’s routine for the staff treating you.

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