Colon cancer is one of the most undiagnosed cancers and one of the reasons it may go largely ignored for so long by patients is because its symptoms are also relevant to other less serious medical conditions.
The list of symptoms of colon cancer includes:
Abdominal pain – pain is most frequent in the lower abdominal region. A hardness or mass may also be present. Cramping and gas pain is also common.
Bowel Changes – the colon stores stool and aids in the removal of waste from the body. When cancer is present, the consistency of stool may change. Chronic constipation may be present or diarrhea may be persistent. Many will feel like their bowels are never completely empty. Blood or mucus may also be present.
Weight Loss – dropping weight quickly with no reasonable explanation.
Anemia – iron deficiency in the blood may be due to internal bleeding issues in the colon.
These symptoms may also be caused by other colon-related issues including irritable bowel syndrome but should always be checked out by a licensed physician. Polyps in the colon can often contain precancerous cells which can later develop into cancer. Colon cancer can also be susceptible to spreading through the colon walls and spread to the other organs of the body and the lymph nodes.
Changes in bowel movements or appearance should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible for a prompt diagnosis. If symptoms are ignored, medical treatment will become more complex and the cancer can prove fatal.