People with colorectal cancer often do not have symptoms until the cancer gets large. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have spread to other organs. That means a cure may not be possible. That’s why routine screening is important.
As cancers in the colon and rectum grow, warning signs will arise. You should tell your doctor and get prompt medical attention if you notice any of these signs.
A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days. This includes diarrhea, constipation, or a sensation that your bowel is still not empty after a bowel movement.
Bright red or very dark blood in your stool. This can be a symptom of several things besides cancer. If you have this symptom, see a doctor right away.
Stools that are thinner than usual.
Stools that appear slimy or that have a mucous film on them
Persistent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
Unexplained weight loss
Yellow skin, also called jaundice
These symptoms may be caused by colorectal cancer or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to check with a doctor to be sure.
© 2013 Main Line Health