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Symptoms for Colon Cancer That Are Often Overlooked

Colon cancer does not present symptoms in its initial stages. Screening is vital to finding and treating the disease early. If not detected early, colon cancer can advance, making it challenging to treat effectively. 

Colon cancer begins as polyps in the lining of the colon. A colonoscopy can identify and remove these polyps before they turn cancerous. Treatment is often successful for early-stage colon cancers, and many patients can survive their disease at this time. It is recommended to start screening for colon cancer at age 50 for those at average risk and age 40-45 for those at high risk.

Recently, colon cancer has increased among young adults, which has made doctors assess every patient’s risk.

Sometimes colon cancer can present non-specific symptoms that can easily be overlooked. You need to pay attention to your body and get evaluated by a physician when you develop unexplained symptoms.

Here are a few symptoms that may indicate the presence of colon cancer;

  • Blood in stool – Rectal bleeding can be caused by colon cancer, although this bleeding can be caused by something else. You may notice your stool has red blood, or that your stool is dark-colored.
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain – Abdominal discomfort can be due to food intolerance from viruses and various other causes, including colorectal cancer. When abdominal pain becomes persistent, colon cancer cannot be ruled out. Seeking medical attention will help to evaluate your situation to determine the exact cause.
  • Anemia – Anemia is another symptom of gastrointestinal bleeding. Anemia causes low blood cell count, which means there aren’t enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to the rest of the body. A blood test can be used to diagnose anemia by conducting a blood count and testing for hemoglobin. Anemia symptoms include feeling fatigued.

Since it doesn’t present symptoms early, colon cancer can be discovered late when it’s already become aggressive and metastatic. It’s essential to pay attention to any unusual discomfort or pain in your abdomen, blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea or constipation, and much more.

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