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Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood (either bright red or black and tarry) in the stool (feces)
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constant feeling of fatigue or tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Stool that is lighter or more tan in color
  • Stools that are particularly foul-smelling
  • Stools that more regularly float to the surface of the toilet bowl

It is important to remember, however, that very often there are no symptoms of colon cancer until the cancer is advanced. This is why it is important to begin and maintain a program of regular screening as recommended by your physician.

References:

National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/.



Last reviewed April 2007 by Barbara Harty-Golder, MD, JD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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