If you didn’t include skin cancers, colorectal cancers are the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. In 2016 alone almost 140,000 people are diagnosed with either colon or rectal cancer. Although cases of colorectal cancer are common, many people wait until it’s too late to get diagnosed. This is because symptoms of colorectal cancer are very subtle and easily overlooked.
This is why I am going to tell you about the most commonly overlooked symptoms of colorectal cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
Abdominal cramps are one of the most overlooked symptoms of colorectal cancer mainly because they are a symptom of so many other, non-cancerous conditions. This doesn’t mean that you should freak out if you are feeling stomach pain.
However, if you are experiencing intense and long-lasting stomach cramps that don’t seem to be going away along with other symptoms of colorectal cancer, you should not dismiss it as it can be a major indicator.
This is another symptom that is commonly dismissed as something less serious than it may be. Many people feel fatigue without even having a condition, as not getting enough sleep is common in modern society.
However, if you feel constant fatigue, even when getting sufficient amounts of sleep and eating a well-balanced diet, along with other symptoms of colorectal cancer, then it should not go un-ignored.
Cancer cells can cause fatigue as they use up the body’s energy. Colon cancer can also cause fatigue as it can cause blood loss.
Sudden Weight Loss
An immediate and dramatic decrease in weight can be cause by a variety of cancers, one of them being colon cancer. “Unexplained weight loss” is generally described as an unintentional loss of 5% of your body weight within six months.
So, for someone who weighs 150 pounds, unintentionally losing 7 and 1/2 pounds within six months would generally be described as “unexplained weight loss”.
This is due to the fact that cancer cells use up a lot of the body’s energy, and the immune system also works hard to prevent the disease from spreading. All of this energy expenditure causes a large amount of weight loss.
It colon cancer, it is also possible that a large tumor can block the colon, which can effect one’s bowel movements and cause severe weight loss.
Irregular Bowel Movements
As a society in general, people do not pay enough attention to their bowel movements. The timing, consistency and appearance of these movements can indicate various problems with your health, including the presence of colorectal cancer.
Colon polyps, which are small bunches of cells that can become cancerous over time, begin to effect bowel movements when they turn into tumors. These tumors can effect the way your large intestine functions, and this will be reflected in the changes found in your stool.