In the early stages of colorectal cancer, most people do not experience any noticeable symptoms. However, there are signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer that should not be ignored. Those signs and symptoms include:
- A change in bowel habits or consistency that lasts more than a few days
- Narrowing of the stool (if your stool is thin like a pencil, it’s time to call the doctor)
- Having the urge to have a bowel movement that doesn’t go away when you have one
- Seeing bright red blood on the toilet paper or on the toilet
- Having blood in your stool (which often makes stool look dark, black, or tarry)
- Abdominal cramping and/or belly pain that won’t subside
- Fatigue or general weakness
- Weight loss that can’t be explained by another factor (like dieting)
- Anemia (a low red blood cell count)
If you have any or all of the symptoms of colorectal cancer, don’t panic. All of them can be caused by other conditions, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and infections. Regardless of what might be causing your signs and symptoms, you should see your doctor. He or she can perform tests to help find the cause of your issues and treat them properly.
We also recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor if you are concerned about colorectal cancer or have a personal or family history of colon polyps, colorectal cancer, or other disease of the colon. Doctors at Beaumont will help make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan that’s best for you.
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a great diagnostic test for colorectal cancer and may help diagnose other conditions, like Crohn’s disease, as well.
Call (800) 633-7377 today to get a referral to a Beaumont doctor or to receive a referral for a colonoscopy.