Before knowing about colon cancer symptoms, it is important to understand what colon is and how it functions in our body. Colon is an integral part of our digestive system. It plays a vital role in helping the body absorb all the nourishment from food and water. Another important function of colon is to help the body excrete the waste in the body in the form of stool. The symptoms that may be found if any cancerous development occurs in the colon are mentioned here. So, read on for more information.
Like many other diseases, colon cancer may not give off any sign of the disease during the initial stages. But as the problem keeps growing, the signs too start becoming visible. Colon cancer can be of two different types – Local Colon Cancer and Systemic Colon Cancer. The symptoms of the disease vary to a great extent in both the types of colon cancer.
Local colon cancer will give off signs which are related to your bathroom habits or bowel movements. The common and noticeable symptoms of local colon cancer include changes in bowel movement, i.e., either an increase or a decrease is noticed in the frequency in the bowel movement.
A person may experience constipation and may have difficulty or may have to strain for having a bowel movement. Local colon cancer can also lead to diarrhea. A person may also experience an intermittent bowel movement which may alternate between constipation and diarrhea. The stool of the person having colon cancer will also show signs of the disease.
The stool may contain blood of either dark or bright red color. The stool itself may be dark or black in color. Apart from that, the stool in local colon cancer will be much thinner than normal and may be pencil-like or ribbon-like in appearance. A person suffering from local colon cancer may also get a feeling of not being able to empty the bowels completely. Apart from all these, local colon cancer can also cause abdominal discomfort in the midsection of the abdomen, bloating, frequent cramps and pains due to gas.
The symptoms of Systemic colon cancer on the other hand include the affects that the cancer has on the entire body. Losing weight without such intention and effort can be a sign of systemic colon cancer. So, a patient of systemic colon cancer loses weight even when the person does not engage in dieting or in any other weight reducing measure.
A person with systemic colon cancer can also experience loss of appetite. Apart from that, extreme and unexplained fatigue can also trouble a person with this disease. A continuous feeling of nausea may also be a sign of systemic colon cancer.
A patient of this type of colon cancer can also experience repeated vomiting sessions. Anemia and weakness are also pretty common symptoms of systemic colon cancer. A person who has developed systemic colon cancer can also suffer from jaundice, thus hinting at the cancer in the colon.