Rectal Cancer Symptoms
Rectal cancer tends to be asymptomatic during development. The tumor
often develops silently, causing no
symptoms that would impair the life of the patient. The asymptomatic
period can persist for years. However, as the cancer progresses, some
signs may be indicative of its presence and should lead to consult a health care provider
immediately. When rectal cancer symptoms finally emerge it can mean the tumor is already in advanced
Rectal cancer symptoms manifest by
Persistent problems or sudden intestinal
transit such as:
Persistent or extend
Sudden or worsening
Painful and ineffective efforts
to expel stool
stool structure, being longer and thinner,
like a pencil
and ongoing need for
a bowel movement, especially in the morning
Pressure in the
rectum or sensation that it
is full even after a bowel movement,
of incomplete evacuation or false urge to defecate, even right after
a after a bowel movement.
– patient having
bloody stool or blood-streaked which lead
the stools to be covered or mixed with bright red or very dark blood. They may also be black as ink if blood is digested in the colon. But the
bleeding can be invisible to the naked eye. Only checks for blood in the stool by a Hemoccult® test can confirm
the presence or absence of colorectal bleeding.
Even when the Hemoccult test is positive, the bleeding should not be too quickly
attributed to cancer as other medical conditions can cause the bleeding. Further medical examinations should
be performed to determine the real cause.
Abdominal Pain – rectal cancer can be painless at the beginning. When
pain occurs, it can be constant or frequent. It is often associated with intestinal cramps, gas, bloating in the
lower abdomen, discomfort when sitting, or anal pain. In addition, rectal cancer may cause pain resembling
sciatica in some patients.
Rarer Symptoms – Anaemia, low
number of red blood cells, is frequent among rectal cancer patients. In
addition, the anus may produce mucus which consists of a whitish, viscous liquid, which looks like a spit. But in most cases, a
small amount of
mucus in stoolis usually nothing related to cancer.
All these symptoms can have other causes than cancer. No one should base on them to declare they have cancer.
However, if they persist or
appear suddenly, it makes sense to consult a doctor who will carry out tests or
refer to a gastroenterologist quickly as it deems necessary for further
medical exams to confirm or rule out colorectal cancer.
Complications of Colorectal Cancer
Gradually, as the tumor grows, symptoms can worsen and
lead to complications such as intestinal obstruction
Intestinal Obstruction – the
tumor completely blocked the
colon, preventing the passage of stool and
gas. They then accumulate
in the colon, which increases in
volume. Intestinal obstruction can cause more
or less severe abdominal pain,
swelling of the stomach, vomiting and lack of stools and gas during bowel
movements. It requires urgent medical attention.
Indeed, if the colon continues to
stretch, it may puncture, which is
life-threatening for the patient.
Peritonitis - this is a serious
infection of the membrane that
surrounds all the organs of the abdomen (peritoneum). This infection can occur when
the colon is perforated. It
requires emergency surgery.
Complications can worsen and lead to:
Rectal Cancer Risk
Rectal Cancer Treatment