Most forms of cancer like colon cancer can usually be effectively treated when it is diagnosed in the early stages. This is why it is especially important to notice any changes in your body, and understand some of the important colon cancer early symptoms.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer where the cancer cells originate in the colon. The walls of the colon are particularly susceptible to abnormal growths. In some cases a benign tumor can form in that area called a polyp. If it is not removed and left in place, it may eventually turn into a malignant tumor which is certainly much more serious.
And once this occurs, if the tumor is not diagnosed and proper treatment does not occur then the cancer can spread to other organs in the body.
Colon cancer can affect both men and women. It tends to be more common in people over fifty years of age. And if a close family member has developed the disease, you may be at higher risk for developing the disease as well.
But to help to identify the early onset of colon cancer and better under the colon cancer early symptoms, please pay attention to the following warning signs:
- Fatigue or weakness can indicate the possible presence of a tumor. It can cause an iron deficiency in your blood which can make you very tired.
- Shortness of breath can also be an early warning sign.
- If you experience a change in bowel movements, this is something you may wish to check into further. If a tumor in the bowel grows large enough it can obstruct the passage of stool. It may also cut down on the blood flow in that area. Pay close attention if you experience nausea and vomiting
- Watch for dark or red blood in the stool. If a tumor has been formed, it can tend to bleed and would show up in the stool. If the stool is bright red, this is a strong warning sign so it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately
- If you experience unexpected or unexplained weight loss, this could indicate a bigger problem.
- Bloating may occur. And a tumor may make you feel like you have to go the bathroom all the time
- Cramps or abdominal pain may be present.
- Additional symptoms to watch for very closely include peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or Crohn’s disease.
If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect a bigger problem, see your doctor. He can perform some physical tests but would more likely than not arrange for a colonoscopy. This is a test where a flexible microscope can be inserted into the anal cavity and up through the colon and into the large intestine.
It can inspect for tumors or the presence of polyps. If it finds one or more polyps it can remove them and process a tissue sample for further investigation and diagnosis.
If a positive diagnosis is made, there are a number of treatment options depending on the stage and severity of the disease. If the cancer is contained in a malignant polyp, it can usually be removed surgically. Follow up treatment with radiation or chemotherapy may be warranted to make certain all traces of the cancer are gone.
If the disease is more extensive, then more invasive surgery may be necessary along with chemo or radiation therapy. But the best advice is to get checked regularly and pay attention to the warning signs of the disease.