Colon cancer can remain asymptomatically for years in your colon before it produces symptoms. Meanwhile, the tumor continues to grow and damage your colon. Most of the times, when symptoms finally occur, the disease is already in advanced stages; chance of survival is very low, unfortunately.
In general, if you have colon cancer, you will experience at least one of the following symptoms:
- anemia associated with fatigue
- blood in the stool
- unexplained weight loss
- have constant urge to defecate
- feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
- permanent discomfort characterized by stomach cramps, gas or pain
- persistent change in bowels habits such as alternation between constipation and diarrhea.
Do not jump to any conclusion if you experience stool discoloration; presence of blood in your stool does not mean you have colon cancer. Certain conditions such as hemorrhoids can lead to rectal bleeding. In addition, certain foods such as beets and red licorice can color your stool.