When you have a history of colon cancer in your family, it can often seem like every symptom means that you yourself have a diagnosis. However, you should try not to stress. Many of the symptoms of colon cancer are caused by completely unrelated issues quite regularly in cancer-free people.
However, there are certain symptoms of colon cancer that you should not avoid. While there isn’t a singular symptom that means that you have colon cancer, there are some symptoms that point to a likelihood of there being dangerous issues, even if it is not cancer.
While you should always have regular cancer screenings with your doctor if you have a family history of cancer or if you are over 50, there are certain symptoms you should have checked out even if you are not high-risk.
Colon Cancer is developed from polyps that build in the colon. If you have the following symptoms, it could point to polyps. Be sure to schedule a visit with your doctor if you have any of the below symptoms, especially if you are over age 45.
Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer:
- Changes in stool consistency
- Blood in your stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Unusual gas
- Feeling like you are unable to empty your bowel
- Weight Loss
- Loss of Appetite
While you should see your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms, don’t panic. All of these symptoms can also be caused by something completely unrelated and relatively harmless. However, cancer treatment is much more successful when you catch it in its earliest stages, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as you experience these symptoms.
Why You Should Get Screened For Colon Cancer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that colon cancer is the second leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. This statistic is especially grim when you realize that Colon Cancer is one of the most easily treatable cancers when found at its earliest stages.
Heartbreakingly, if men and women went to the doctor to be screened for colon cancer when they saw symptoms early, instead of waiting, that statistic would be reduced drastically. The best thing you can do for your health and safety is to get a colonoscopy when you start to get these symptoms.
What Is A Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is where a tube goes through your rectum and into your colon to look for signs of cancer. One of the most innovative things about colonoscopies is that your doctor can actually remove the polyps that are the first stage of colon cancer right there on the spot. While you will need to have regular screenings from that point forward, removing the polyps is how to prevent colon cancer from forming.
By scheduling a colonoscopy with your doctor, you will not only be able to confirm if there is a presence of polyps, but you will also be able to remove them on the spot. Unfortunately, if you wait too long to have this procedure, cancer could spread making it much more difficult to treat successfully.
While all middle-aged and older patients should have regular screenings done with their doctor, anyone who is experiencing some of the symptoms we listed above should be screened.
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. If the polyps are removed before cancer develops, the survival rate is incredibly high. Regular colonoscopies should be scheduled with your doctor. If you need to know more about colon cancer and its symptoms, please visit this guide.