Far too often, you hear of friends and family members who have been diagnosed with colon cancer, and the cancer is already in stage 3 or 4 at the time of diagnosis. Sadly, this makes the cancer a lot harder to treat, and the treatments end up being more invasive and intensive. There is a reason colon cancer is not always detected until these later stages, though. The symptoms when you're in stage 1 or 2 tend to be likely to ignore or shrug off as happenstance. Below, you will learn what those symptoms are so you don't make the mistake of shrugging them off.
Persistent abdominal bloating or cramping.
There are many possible causes of abdominal bloating and cramping. You may have food poisoning. You may have simply eaten something that does not agree with you. But these common causes of bloating and cramping usually result in a few days of discomfort, at most. If the symptoms go on for more than a few days, or if they seem to come and go over and over again, they could be due to early colon cancer. Arrange to be checked out by your doctor.
Also, many women mistake colon cancer symptoms for period cramps. If your OBGYN cannot find a cause for your cramping, don't shrug it off as "normal." Get tested for colon cancer.
Feeling like you still need to "go" more.
This symptom can be a little embarrassing to talk about and difficult to describe, which may be why some people don't mention it to their doctor. Basically, you go to the bathroom, but afterward, you don't feel like you've fully relieved yourself. You feel like you need to go more — but no more comes out when you push. This is often due to the presence of a polyp or tumor in your colon, which could be cancerous.
If you are someone who is a bit overweight or is often wanting to drop a few pounds, you might be glad when the weight seems to fall off without you doing anything. But this could actually be an early sign of colon cancer. The cancer interferes with your ability to absorb nutrients. See the doctor if you ever lose weight without a clear explanation as to why.
Stage 1 and 2 colon cancer are easier to treat than stage 3 and 4 colon cancer. Be vigilant about looking for early symptoms. For more information on colon cancer, contact a professional near you.