Colon cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the U.S., with a survival rate of 91 percent if it is detected at a localized stage. “Many young people are unaware of colon cancer symptoms, do not pay much attention to them, or are unsure what to do about it or who to talk to,” explains Yi-Qian Nancy You, MD. “But recognizing the signs and taking action early on are the best methods for overcoming it.” Here are four warning signs of colon cancer according to specialists.
1 — Rectal Bleeding
Doctors warn that rectal bleeding might be an indication of colorectal cancer, which should never be taken lightly. “If someone notices any changes in their bowel habits or if they have had any bleeding—even if they think it is a hemorrhoid and it does not go away—get a colonoscopy,” explains Vikram Reddy, MD, PHD.
2 — Thin Stools, Fatigue
Narrow stools, gas pain, bloating, cramps, weight loss, and tiredness are some of the most frequent symptoms of colon cancer. According to Fariha Sarij, MD, “Colorectal cancer is not limited to males. In fact, almost as many females as males are diagnosed with colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States each year around 64,000 females are diagnosed with colon cancer. It is the third most prevalent cancer in males and females and the second leading cause of cancer-related fatalities. Your risk of getting colorectal cancer is around 1 in 20 over your lifetime. It’s crucial to understand the symptoms and the best way to prevent this preventable disease.”
3 — Nausea and Vomiting
Experts warn that nausea and vomiting might be a symptom of colorectal cancer. “Vomiting and Nausea can occur if a rectal or colon tumor is blocking the bowel and preventing the passage of liquid or solid waste or gas,” explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Bowel blockage might also be accompanied by uncomfortable bloating, abdominal cramps, and constipation… If you have persistent nausea, dehydration symptoms such as dry mouth or thirst, or more than 24-hour vomiting episodes, see your doctor right away.”
4 — Family History
If your family has a history of colon cancer, it’s important to get regular cancer screenings. “Depending on the particular condition you have, you might also be at increased risk for other types of cancer, such as your skin, stomach, bladder, uterus, brain or liver,” said David Liska, MD.