Being able to catch the signs of rectal cancer is now more important than ever after a 2017 study.
Researchers found that colorectal cancer is rising noticeably even for people under 50. This increase led the American College of Gastroenterology to now urge people to get colorectal cancer checks starting at 45.
But regardless of this disease hitting someone young or old, postponing a diagnosis is a frequent problem. A problem that usually ends in cancers being found during advanced stages, when the treatment possibility is not so good.
The symptoms of rectal cancer are not easily linked to the disease. They could have numerous causes. While your chances for having rectal cancer is greater if you experience more than one of the following symptoms, having just one of these symptoms is reason enough to visit your doctor, especially if you are older than 50.
1 — Bloody Stools
Having either bright red or dark red stools is a symptom that you could have rectal cancer. This bleeding could also be accompanied with mucus being passed in your stools.
While such rectal bleeding is a sign of rectal cancer, it can also be due to internal hemorrhoids or anal fissures. In addition, foods like red licorice and beets can cause alterations in your stool color that seem to look like blood.
To be safe, talk to your doctor and he can perform tests to get to the source of your issues.
Also, don’t ignore darker stools. Bleeding from higher-up in your colon, or your stomach, can sometimes look black or tarry. This might even resemble coffee grounds. This can be a sign of medical conditions you need to get checked.
2 — Bowel Habit Changes
Another sign of rectal cancer is having a sudden change in bowel habits. This might be diarrhea, constipation, or a decrease or increase in the amount of bowel movements you have. With rectal cancer, diarrhea is usually common.
The crucial point is to pay attention and look for changes that let you know something is off. Everyone has different daily bathroom habits, and your normal might be someone else’s warning sign, and visa versa.
Of course, there are many possible reasons for this. Your symptoms could be because of something as simple as your diet. That said, the best way to know for sure is check with your doctor.
3 — Rectal Pressure
Another warning sign of rectal cancer is having rectal fullness or pressure. Meaning that you feel a sensation of needing to empty your bowels, even if you have just gone to the bathroom.
A mass in your rectum might give this sensation, and it is certainly a top sign you need to get checked out ASAP.
Author: Blake Ambrose