Colon cancer usually starts off in small polyps (overgrowth of tissue) in the colon or rectum. These polyps may not produce any symptoms, especially in the early stages. As the disease progresses, more symptoms may appear.
Symptoms and signs of colon cancer may include:
- Diarrhea or constipation that does not go away
- Change in normal bowel habits, such as size, shape and frequency
- Discomfort or the urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need
- Abdominal pain or cramping pain in your lower stomach
- Bloating or full feeling
- Change in appetite
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool or toilet after a bowel movement
- Excessive fatigue
- Weight loss without dieting
These symptoms usually do not mean you have colon cancer. However, any time you notice unexplained changes and they persist for more than two weeks, don’t assume they will just go away. See your doctor.
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