Colorectal cancer often does not have symptoms in the early stages. Most colorectal cancers begin as polyps, small non-cancerous growths on the colon wall that can grow larger and become cancerous. As polyps or cancers grow, they can bleed or block the intestines.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool or toilet after a bowel movement
- Diarrhea or constipation that does not go away
- Change in normal bowel habits, such as size, shape and frequency
- Discomfort or urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need
- Abdominal pain or a cramping pain in your lower stomach
- Bloating or full feeling
- Change in appetite
- Weight loss without dieting
These symptoms usually do not mean you have colorectal cancer. But, 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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