Our colon is an absolutely amazing part of the human body. It has multiple duties from absorbing water and nutrients from our foods so they are transported to our cells acting as the major toxin and elimination collector from the food and substances we ingest. if you spread the colon out, it would reach 6 feet. Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of death, it is a type of cancer that begins in either the large intestine or the rectum. It can affect anyone of any age, but primarily affects people over fifty years of age. It is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer, the only cancer that ranks higher is lung cancer.
Although it is a bit sneaky, colon cancer is treatable if found in the early stages through a simple surgery, Colon cancer survival rate is 92% when caught early, half of the battle is learning if you have it first, the symptoms of colon cancer can be subtle and can be confused with other diseases, colon cancer tends to manifest itself in a number of ways, here are Seven symptoms, in particular, you need to watch out for.
1. Shortness of Breath
This symptom usually doesn’t show up until the more advanced stage of colon cancer. Sometimes it can be overlooked by physicians and sometimes even misdiagnosed.
The root cause of this particular symptom is simply due to the small tears that the cancer cells create in the lungs (appearing similar to lung cancer damage caused by years of smoking). Due to the holes in the lungs, the oxygen can not enter the bloodstream properly, when this happens, it results in shortness of breath.
2. Rectal Bleeding
Secondly, colon cancer causes slow blood loss from the rectum. The blood is usually bright red in color but is rarely seen by the naked eye as it is usually found on the inside of the stool. It may also be streaked with blood.
To avoid confusion with colon cancer symptoms and that of hemorrhoids, be sure to contact your local physician before it is too late. The two can be easily misconstrued as hemorrhoids also bleed on occasion if constipation occurs.
Cancer is draining cells that are highly important as they utilize the body’s energy and multiply throughout the body itself. This causes extreme fatigue in the colon cancer patient. Fatigue can also be caused by blood loss as well. Any form of therapy, be it radiation or chemotherapy, will also leave the patient feeling very tired.
Other factors that may cause fatigue or contribute to it include:
- Tumors (competing for nutrients)
- Any deficiencies in nutrients from the food that may be lost due to vomiting.
- Depression and stress.
4. Unexplained Weight Loss
Are you someone who is suddenly losing a great deal of weight? if the answer is yes this could be a sign that you experiencing a symptom of colon cancer. Some natural weight loss can happen at certain times due to water fluctuation within the body or due to a certain diet. However, if an individual has not changed his diet and weight loss is consistent there may be room for some concern.
How can Colon cancer be responsible for weight loss, you may ask? weight loss is caused by a tumor that blocks the large intestine and once it has gotten big enough it will cause an obstruction in the bowels, This particular blockage is what is responsible for the sudden drop in pounds.
5. Change in Bowel Habits
Be sure to watch out for changes in bowel habits. This can range from switching in between diarrhea to being constipated, being constipated for a long time is a warning for a colon problem, frequent diarrhea can also be an indicator that something is not right.
if you find yourself regularly going to the toilet, or if you attempt to pass a stool and it feels like there is more and nothing comes out, that could also be a sign of colon cancer. and be sure to visit your doctor if that’s the case.
6. Abdominal Discomfort
Colon cancer can cause abdominal pain though not usually until the cancer cells have spread to other areas. This pain can range anywhere from mild to severe. If the pain is persistent enough and lasts a long time, that is usually a strong indicator of cancer. Since this particular cancer can go undetected for many years, it is good to get tested about every ten years or so.
This is especially true if suffering from rectal bleeding, dark stools, or weakness, and fatigue. These other symptoms could also be a strong indicator of colon cancer’s shady presence.
7. Changes in Stool Shape and Color
Be sure to look for signs of any abnormal stools. These can include dark-colored stool with bright red blood. Or it can be dark red blood within the actual stool itself., the smell might also be different.
If the stool is black or all red does not wait to schedule an appointment with your physician as this could be a sign of something much more serious. Stools of this color may require surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment to correct the issue.