About Colon Cancer
Colon cancer forms inside the colon, which is the first five feet of the large intestine.
You may be reading this because you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Or you may be having symptoms that make you concerned you may have colon cancer.
Learning as much as you can about the disease can help you feel better prepared to speak with a doctor about your condition and your options for screening and treatment.
You may feel worried and overwhelmed. This is a good place to begin. From here you can visit other sections of this guide for more in-depth information.
We are here to help you every step of the way.
What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?
Colon cancer often does not cause symptoms in the early stages. That’s why we recommend that you get regular screenings for colon cancer depending on your age, medical history, and other risk factors.
However, there are some signs that you should not ignore, such as:
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Changes in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrow stools that last more than a few days
- Unexplained abdominal pain or cramping that lasts more than a few days
- Apersistent urge for a bowel movement that doesn’t go away after you have one
- Unexplained weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
- Adiagnosis of anemia
These symptoms usually do not mean you have colon cancer. Contact your doctor if any of these problems are severe or last longer than you think they should.
If you are younger than 50 and have not been screened for colon cancer, it’s particularly important that you do not ignore symptoms. The typical age to begin colon cancer screening is 50 years old. But recently there has been a troubling rise in colon cancer among people as young as their 20s and 30s who have no history of the disease and few if any risk factors. If you are under 50 and have worrying symptoms — especially rectal bleeding or blood in the stool — tell your doctor as soon as possible.