Colon cancer occurs in the large intestine and it can be life threatening. More than 100,000 men and women are diagnosed with it in the United States each year. It is very important to be able to identify it early on for the best chance of a full recovery. During the early development of colon cancer the cells are benign in nature.
The longer they are in place the more likely they will become cancerous. For some individuals the cells become cancerous in a couple of months. For others, they may be settling in the colon for years before they are diagnosed or they start to give the person any symptoms to take notice of.
There are some symptoms of colon cancer that people should be well aware of. That way they can seek medical attention as soon as possible for the best treatment options. Many medical professionals like to include a screening at annual check ups as well because not everyone that is diagnosed with colon cancer has symptoms until it has significantly progressed.
One of the most common signs is that your bowels become different. You may become constipated for days, have diarrhea, or get sudden attacks of irritable bowel syndrome. Cramping in the abdominal region before and after you use the bathroom are also quite common. Sometimes developing gas that continues to occur on and off over a period of time can be associated with colon cancer as well.
Blood in the stools can be a sign of many medical problems, so you definitely want to get it looked at. It is also a sign of colon cancer so you don't want to ignore it. Some individuals simply assumed they had hemorrhoids or that there was a red color in their stools due to various supplements they take. Later they discovered they had colon cancer so always get it looked at as a precaution.
Feeling out of energy and ran down no matter how much you rest can be a symptom of colon cancer due to the cells that are developing in your body. Sudden weight loss without any changes in habits has also been reported. Others will end up feeling bloated so they assume they have gained weight. Their clothing will be very uncomfortable and even their feet may swell up and not fit well into their shoes.
A loss of appetite as well as changes in sleep patterns can also be recognized in some patients. They are often associated with the onset of other types of symptoms though that are painful and keep them awake. Becoming more susceptible to common ailments such as the cold or the flu may occur as well. This is because the immune system has been weakened due to the development of the colon cancer cells.
You may notice that simple activities are now almost impossible to complete. Walking around the grocery store may leave you light headed and out of breath. The loss of energy and the lightheadedness are generally the result of anemia. As the cancer cells continue to grow in the colon, they can absorb a large amount of the iron you consume. So you may be thinking your intake of it is high enough but your body is still being deprived of it.
Research indicates that the right colon has more room in it. This means that the cancer cells can grow larger before you start to develop any symptoms of the problem. When the cancer cells are in the left colon though there isn't as much free space. This means that a person will generally feel the pressure sooner and have more severe symptoms associated with the colon cancer.
If you have any of the signs of colon cancer make sure you discuss them with your doctor. The severity and longevity of them will depend on how rapidly the cancer is spreading. It will also depend on where in the colon the cancer is. When it is close to the rectum the symptoms seem to be more intense.
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