Tumor can grow for years without showing symptoms. Moreover, very often the symptoms themselves are poor indicators for colon cancer. Therefore regular screening is still the best way to detect cancers if any.
The following are common symptoms of colon cancer, though other health conditions may show the similar symptoms.
Having bowel movement less than 3 times a week can be considered as having constipation. The stool will solidifies by the time it reaches the end of colon. A tumor at the far end of colon or in the rectum can make the waste very difficult to pass through, thereby causing constipation.
Solidified stool will take shape when it leaves our body. Thin stool may indicate the waste has been squeezed through some sort of obstacle, and the obstacle could be some abnormal growth at the latter part of colon or rectum.
When tumor causes bowel obstruction, solids, liquids or gas may be blocked and this lead to abdominal cramps. If the tumor has perforated the bowel wall, it will causes a painful cramps. This is a medical emergency condition.
Hematochezia (Stool with blood)
Tumors tend to bleed. The bleeding is inconsistent and it may shows on and off in the stools.
Unexplained Weight Loss
This may be the sign that the tumor is releasing some chemicals that causes higher metabolism rate.
Sense of Fullness
Our body may sense the tumor at the end of colon or rectum as waste that yet to release. And the sensation of the need to relieve persist.
Nausea and Vomiting
If the tumor is big enough and causes bowel obstruction, and lead to constipation, restrict blood flow and abdominal cramping. Any one or all of these conditions may result in nausea or vomiting.
Gas and Bloating
When the vowel is blocked by the tumor, air is trapped and this causes bloat. When the blockage resolves, the person become gassy.
Tumor tends to bleed, and this results in loss of iron. The person may feel tire (lethargic) due to iron deficiency anemia.