Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer tend not to be specific. In other words, the signs and symptoms can occur due to a number of different conditions. When colon cancer is detected in its early stages, it may not have even caused symptoms. Symptoms can also vary according to the specific location within the colon where the tumor is located.
Some symptoms and signs of colon cancer are
- rectal bleeding or blood in the stool,
- dark-colored stool,
- change in bowel habits,
- change in stool consistency,
- constipation or a feeling that the bowels don't empty completely,
- diarrhea, and
- narrow stools.
Abdominal discomfort or pain, cramping, or bloating may occur. Abdominal pain, discomfort, gas, or cramps may also occur in some people. When the cancer is more advanced, nonspecific symptoms of colon cancer can be similar to those that occur in people with other advanced cancers, including
Causes of colon cancer
There are a number of risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing colon cancer. Factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer include high fat intake (such as a typical Western diet), a family history of colorectal cancer and polyps, the presence of polyps in the large intestine, and inflammatory bowel diseases, primarily chronic ulcerative colitis. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) are inherited conditions that lead to the presence of polyps in the intestine and an increased risk of colon cancer.
Dragovich, Tomislav. "Colon Cancer." Medscape.com. Jan. 30, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/277496-overview>.
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