Colon cancer pain is generally felt as vague abdominal pain or cramps. The exact site of the pain may vary depending upon the part of the colon involved, the size of the tumor, and the extent to which it has spread in the body (metastasis). For example, when cancer spreads to the liver, pain may be felt in the upper right abdomen.
Colon or colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms during the early stages of the disease. A person may have polyps or colon cancer but may not have any symptoms until the late stages of the disease. Most early signs of colon cancer may be mistaken for other more common diseases and vice versa. For instance, a change in bowel habits may be caused by a bowel infection or the presence of blood in the stool may be because of piles or hemorrhoids. Hence, regular screening may help detect cancer early. You must consult your health care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer include
- Presence of blood in stool that may be red or dark in color
- Change in bowel habits that may alternate between constipation or diarrhea
- Aches, cramps, or abdominal pain that does not go away
- Unintended or unexplained weight loss
- Bloating or gas
- Narrowing of stools (passing ribbon-like stools) that may last for several days
- Feeling weak or getting tired easily
- A constant urge to have a bowel movement coupled with the feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Anemia that does not get better with supplements and diet
What is colon cancer?
The term cancer means uncontrolled growth of cells. When cancer forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine), it is called colon cancer. Cancer of the colon and rectum (the last part of the large intestine that connects the colon to the anus) together is called colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas that means cancers beginning in the cells that make and release the mucus and other fluids. Colorectal cancers generally begin as small growths called polyps originating from the inner lining of the large bowel. Not all polyps become cancer. Regular screening to detect polyps before they turn into colon cancer may help detect cancer at an early stage when it may be curable. Colorectal cancer is responsible for causing the third-highest number of cancer deaths in the United States.
What are the risk factors for colon cancer?
The risk factors for colon cancer include
- Age: The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. According to CDC, more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years of age or older.
- Family history: People who have a family history (especially in parents or siblings) of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer may have a higher risk than those without a positive family history. A disease called “familial polyposis coli” and other rare diseases such as Cowden syndrome and Peutz–Jeggers syndrome may cause bowel cancer in multiple members of a family.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Being overweight or obese: Individuals who are overweight or obese may be more likely to get colorectal cancer.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Unhealthy diet: A diet rich in processed meats, fatty or fried foods and deficient in fiber (including fruits and vegetables) may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Alcohol: The risk of colorectal cancer may be increased because of alcohol consumption.
- Tobacco: Consumption of tobacco may increase the risk of various cancers including colon cancer.
- History of other cancers: A personal history of other cancers such as cancer of the breast, uterus or ovaries may increase the risk of colon cancer.
The presence of risk factors does not mean that a person will surely get colon cancer. Similarly, the absence of any risk factors does not mean that a person will not get colon cancer. Knowing your risk factors is as important as improving your lifestyle to help reduce your cancer risk. Eating a healthy diet and giving up alcohol or tobacco consumption are two things you can do to reduce your risk. Nonmodifiable risk factors such as age and genetics can help your doctor advise appropriate screening plans for you that may help diagnose cancer in its early stages when the chances of cure are high.
- Berry Good for You: Some Foods Can Strengthen Your Brain
- Allergies & Asthma: Keep Sneezes & Wheezes at Bay This Holiday Season
- COVID in Pregnancy Can Vary — Get Vaccinated to Stay Safe
- Caregiving Can Heighten Loneliness, or Ease It
- Lots of Teen Boys Use Steroids, Often With Side Effects
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Archives of Medical Science
Top Where Is Colon Cancer Pain Felt Related Articles
Ayvakit (avapritinib)Ayvakit is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with a certain type of stomach, bowel, or esophagus cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Serious side effects of Ayvakit include bleeding in your brain and cognitive effects (forgetfulness, confusion, getting lost, and more).
What Is Balloon Endoscopy?Balloon endoscopy is a procedure used to view the small intestine and the digestive track. There are two types of balloon endoscopy, single balloon and double balloon. Balloon endoscopy is used to diagnose and treat diseases of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and colon (large intestine).
Colon CancerColon cancer (bowel cancer) is a malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from colonic polyps. Removal of these precancerous polyps can prevent colon cancer.
Colon Cancer: How Your Food and Diet Can Affect Colorectal Cancer HealthDiet, including nutrient, antioxidant, and vitamin intake, affects colon cancer risk. Certain dietary factors either decrease or increase the risk of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and other diseases. Dietary factors may either inhibit or stimulate the development of cancer cells. Have a nutrition plan that decreases the risk.
Colon Cancer IllustrationsMost, if not all, of these cancers develop from colonic polyps. Removal of these precancerous polyps can prevent colon cancer. See a picture of Colon Cancer and learn more about the health topic.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Colorectal cancer is both curable and preventable if it is detected early and completely removed before the cancerous cells metastasize to other parts of the body. Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy (along with digital rectal examination and stool occult blood testing) are both effective at preventing colo-rectal cancers and detecting early colo-rectal cancers.
Colon and Colorectal Cancer ScreeningColon cancer is preventable by removing precancerous colon polyps, and it is curable if early cancer is surgically removed before cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Therefore, if screening and surveillance programs were practiced universally, there would be a major reduction in the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer.
Early Signs of Colon CancerColon or colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms during the early stages of the disease. A person may have polyps or colon cancer but may not have any symptoms till the late stages of the disease.
Early Warning Signs and Stages of Colon CancerColon cancer or colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the cells lining the large intestine (colon). In the early stages of colon cancer, warning signs and symptoms usually don’t occur. Colon cancer usually does not have any signs or symptoms. As the cancer grows and expands it may begin to produce signs and symptoms, for example, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stool, and narrow or pencil-thin stools.
There are four stages of colon cancer; however, The term Stage 0 is sometimes used for a very early cancer that only affects the lining of the intestine. The other stages of colon cancer are stage 1, 2, 3, and 4.
What Is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to examine the lower colon and rectum. Flexible sigmoidoscopy can investigate the possible cause of rectal bleeding, bowel changes, and symptoms such as rectal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. During the procedure, a biopsy of tissue can be taken for further examination, or polyps may be removed.
How Long Before a Colonoscopy Should I Stop Drinking Water?A colonoscopy is a test to look at the inside of the colon. Usually, doctors recommend patients undergoing a colonoscopy to stop drinking clear liquid or water at least three to four hours before the procedure. However, patients with diabetes and who are dehydrated may take a few sips of water after consulting their doctor.
MoviPrep (PEG-3350, Sodium Sulfate, SodiumChloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Ascorbate)MoviPrep is a prescription bowel prep medication used by adults to clean the colon before a colonoscopy. Serious side effects of MoviPrep include changes in certain blood tests, ulcers of the bowel, bowel problems (ischemic colitis), and serious allergic reactions.
Vectibix (panitumumab)Vectibix (panitumumab) injection is a cancer medication used to treat the symptoms of metastatic colorectal cancer, or cancer that has spread. Serious side effects of Vectibix include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat, dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, chills, fever, chest tightness, severe or ongoing diarrhea, sudden chest pain or discomfort, and others.
What Does Colon Cancer Poop Look Like?Black, bright red, and pencil-thin stools are red flags for cancer of the bowel.
Who Is at a High Risk of Colon Cancer?Colon cancer affects men and women equally. It is more common among people who are 50 years and older but can rarely occur in teenagers as well. Although some factors can increase the risk of colon cancer, over 75 percent of colon cancer occurs in people with no known risk factors. Risk factors for colon cancer are described below.
Why Is Red Meat Not Healthy?Red meat is neither exclusively bad or good. If eaten within a well-balanced diet, it can actually be quite good for you. But, if you eat too much red meat or eat it in an unhealthy way, red meat can be bad for you.