Colorectal cancers are the third most common cancer type in the United States. Only in 2016 there were approximately 140,000 people who were diagnosed with either rectal or colon cancer. Even though cases of colorectal cancer are frequent, many people are diagnosed until it is too late. The reason for this is because the symptoms of this cancer can be easily overlooked and they are very subtle.
In this article, read about the symptoms of colorectal cancer which are frequently overlooked.
Most Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
One of the symptoms which is frequently overlooked is abdominal cramps. Abdominal cramps usually indicate a number of conditions, which are non-cancerous, and this is why we rarely connect them with colorectal cancer.
In case your stomach cramps are long-lasting and intense, consult a doctor since they could indicate something serious.
Fatigue is another symptom which is not considered serious. Various people feel fatigued all the time due to lack of sleep. Nevertheless, in case your fatigue is persistent, despite the fact that you sleep well and eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, don’t ignore it since it could indicate something more serious.
Cancer cells use up the energy of the body. Moreover, colon cancer causes blood loss, thereby causing fatigue.
Sudden Weight Loss
A number of cancers can cause sudden weight loss. This occurs because the cancer cells use up the energy of the body and also the immune system works hard to prevent spreading of the cancer.
In case of colon cancer, a large tumor could be blocking the colon, thereby affecting the bowel movements and causing severe weight loss.
Irregular Bowel Movements
People rarely pay attention to their bowel movements. The appearance, consistency and timing of these movements could be an indicator for a number of health problems, including colorectal cancer.
Colon polyps are tiny bunches of cells which can become cancerous with time. Once they turn into tumors, they have an effect on the bowel movements. The tumors can have an effect on the function of the large intestines, and this affects the stool.
Constipation, diarrhea, watery and loose stools can also indicate colorectal cancer.
Blood in the Stool
A number of people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to tell their doctor, friends of family that they have bloody stool
On some occasions, the blood can be very dark, so it can only be seen by thorough examination.
Bleeding from the rectum and bloody stools can indicate rectal and colon cancer. In case you notice blood on your toilet paper or if the water in the toilet is pink or reddish, you could have rectal bleeding.
Reducing the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
You can make various changes in your lifestyle and your diet which can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Some of the changes you need to incorporate are:
Eat grains, fruits and vegetables. Diets which consist of plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables are related with reduced risk of colon cancer. On the other hand, diets rich in processed and red meat are related with increased risk of colon cancer.
Do regular exercise. Physical inactivity has been linked to an increased risk of developing a number of cancers, including colon cancer.
Lose weight. Being obese or overweight increases the risk of colon cancer, and also increases the mortality rate. The reason for this is because being obese makes your body weaker, and its ability to fight cancer is decreased.
Stop Smoking. Smoking is linked to the development of a number of cancers, including colon cancer.
Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking has been related with the development of colon cancer.
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