Women can stay safe and healthy by knowing a few signs of early disease detection. Check out the symptoms of colon cancer, such as changes in bowel habits, bleeding and abdominal pain. One or more of these signs might mean a trip to the doctor for a quick fecal occult test for hidden blood in the stool. This test can even be done at home.
There are much less obvious symptoms for colon cancer, like weakness and fatigue, sudden weight loss (without trying!), or even nausea and vomiting. There are also many symptoms colon cancer women ignore, thinking they are regular biological or hormonal changes, like bloating, abdominal pain with depression, or between-period bleeding. Other symptoms of colon cancer women experience are difficulty swallowing, indigestion, fever that does not come with a cold or flu, or a persistent cough that lasts four weeks or more. Any of these could signal disease in the esophagus or digestive tract, which lead to the colon and can be early warning signs or symptoms of colon cancer. Although these symptoms may not seem serious, a doctor should take a quick look, especially for any that last several weeks. The typical length of time between seeing first symptoms for colon cancer and a doctor’s diagnosis is 14 weeks. symptoms of colon cancer
Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer may cause one or more of the symptoms below. If you have any of the following you should see your doctor:
” A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
” A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
” Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool (often, though, the stool will look normal)
” Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
” Weakness and fatigue
” Unintended weight loss, colon cancer symptoms in women
Most of these symptoms are more often caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, or inflammatory bowel disease. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Cancer of the colon and rectum can exhibit itself in several ways. If you have any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
You may notice bleeding from your rectum or blood mixed with your stool.
” People commonly attribute all rectal bleeding to hemorrhoids, thus preventing early diagnosis owing to lack of concern over “bleeding hemorrhoids.”
” Rectal bleeding may be hidden and chronic and may show up as an iron deficiency anemia.
” It may be associated with fatigue and pale skin.
” It usually, but not always, can be detected through a fecal occult (hidden) blood test, in which samples of stool are submitted to a lab for detection of blood.
If the tumor gets large enough, it may completely or partially block your colon. You may notice the following symptoms of bowel obstruction:
” Abdominal distension: Your belly sticks out more than it did before without weight gain.
” Abdominal pain: This is rare in colon cancer. One cause is tearing (perforation) of the bowel. Leaking of bowel contents into the pelvis can cause inflammation (peritonitis) and infection.
” Unexplained, persistent nausea or vomiting
” Unexplained weight loss, symptoms of colon cancer in women
” Change in frequency or character of stool (bowel movements)
” Small-caliber (narrow) or ribbon-like stools
” Sensation of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement
” Rectal pain: Pain rarely occurs with colon cancer and usually indicates a bulky tumor in the rectum that may invade surrounding tissue.
Studies suggest that the average duration of symptoms (from onset to diagnosis) is 14 weeks. There is no association between overall duration of symptoms and the stage of your tumor.