Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

In their earliest stages, colon and rectal cancers typically don’t cause symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they may seem to be nothing to worry about.

Screening tests can detect, and sometimes even remove, developing cancers long before they become noticeable. It’s important to follow the recommended screening guidelines for your age and risk factors.

Signs of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms, especially in its early stages. This is why getting screened is so important. If you do experience symptoms, they may include the following:

  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in bowel movements
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • Frequent gas pains, swelling or cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Feeling very tired
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
If I have one or more of these symptoms, does that mean I have colorectal cancer?

If you’re experiencing symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have colorectal cancer. Gastrointestinal issues can be caused by many benign conditions. Still, if your symptoms don’t go away, make an appointment with your primary care provider. Early intervention can prevent many problems down the road.

I found a little blood in my stool. Could I have colorectal cancer?

There are many reasons you could have blood in your stool, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and yes, colorectal cancer. The only way to find out the cause of blood in your stool – which is never normal – is a rectal exam and a colonoscopy. If you’re experiencing blood in your stool, be sure to talk to your provider.