Colon cancer symptoms is found in about 4-5% of all patients suffering from cancer. This is the most frequent localization of cancer in the human gut. Most often detection of colon cancer symptoms occurs between the ages of 40-60 years, but it can also be detected at younger ages.
Precancerous colon diseases include colon polyps (adenomatous, villous), diffuse polyposis (familial, hereditary), chronic proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, ulcerative colitis, anorectal fissures, ulcers and fistulas.
Polyps of the rectum are a group of obligate precancerous diseases with a high probability of transformation into cancer.
Symptoms of colon cancer
Clinical manifestations of colon cancer depend on stage of disease, the nature of tumor growth and the level of its localization. Most common rectal cancer symptoms include the following:
- Bleeding (the intensity of intestinal bleeding is usually minor and often they occur in the form of a small admixture of red blood in stool);
- Constipation, fecal incontinence and gas, bloating, frequent false urge to defecate);
- Pain in the rectum;
- Weight loss, pale skin;
- A violation of well-being of patients (general weakness, fatigue;
- Anemia (decreased hemoglobin in the blood which may be caused by intestinal bleeding).
In the later stages of the disease in patients may occur intestinal obstruction, manifested by cramping abdominal pain, delayed gas and stool, vomiting.
Diagnosis of bowel cancer
If you suspect any tumor-like formation in colon, doctor may do anoscopy (examination of the inner surface of the anal canal using a special tool, anoscop, introduced through the anus) and rectal study by finger. Both of these methods are simple and informative.
Further tactics include an x-ray diagnosis of abdominal and pelvic, ultrasound, as well as sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (which let to combine endoscopic examination with the intestinal biopsy of a pathological formation).
Laboratory studies include fecal occult blood test, general and biochemical blood tests, etc.
The following bowel cancer symptoms mean, that disease progresses and you need to take urgent measures:
- Germination of the tumor to adjacent organs and the pelvic wall;
- Purulent-inflammatory processes in the tumor (purulent abscess, abscess tissue pelvic and retroperitoneal);
- Bleeding from the rectum;
- Obstructive intussusception.
Cancers of the rectum may metastasize to the lymph and blood vessels. The most commonly it affects the lymph nodes in the abdomen and pelvis. In more rare cases there is distant metastasis, such as in the liver.
If you suspect yourself or someone with colon cancer symptoms, try to see a doctor as soon as possible. He will appoint the necessary diagnostic procedures and, if the cancer will be confirmed, he will refer you to an oncologist.
If you have a family predisposition to colon polyps or rectal cancer, you should take preventive examinations at least once a year.
Treatment of colon cancer, according to disease stage and tumor localization, includes surgical treatment, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. So you should never ignore any of colon cancer symptoms, even if they have light form.