5 Signs You May Have Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer, is cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in America, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are 50 or older, getting a colon cancer screening test could save your life. Brookhaven Gastroenterology, serving Suffolk County, NY, offers the latest treatments for gastrointestinal conditions. Here are five signs you may have colon cancer.
1. Abdominal Pain- Just about everyone at one point or another will experience abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is usually short-lived and is often not serious. However, abdominal pain can sometimes be a sign of colon cancer. Colon cancer can cause persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain. One cause is tearing (perforation) of the bowel.
2. Blood in the Stool- Blood in the stool can be associated with colon cancer. However, it does not necessarily indicate cancer. Bleeding in the digestive tract can have numerous causes, including anal tears, hemorrhoids, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Additionally, iron and some foods, such as beets, can give the stool a red or black appearance, falsely indicating blood in the stool.
3. Unexplained Weight Loss- Unexplained weight loss, or losing weight without trying — can be associated with colon cancer. Unexplained weight loss is the loss of 10 pounds or more in six months or less without knowing the reason. Most patients with colon cancer will lose weight at some point. Cancer cells use up a lot of the body's energy cells, which can cause weight loss.
4. Lethargy and Fatigue- Fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion that doesn't go away with rest. Most of the time fatigue can be traced to one or more of your routines or habits. On occasion, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying condition that requires treatment. Colorectal cancer can cause fatigue due to internal blood loss or the cancer cells using up the body's energy.
5. Change in Bowel Habits- The term "change in bowel habits" can mean almost anything including a change in consistency, or frequency of the stools. People with colon cancer may experience diarrhea, constipation, incomplete evacuation, narrowing of stools, and bowel incontinence. While cancer can be a cause for changes in bowel habits, it's obvious that many other things can do the same thing.
If you need to get a colon cancer screening, call Brookhaven Gastroenterology at (631) 289-0300 today to schedule an appointment at the office in East Patchogue, NY, and serving Suffolk County, NY. A simple colon cancer screening in our office could save your life!