Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. It is important not to wait for symptoms before talking to your doctor about getting screened. However, if symptoms are present, they may include:
- A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
- Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely, rectal bleeding, or finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
- Finding your stools are narrower than usual
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, pain, or feeling full or bloated
- Losing weight with no known reason
- Weakness or fatigue
- Having nausea or vomiting
These symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only your doctor can determine why you're having these symptoms. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.
When to see a doctor
If you notice any symptoms of colon cancer, such as blood in your stool or a persistent change in bowel habits, make an appointment with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about when you should begin screening for colon cancer. Guidelines generally recommend colon cancer screenings begin at age 50. Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier screening if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.