There are no evident colon cancer symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
The abnormal growth of cells in the large intestine or colon the lower part of the digestive system results in formation of noncancerous clumps of cells which are termed the polyps. These later turn into cancerous.
These polyps may or may not produce any colon cancer symptoms thus making it difficult for early detection of the disease. To avoid any complications and further occurrence of the disease it is suggested that regular screening tests be performed.
Sometimes show colon cancer symptoms like the blood in stool, gas formation leading to abdominal pain, persistent cramping and also a change in bowel habits may also be seen.
Surprisingly it is found that in spite of so many deaths due to this disease it can pretty well be prevented by following certain precautionary measures like regular screening tests and following balanced diet and a good life style. This will surely help to reduce the overall risk of developing the disease.
Depending on the location, its spread the colon cancer is assigned a stage which is termed as staging. The initial stages of colon cancer like the Stage I, II, and III are considered potentially curable. But the most devastating stage is the stage IV cancer which is not curable in majority of the cases.
As Stage I is considered the initial stage of colon cancer its survival rate and prognosis is good almost 90% of 5-year survival is predicted. Stage II has a 75-85% 5-year survival, and Stage III a 40-60% 5-year survival. It is found that in the initial stages the survival rate can be improved by chemotherapy.
Stage IV disease is considered to have the least chances of survival as patients live rarely beyond five years. In some cases patients may live shorter or longer depending on the condition and colon cancer treatment opted.
Most Common Colon Cancer Symptoms or Colon Cancer Signs
As mentioned above colon cancer may or may not show any symptoms in its early stage. If any colon cancer symptoms are predicted they are often mistaken to be related with some other disorder or health problem.
The colon cancer symptoms may be very much similar to inflammatory bowel disease condition, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and sometimes diverticulosis or diverticulitis. Like these conditions are curable the colon cancer at this stage is also curable.
It should be noted that colon cancer symptoms vary depending on the cancer’s size and location in the large intestine. Following are the colon cancer symptoms or colon cancer signs:
- A change in the bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of the stool for more than a couple of weeks
- Narrow stools
- A feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort, such as cramps, gas may also occur
- Abdominal pain with a bowel movement
- Unexplained and unintentional weight loss
All the above mentioned colon cancer symptoms or colon cancer signs may or may not be disease specific meaning they may occur due to some other less serious health problems not related to cancer.