health

Colorectal Cancer: 6 Signs And Symptoms Of Tumors In The Lining Of Your Large Intestine

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Everyone gets sick from time to time, but it’s occasionally more serious than just a head cold or a stomach bug.

When most of us have stomachaches, we just ignore them and try to move on with our day. Sure, we might think about whether we ate something bad or if there’s a stomach flu going around, but for the most part, we don’t really think too much about what’s wrong with us.

Once in a while, though, it’s something much more serious — like in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, or colorectal cancer.

All of these issues might start by feeling like nothing more than a regular stomachache, but they have much more serious consequences. Sometimes, it’s worth paying extra attention to your bowel movements and abdominal pain.

Learn more about some of the scary signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer by reading below.

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia / Max Power

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

what is colorectal cancer
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Let’s start by breaking down exactly what colorectal cancer means.

The US National Library of Medicine explains: “The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer occurs when tumors form in the lining of the large intestine. It is common in both men and women. The risk of developing colorectal cancer rises after age 50.”

Signs And Symptoms Of Colorectal Cancer
Sign #1: Abdominal Discomfort

abdominal discomfort
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One of the more common symptoms of colorectal cancer is abdominal pain.

 

This may feel like cramping, gas, or general discomfort in the belly area.

Sign #2: Weakness/Fatigue

weakness fatigue
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As with many serious illnesses, colorectal cancer can cause weakness and fatigue.

 

This exhaustion will feel like more than just normal sleepiness.

Sign #3: Rectal Bleeding

rectal bleeding
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The American Cancer Society explains that rectal bleeding may also be a symptom of colorectal cancer.

 

The blood may appear as bright red, or it may just make your stool look dark and tarry.

Sign #4: Change In Bowel Habits

change in bowel habits
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Everyone’s bowel habits change from time to time, but if they last for more than a few days, it’s worth considering that it might be something serious.

The American Cancer Society writes that one of the symptoms of colorectal cancer is “a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool.”

Sign #5: Feeling That Your Bowel Isn’t Empty

bowel not empty
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Another symptoms is “a feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one,” says the American Cancer Society.

 

This may also feel like your bowel is never completely empty.

Sign #6: Unexplained Weight Loss

unexplained weight loss
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One final symptom of colorectal cancer is unexplained and unintended weight loss.

If you’re dropping pounds unintentionally, it’s always something to take note of — it could mean something is seriously wrong with your health.

When To See A Doctor

see a doctor
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“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,” writes the Mayo Clinic.

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