Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include: A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.
As colon cancer progresses to stage 3, in which the malignancy has spread to nearby lymph nodes, changes in stool and bowel habits tend to become more apparent as the intestinal passageway (called the lumen) further narrows and the tumor starts to grow into deeper layers of the intestinal tissues.
Changes in bowel habits can be caused by a temporary infection, taking certain medications, or by a long-term (chronic) condition. Some chronic conditions that commonly cause changes in bowel habits include: Celiac disease. Constipation. Crohn's disease.
Seek professional guidance if any change in bowel movements has persisted for more than a few days. Even minor changes, such as constipation or diarrhea, can indicate a health issue. If more severe symptoms occur, consult a healthcare professional immediately.
Stage 3 colon cancer occurs when a primary tumor develops in the colon and impacts nearby lymph tissue. It may cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, blood in stool, changes in bowel habits, fatigue, and weight loss. The diagnosis requires multiple tests, including CT scans, colonoscopy, and a biopsy.
Blood tests can help to diagnose bowel cancer.
Colon cancer is typically slow-growing, starting as a benign polyp that eventually becomes malignant. This process may occur over many years without producing any symptoms. Once colon cancer has developed, it may still be years before it is detected.
The most common symptoms of colorectal cancer are blood in the stool, unintentional weight loss, and either ongoing constipation or diarrhea. Other colorectal cancer symptoms may include: Excessive fatigue. Shortness of breath or chest pain from iron-deficiency anemia.
Most cases of bowel cancer first develop inside clumps of cells on the inner lining of the bowel. These clumps are known as polyps.
The most common type of bowel cancer affects the large bowel, which includes the colon and the back passage. Large bowel cancer is also sometimes called colorectal cancer.
Colon cancer can be detected early by screening tests, usually by a procedure called a colonoscopy. Undergoing a screening colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to discover polyps or precancerous lesions in the colon or rectum.
Sometimes, a tumour can block the bowel, causing sudden strong pains in the stomach area, bloating and feeling or being sick.
Currently, three types of stool tests are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to screen for colorectal cancer: guaiac FOBT (gFOBT); the fecal immunochemical (or immunohistochemical) test (FIT, also known as iFOBT); and multitargeted stool DNA testing (also known as FIT-DNA).
Screening blood tests, such as FBC, electrolytes, liver funtion tests, thyroid function, coeliac serology, CRP, and CA125 can be useful for ruling out other causes of her change in bowel habit.
Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, gas, bloating and diarrhea are common examples. Many factors can upset your GI tract and its motility (ability to keep moving), including: Eating a diet low in fiber. Not getting enough exercise.
Common causes include from foods – especially if something was spoiled or tainted – but GI viruses, food allergies and medication side-effects can also cause them. Some chronic conditions like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome can also lead to ongoing diarrhea.