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Bowel Cancer Symptoms

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is the cancerous growths of the cells in the colon, rectum and appendix. It usually develops from an existing growth on the inner lining of the bowel or rectum. These growths are called polyps which are benign. However as polyps are early warning signs for bowel cancer and they need to be removed.

Here are few symptoms of bowel cancer:

  • Blood in the stool is a common symptom of colon cancer
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Stool disorder or persistent change in bowel habit for more than several weeks
  • Anaemia associated with fatigue and pale skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • A feeling of incomplete bowel emptying also known as ‘Tenesmus’
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding from the rectum

If the tumour in the colon gets large it may completely or partially block the colon it leads to Bowel Obstruction. Here are few symptoms of bowel obstruction:

  • Abdominal distension: Your belly sticks out more than it did before without weight gain.
  • Abdominal pain: This is rare in colon cancer. One cause is tearing (perforation) of the bowel. Leaking of bowel contents into the pelvis can cause inflammation (peritonitis) and infection.
  • Unexplained, persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Change in frequency or character of stool
  • Small-caliber or ribbon-like stools
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement
  • Rectal pain: Pain rarely occurs with colon cancer and usually indicates a bulky tumor in the rectum that may invade surrounding tissue. It finally results in abdominal distension and failure to pass faeces

Statistics of Bowel Cancer Symptoms: Every year 70,651 men are diagnosed with this cancer in the United States. 28,471 men end up giving their lives to this dreadful cancer. 68,883 women are diagnosed with this disease and 28,132 of them loose their lives ultimately.

People mostly affected (up to 90 percent) with this type of cancer are 50 years and above. If the disease is diagnosed in its initial stages, the patient can be treated and can survive for 5 years easily. But unfortunately the symptoms of this cancer either do not become apparent or are too minimal to be diagnosed, until it is too late.

Bowel Cancer Symptoms in Men:

Changes in Bowel Habits: Some of the signs to indicate this condition are narrower stools, diarrhea, constipation and a feeling of an unfinished bowel movement.

Blood in the Stool: The colour of the blood along with smelly stool can be either bright red or very dark.

Abdominal Discomfort: The signs of this condition are gas, abdominal cramps and bloating.

Unexplained anemia and weight loss, constant fatigue and vomiting also are the secondary symptoms of this type of cancer in men.

Bowel Cancer Symptoms in Women:

Rectal Bleeding: It is one of the most apparent and common signs of possible bowel cancer condition in women, when the disease is in its initial stages.

Change in Bowel Movements: Signs like constipation and diarrhea should start ringing the alarm bell. But people ignore these signs confusing them with other minor health issues. But when these signs persist for more than two weeks in women, a visit to the doctor becomes imperative.

Jaundice: When the malignant cancer cells start spreading to other organs of the body from the colon, they target the liver. Tumour deposits in this organ can cause jaundice.

Stomach cramps, palpitations, pale skin, nausea, formation of gas, fatigue, anemia, bloody stool and weight loss are also the secondary signs of this cancer.

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