symptoms of colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in both men and women. It combines colon cancer and rectal cancer, and it normally starts in the rectum. Older people are at a high risk of getting it, but it can happen at any age. The symptoms of colon cancer often begin as a tiny mass of cells called polyps that grow inside the colon or rectum. 

The polyps are not cancerous but can change into cancers with time. Most of the time, these polyps don’t show signs, so you should go for screening tests regularly. This will help detect the polyps in the digestive system and get advice on the correct treatment.

Removing the polyps will help prevent colorectal cancer. People who have colorectal cancer will show some signs in the early stages. The symptoms of colon cancer will appear after a lab test, and the disease will be easily controlled through treatments. These treatments include surgery or radiation therapy. 

But most of the time a major question arises what are signs of colon cancer. Don’t worry we will answer all your questions in this blog. 

Early detection is the key. That’s why regular screening is recommended. In this article, we will discuss in detail everything about colorectal cancer, including the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment.


What is Colorectal Cancer and Its Stages?

Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the digestive system and mainly starts from the rectum or colon. The early signs of colon cancer are the development of polyps in the colon and rectum, which can become cancerous if not removed.

There are different stages of colorectal cancer. Stage 0 is early cancer, followed by stage 1 up all the way to stage 4. The lower the number, the less the disease has spread. For instance, stage 4 means that cancer has spread to most parts of the body, and the chances of recovering are almost zero. 

Although every person’s experience with cancer is unique, cancer with the same stages tends to possess the same outlook and is usually treated the same.

ALSO READ: Butt Rashes: Know The Causes, Symptoms, Preventions, and Treatments

Symptoms Of Colon Cancer in Women

Colon cancer starts in the colon or rectum. But what are signs of colon cancer to look out for? In most cases, colon cancer doesn’t show symptoms. But, some common early signs may show you’re likely to have the condition. Let’s see the colorectal cancer symptoms below;

1. Abdominal Pains or Tenderness in the Lower Abdomen

Abdominal pains and tenderness in your lower abdomen can be among the early signs of colon cancer, though it can also be a result of other conditions. In most cases, you will experience persistent pain in your lower abdomen, which doesn’t go away quickly. 

In colorectal cancer, pain in the abdomen occurs because of a cancerous tumor that grows in the rectum or colon. The tumor causes pressure on the organs and tissues, which results in discomfort in the abdomen. 

2. Blood in Stool

Also known as rectal bleeding, blood in stool can be alarming. As one of the major colorectal cancer symptoms, this symptom can only be confirmed through proper medical assessments. 

Colorectal cancer happens in the colon and rectum, and it’s likely to cause bleeding in the digestive tract, which might be passed in the stool, thus resulting in blood in the stool or changes in its color. In addition, the tumors may erode the rectum or colon lining, which can cause bleeding. The bleeding can then be detected in stools.

3. Changes in bowel habits 

Experiencing persistent changes in the bowel habits can be a sign of colon cancer. Even though other factors like dietary can cause these changes, they may also indicate an underlying, serious condition like colorectal cancer. 

These changes include persistent constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. This can be a red flag for colon cancer. Normally, colorectal cancer causes partial obstruction, which results in constipation. It can also accelerate the bowel movement, which leads to diarrhea.

4. Constant fatigue

This is one of the most common symptoms of colon cancer in women. You may also feel weak all the time. Colon cancer causes chronic bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract that leads to anemia. Anemia comes as a result of a few blood cells in the blood, which makes one feel weak, tired, and dizzy. 

As the condition advances, the absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract may also be affected. This can result in insufficient vitamins and minerals in the body, thus causing weakness.

5. Unexplained Weight Loss

Just like other medical conditions, colon cancer will lead to loss of appetite, which reduces food intake. This will, in turn, lead to weight loss with time. Advanced colon cancer will also affect nutrient absorption, which results in deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.

If these colorectal cancer symptoms last for weeks or become severe, you should consult your doctor for a proper checkup. Colorectal cancer can happen to even younger people who aren’t recommended for screening. 

Therefore, any person who experiences these colorectal cancer symptoms should visit their doctor. The doctor may do an exam and text to know the underlying cause through diagnosis. Make sure you talk to your doctor about these symptoms.

Some Causes of Colon Cancer

After understanding the symptoms of colon cancer, let’s know more about the causes. Colon cancer happens when the normal body cells in the rectum or colon undergo genetic mutations, causing the cells to grow uncontrollably, thereby forming tumors. Though the exact cause of genetic mutations is unknown, various factors can increase the likelihood of colon cancer. These are some colon cancer causes.

  • Age: Colon cancer is common in older people. Most people diagnosed with the disease are aged 50 years and above. Even though the risk of colon cancer rises with age, it can still occur at any age, though rare.
  • Family history and genes: Certain genetic syndromes or family history of colorectal cancer can highly increase the risk of getting the disease. 
  • Diet: Consuming red or processed meats and low-fiber foods is associated with increased risks of developing the disease. Sugary drinks and alcohol also contribute to colon cancers.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of exercise and excess body fats can highly contribute to inflammation and metabolic changes that can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol: Taking alcohol in large amounts more than moderate amounts can also increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.


Colorectal cancer affects all people and is normally diagnosed around 50 years of age. Though it can be prevented, ultimate care is mandatory. Being cautious of what you eat and staying healthy is the best way to prevent this condition from developing. In case you notice the symptoms of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor immediately to get tested through screening tests.