What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Symptoms of colorectal cancer can vary among individuals. Some people experience no symptoms at all, especially in the early stages of the disease. In addition, colorectal cancer often develops from benign adenomatous intestinal polyps, which in themselves generally produce no symptoms.
If adenomatous intestinal polyps are not diagnosed and removed promptly, they can become cancerous, resulting in symptoms that may include:
A change in bowel movements or habits, such as ongoing diarrhea, narrow (thin) stool, constipation, or runny stool
A feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely
Abdominal discomfort or cramps
Bloating and gas
Rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, dark mucus in the stool, or pockets of blood in the stool
Unexpected weight loss
Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition
As colorectal cancer grows, the wall of the colon gets thicker and hardens, and the growing tumor can block the colon, causing intestinal obstruction or rupture of the intestinal wall and a life-threatening infection called peritonitis. Seek immediate medical attention (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms:
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that grows within the colon, also called the large intestine or large bowel. Cancer that grows in the last section of the colon, the rectum, is often called rectal cancer, and cancer that grows in other areas of the colon is often referred to as colon cancer. Colorectal cancer most ... Read more about colorectal cancer introduction
What causes colorectal cancer?
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known. However, research shows that multiple acquired changes to the genetic material in the cells lining the colon can lead to their uncontrolled growth and the formation of precancerous cells, which can eventually form polyps. The presence of adenomatous intestinal polyps that are not removed while still benign (not cancerous) significantly increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The initial event that alters the cells is not known in most cases, but some gene mutations that increase the risk of colorectal cancer can be inherited.... Read more about colorectal cancer causes
How is colorectal cancer treated?
The goal of the treatment of colorectal cancer is to permanently cure the cancer or to bring about a complete remission of the disease. Remission means that there is no longer any sign of cancer in the body, although cancer may recur or relapse later.... Read more about colorectal cancer treatments