Colorectal cancer, namely colon cancer, numbers have seen a spike recently to become the third most prevalent cancer. Many people aren’t diagnosed with colon cancer until it’s in the end stages, but there are some subtle symptoms to help you diagnose this cancer earlier. You don’t want to ignore any of these 10 signs that may be symptoms of colorectal cancer.

10. Cramps

Cramping is a common— and normal— part of life. However, sometimes cramps can mean something more serious than tummy troubles or that time of the month, ladies. Don’t fret too much if you find yourself with cramping, but do pay attention to other signs as well to rule out colon cancer. Especially if the cramping is more intense than usual and long-lasting as those could be signs of cancer.

9. Losing A Noticeable Amount Of Weight

Losing a noticeable and unexpected amount of weight in a short period of time may be a sign of cancer. An unexplained and sudden loss of weight typically means losing 5% of your body weight within six months. Cancer uses energy, and not only does this result in fatigue, but it also results in losing weight as your body expends that energy. For colon cancer in particular, tumors may block the colon, which may lead to sudden weight loss.

8. Fatigue

Fatigue happens to the best of us, and isn’t something to be worried about every now and then. If you’re constantly feeling fatigued despite getting a good night’s rest, then you may want to consult your doctor for a cancer screening. Cancer uses up the body’s energy and can cause blood loss, which are two things that will lead to fatigue.

7. Being Constipated For Extended Periods Of Time

Everyone suffers constipation once in awhile, however, you should consult your doctor if it persists for weeks at a time. Studies suggest a correlation between colorectal cancers and constipation, and you should seek medical advice instead of taking over-the-counter medications if constipation lasts two weeks or more.

6. Irregular Bowel Movements

In some cases, colon cancer is to blame for a change in bowel movements. For example, loose, watery stools, diarrhea, or constipation may all be signs of colorectal cancer if nothing else is causing these changes.

5. Lower Abdominal Pain

You should inform your doctor if you suffer from low abdominal pain and tenderness. Not only can this be a sign of cancer, but it also may be a sign that cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

4. Blood In Bowel Movements

It’s important to discuss blood in your stool with your doctor. Some people don’t notice bloody stool, or feel too embarrassed to discuss it, but it may be a sign of colorectal cancer.

3. Sudden Urge For Bowel Movements

Feeling a frequent or urgent urge to have a bowel movement isn’t normal and should not be ignored. Having the urgency to make a bowel movement, but not being able to pass stool is another indication of colorectal cancers.

2. Painful Gas Or Bloating

While occasion bloating and gas is completely normal, persistent and extremely painful bloating is not. If you’re constantly suffering from intense gas and bloating, it may be a sign to bring it to your doctor’s attention.

1. Red Blood Cell Anemia

Colon cancer decreases the red blood cell count, which is known as “anemia.” Watch for symptoms such as pale skin, dizziness, cold hands or feet, or irregularly fast heartbeat. A bleeding tumor may be the cause of this anemia, and it should be discussed with your doctor immediately.

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