How Do You Know If You Have Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer symptoms include a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation as well as a change in the consistency of an individual’s stool, explains Mayo Clinic. Individuals with any colon cancer symptoms should consult their doctors, and individuals above the age of 50 should schedule regular screenings.

Individuals at heightened risk of colon cancer, including those with family members stricken by the disease, should begin earlier or more frequent screenings, notes Mayo Clinic. Screenings are important because early detection dramatically improves a patient’s prognosis.

Other key signs of colon cancer include rectal bleeding or blood in an individual’s stool, ongoing abdominal discomfort, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, fatigue and inexplicable weight loss. Many of these symptoms are also caused by common, non-life threatening illnesses such as irritable bowel snydrome and hemorrhoids, cautions individuals should be especially attentive to severe and long-lasting symptoms, as well as those that change with time.