What Are Some Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Some symptoms of colon cancer include weight loss, diarrhea, blood stains in stool and abdominal pain. If detected in the early stages, colon cancer can be cured completely, notes MedlinePlus.

Like the name suggests, colon cancer mainly affects the large intestine. Individuals with inflammatory intestinal conditions are at a greater risk of developing this condition. Other risk factors associated with colon cancer include age, a family history of the condition, a low-fiber, high-fat diet and being of African-American ethnicity.

Individuals with colon cancer are likely to experience a change in their bowel movements such as developing diarrhea, constipation or both intermittently. They are likely to feel tired most of the time and lose weight. Other symptoms that may develop include continuous abdominal discomfort involving gas or pain and a feeling that they do not empty their bowel completely.

To diagnose colon cancer, doctors begin by recording patient history. A scope may be used to examine the colon. Imaging tests may equally be used to ascertain the condition, notes Mayo Clinic. Surgery is the main treatment option used to deal with colon cancer in its early stages, but other treatment options available to patients include targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

It is generally easier to treat colon cancer before it has had the chance to spread, states the ACS. Screening can detect pre-cancerous polyps before symptoms have a chance to develop, and the growths can be removed. How often a person is screened for colon cancer depends on the type of test being performed but is usually every five or 10 years.