The signs and symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation and chronic stomach discomfort, according to Mayo Clinic. However, symptoms can vary depending on the extent of the condition. In many cases, individuals with colon cancer do not experience any symptoms of the condition in its early phases.
WebMD explains that additional signs of colon cancer can include darkened areas of blood that appear inside or on stool, bloating, thin stools and a sensation that stool has not completely been eliminated following a bowel movement. Blood in the stool and rectal area may be mistaken for hemorrhoids, but it is important for individuals to consult with a physician if they experience any potential symptoms of colon cancer to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
The majority of all colon cancers develop in the colon or rectal linings, according to MedlinePlus. When the cancer affects the colon and rectum, it is referred to as colorectal cancer. The risk for developing colon cancer is higher in individuals who are over the age of 60 and in individuals with a family history of the condition. Colon cancer is diagnosed through tests that detect blood in the feces, colonoscopy exams, blood tests and liver function tests. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.