What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Burazin/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, unexplained weight loss, weakness or fatigue, the feeling that one’s bowels do not completely empty and notable changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea or a change in consistency of stools. Many people in the early stages of colon cancer experience no symptoms.

WebMD also lists long patches of blood in or on the stool, pencil-thin stools and pelvic pain as common symptoms of colon cancer. WebMD advises anyone who sees blood in his stool, has had a change in bowel habits or has experienced fatigue along with abdominal pain and weight loss to see a doctor as soon as possible. This also holds true if a person has been diagnosed with anemia, since colon cancer can cause bleeding in the large intestine, which contributes to the disorder.

Typical treatment options for colon cancer include surgery to remove early stage types of cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. If the patient’s health is poor, surgery may be considered for more advanced stages of the disease. Radiation therapy is another common tool used to stop colon cancer but is rarely used in the early stages of the disease. Chemotherapy is another option but is usually used when the cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes.