Previously, you weren’t advised to screen until you were 50 or older. Now, however, the age group of 45-49 has been advised to screen themselves for colon cancer.
Why? Rising rates of colon cancer among those below 50, to the tune of 50 percent.
The answer, of course, is to remain vigilant to the signs. Low risk factors give you the clear to not worry in the absence of symptoms.
But the fact is, anyone can get colon cancer. And just because you’re low risk factor doesn’t mean that you should ignore evidence staring you in the face.
So, what are some signs of colon cancer to look out for?
1. More Than Anything, Watch out for Blood in Your Stool
If you’ve got blood in your stool, it’s definitely something to be vigilant about.
What causes it? If you’ve got a tumor in your colon, when you’re passing stool, it can tear up the tumor. The tumor bleeds, and it appears in your stool.
Bright red blood in your toilet paper? Actually–that’s not something to be as worried about. That’s probably just hemorrhoids.
2. If You’ve Got Abdominal Pain, That Can Be Colon Cancer
A lot of things can cause abdominal pain. But of course, you have to put things in context. It’s not just the appearance of one symptom, but the appearance of a multitude of symptoms. If you’ve got blood in your stool at the same time that you’ve got abdominal pain, for example, that can be worrying.
A tumor could affect your digestion by causing colon inflammation. Hence bowel pains, feelings of fullness, and general blockage.
Thus, you might also be experiencing constipation.
3. Night Sweating!
Another symptom to look out for is night sweating. This is a general cancer symptom.
What causes the night sweating? Activity in your immune system. This can causes a fever — which leads you to sweat to cool down your body.
This is a general systemic response as opposed to a localized response. Hence, if you’re experiencing any of the localized symptoms above and you’re experiencing night sweats, then that’s an extra reason to worry.
4. Thin Stool Is Another Sign
If you’re stool is coming out thinner than usual, and also coming out darker than usual (which could be a sign of blood)–well, that’s another reason to be worried. It indicates that a polyp or a tumor might be causing blockages.
Now, if that’s normal for you–then perhaps you shouldn’t worry. Some individuals have thin stools. But what’s worrisome is changes in one’s stool.
Which applies to symptoms above as well. Some individuals may just be prone to sweating at night. Alone, it’s not an indication of cancer. It’s about knowing one’s baseline and being able to tell when something is right or wrong.
5. Sudden Weight Loss
Here’s another big one that can be caused by digestion issues. If you’re not able to fully digest meals, or you’re losing appetite, you might be losing weight–and if you’re not trying, that can be a big deal.
Watch out for sudden weight loss.
Here’s an extremely general symptom that really relies on you knowing your baseline. While everything in the world can cause fatigue, from the flu to stress, you really need to be able to tell when something just isn’t right.
This really comes down to trusting yourself and trusting that you know your body.
If you’re experiencing fatigue in conjunction with many of the above symptoms–well, it might just be time to talk to a doctor to see if you have colon cancer.
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Want to know more about Colon Cancer symptoms? Call Gentle Wellness Center today to schedule a consultation.