What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer (e.g., colon cancer) is a highly treatable and often curable disease if it is diagnosed early. In March 2014, the American Cancer Society reported a 30 percent decrease in colon cancer rates in the United States in the last 10 years among adults aged 50 and older. This decrease is attributed to a widespread increase in colorectal cancer screening and colonoscopy procedures. However, there’s still a long way to go, as approximately 1 in 3 people are not up to date with screening for colorectal cancer in the U.S.

The skilled physicians at Alpha Med Physicians Group want to help raise awareness about the importance of early screenings for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. men and women combined, however, 60 percent of cases are preventable with regular screenings.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer, occurs when malignant tumors develop in the inner wall of the large intestine. It can often occur without any signs or symptoms. One of the earliest signs of colorectal cancer may be bleeding or blood in the stool, which can only be found during chemical testing of the stool.

What are the early signs of colon cancer?

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, we recommend visiting your primary care physician so the cause can be diagnosed and treated:

  • A feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than 48-72 hours
    (e.g., diarrhea, constipation)
  • Abdominal bloating, cramping or pain
  • Dark stools, which may indicate blood in the stool
  • General weakness or fatigue
  • Narrowing of the stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unintentional and sudden weight loss

For skilled colorectal cancer doctors in Tinley Park, Homewood and Palos Heights, Illinois, contact Alpha Med Physicians Group at 708-342-1900. Our cancer care specialists have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.