Stomach cramps? It could be colon cancer

Stomach cramps and colon cancer, Health Network News

If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor

SUMMARY: Colorectal cancer can have very few symptoms in its early stages, but can have obvious symptoms later. The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month so this is a good time to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of colon cancer, especially if you are age 50 or older. (Colon cancer is more properly called “colorectal cancer”, because the diagnoses includes both cancers of the colon and cancers of the rectum.)

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

Early-stage symptoms

Colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps often have no symptoms in the early stages. This lack of symptoms is why regular screening tests are essential, especially for people age 50 and older: Fully 60% of all colorectal cancer deaths could have been avoided with proper screening.

Later-stage symptoms

Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • Blood in your stool when you have a bowel movement
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Stomach or abdominal pain or cramps that don’t go away

It is important to remember that there can be other causes for these symptoms besides cancer. Your doctor can determine what is causing them.

We encourage everyone 50 and older and anyone with symptoms to visit with your doctor to discuss colorectal cancer screenings. Colon cancer is highly treatable when caught early.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control, “What are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?”

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