Cancer of the Colon
People who have a history of rectal, breast, or ovarian cancer may be at increased risk for cancer of the colon. Those with familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer may also be at risk. However, just because a person has risk factors, it does not mean they will necessarily get colon cancer.
Symptoms do not always appear in the early stages. Later on, colon cancer may cause:
- Blood in the stool (either bright red or very dark)
- Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Stools that are narrower than usual
- Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps.
Because these signs are not limited to colon cancer, your healthcare provider will conduct certain tests to determine the cause.
(Click Colon Cancer to learn what tests are used to make a diagnosis, how this condition is characterized by stage, and available treatment options.)