Colon Cancer Home > Colon Cancer Symptoms

In most cases of colon cancer, symptoms usually do not occur in the early stages of the disease. This is why screening for colon cancer is so important -- especially for people in their 50s and those at high risk for the disease. As the disease progresses, common symptoms of colon cancer may include blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort, unusually narrow stools, and a change in the frequency of bowel movements.

Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer: An Introduction

As with most cancers in their early, most treatable stages, there are usually no early signs or symptoms of colon cancer. That is why it is important to have regular screening tests to check for colon cancer -- even when you might not notice anything wrong.

Common Colon Cancer Symptoms

As colon cancer grows, symptoms may develop. Common colon cancer symptoms include:
  • A change in the frequency of bowel movements
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Either bright red or very dark blood in the stool
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • General abdominal discomfort (such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)
  • Weight loss with no known reason
  • Constantly feeling tired
  • Vomiting.
These symptoms may be caused by colon cancer, but they can also be the result of other conditions. Therefore, it is important to check with a doctor if you have any of these possible colon cancer symptoms. Don't wait to feel pain before visiting a doctor. Early colon cancer usually doesn't cause pain.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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