Aside from skin cancer, colon cancer is the 3rd most widespread type of cancer in the USA. About 140 000 people will be diagnosed with the disease by the end of 2016. Although colon cancer is common, people often wait until it becomes too late, which is why you need to learn how to recognize the symptoms.
Here are the most ignored symptoms of colorectal cancer you should be aware of:
Abdominal cramps are definitely the most overlooked colorectal cancer symptom. They’re also a symptom of numerous other non-life-threatening conditions, which is why they’re often ignored. However, intense stomach cramps that won’t go away for a while must not be dismissed and should be checked by a doctor.
Fatigue is a common problem in these modern days, but constant fatigue even when you’re sleeping enough and having a balanced diet may be a sign of colorectal cancer. The problem is caused by cancer cells as they are using the body’s energy and cause blood loss.
-Sudden weight loss
A significant decrease in weight can be caused by colon cancer. Unexplained weight loss is described as unintentional weight loss by 5% or more in a period of 6 months or less. The sudden weight loss occurs due to the cancer cells – they use your energy and make the immune system work harder to prevent the cancer from spreading. All of this leads to abnormal energy expenditure and weight loss. In cases of colon cancer, a tumor might be blocking the colon as well, resulting in irregular bowel movement and severe weight loss.
-Irregular bowel movement
No one is really paying special attention to their bowel movements, but their timing, consistency and appearance can indicate various health problems. Colon polyps are small bunches of cells that can become cancerous and affect your bowel movements. If they turn into tumors, they will affect the function of your large intestine which will reflect in your stool. If they’re not caused by other factors, changes in your stool may be a sign of colon cancer.
If you see blood in your stool, it is a sign of rectal bleeding which is probably caused by colon or rectal cancer. Take this symptom seriously and visit your doctor immediately.
-Lowering the risk of colorectal cancer
Changing your lifestyle is the best way to lower your chances of developing colorectal cancer.
-Eat more fruit, vegetables and grains
A diet rich in fresh fruit, veggies and grains will certainly lower the risk of this type of cancer, while a diet rich in red and processed meat has been linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Staying active and keeping in shape is vital for reducing the risk of any type of cancer.
Smoking is an awful habit that has also been linked to increased risk of colorectal and other types of cancer.
-Regulate your weight
Being obese or overweight will increase the risk of colon cancer and your chances of dying. The extra pounds weaken your organism and make it more susceptible to tumors and cancer.
Don’t be a heavy drinker – too much alcohol has been linked to increased risk of colon cancer. Limit the amount of alcohol to 2 drinks per day and you should be fine.