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Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

People with colorectal cancer often don't have symptoms right away. By the time symptoms start, the cancer may have grown or spread to other organs. This can make it harder to treat. This is why routine colorectal cancer screening is important. Screening is designed to help find and even remove precancerous polyps before they become cancer.

Symptoms can include:

  • A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that your bowel is not empty after a bowel movement.

  • Bright red or very dark blood in your stool

  • Constant tiredness

  • Stools that are thinner than normal, described as "pencil thin"

  • Ongoing gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Weakness

When to see your healthcare provider

These symptoms are also caused by many kinds of common health conditions. A healthcare provider will need to find out if your symptoms are caused by cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms for more than a few weeks or if they keep getting worse.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Sabrina Felson MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2023
© 2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.