The third most common cancer diagnosed both in men and women in the United States is colorectal cancer. I suggest you to read this article in order to see what kind of symptoms show that you have colorectal cancer. If by any chance you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you should definitely consult your doctor. Probably it’s nothing serious, however it’s worth checking it out just for your peace of mind. But before discussing Signs and Symptoms of Bowel Cancer, it’s also important to which attribute to developing this disease:
Family History – There is an evidence that colorectal cancer is genetically inherited. NHS website published that around 20% of people who develop bowel cancer have a close relative (brother, sister, mother or father) or a second-degree relative (grand parent, aunt, etc.) who have also had bowel cancer.
Diet- We all know that diet is very important factor for our health. Consuming red and processed meat can increase the risks of developing bowel cancer. If you want to prevent any kind of disease, you should maintain a healthy diet, low in saturated fat and high in fiber. It will also help you reduce the chances of getting a bowel cancer.
Inactivity – Exercising is also very important factor in leading a healthy life, so those who are not physically active are more likely to develop bowel cancer.
Obesity – Obese man and women have an increased risk of developing bowel cancer as opposed to those with healthy weight and healthy lifestyle. If you want to reduce in weight, you can start implementing these 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.
Smoking- Smokers have an increased chance of developing bowel cancer as well as many other types of cancer and heart disease.
Digestive Disorders – People with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop bowel cancer.
Genetic Conditions – There are certain inherited conditions that can cause bowel cancer like hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome, asfamilial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), and more.
Alcohol – According to a major study called the EPIC study, those who drink alcohol are at greater risk of getting a bowel cancer. The study showed that even small amounts of alcohol can put you at an increased risk of developing bowel cancer. If a person drinks two units of alcohol per day, the risk of bowel cancer increases by 8%.
Type 2 Diabetes – Those who have type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop bowel cancer. Both diabetes and bowel cancer have some of the same risk factors such as excess weight.
Racial and Ethnic Background – Among all other racial groups in U.S., African Americans are at greater risk of developing bowel cancer. However, high chances of developing this type of cancer have the Jews of Easterns European descent (Ashkenazi Jewa)
Previous Treatment for Cancer – according to many studies, men who survive prostate and testicular cancer are more likely to develop bowel cancer due to the side effects of the cancer treatment they receive.
Night Shift Work – according to one study, people who work in night shifts at least three times a month for at least 15 years, are at greater risk to develop bowel cancer. In order to confirm this, more research needs to be carried out.
Signs and Symptoms of Bowel Cancer:
Many people at some point experience constipation or diarrhea, but you don’t need to worry unless these symptoms are persistent or accompanied by more specific signs of bowel cancer such as rectal bleeding or bloody stools.
- Rectal bleeding
According to an article published in the July 2009 issue of “BMC Medicine: “Bleeding from the rectum occurs in more than half of people with colon cancer.” If you notice your stool mixed with bright red blood on the toilet paper, immediately visit your doctor. The blood may come after a painful bowel movement.
- Changes in Stools
Bowel cancer causes bleeding which can result in very dark stool, or even marron and sticky, so if you notice symptoms like this, consult your doctor. Between these stools, you may experience normal bowel movements. You may also notice your stool becoming very narrow or ribbon-like, and the stool may only be as wide in diameter as a pen.
- Trouble Passing Stool
If you experience a feeling of not completely passing a stool or an urgent need to have a bowel movement and then you realize that there is no stool to be passed, it can be a sign of bowel cancer.
- Blood in Stools
If you find blood mixed with your stool, this may be a sign of bowel cancer. If you notice dark, blood or bright red mixed with mucus, you must immediately consult with your health care provider. They will send off a stool sample for a laboratory analysis called a fecal occult blood test.
Another symptom of bowel cancer is persistent diarrhea. According to the “BMC Medicine” article, more than 1 in 5 people with colon cancer will experience diarrhea.
- Abdominal Pain
If you experience some abdominal discomforts from time to time, it is normal. However, if you constantly suffer from cramping, gas and bloating, then you could be more likely to develop bowel cancer. I suggest you to go and see your doctor for a consultation.
- Weight Loss
If you notice that you are constantly loosing in weight, while you are eating regularly, it could mean that you are developing bowel cancer. According to the July 2009, “BMC Medicine” article, more than a third of people with bowel cancer experience unexplained weight loss.
- Nausea and Vomiting
It is normal in some point of our lives if we experience nausea and vomiting, especially if we are ill. However, if you are experiencing persistent nausea and vomiting for nor apparent reason, it might be a symptom of colon cancer.
Chronic or ongoing constipation may be a symptom of developing a bowel cancer.
Anemia is a shortage of red blood cells in the blood which can be caused by bowel cancer. The symptoms of anemia are weakness, feeling tired all the time, short of breath and your skin may look pale.
Since early detection is the key to the best possible outcome, go see your doctor immediately you experience some of the abovementioned symptoms.