Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms and Risk Factors

Colorectal cancer

is the term used for bowel cancer. These if left untreated even spread to other body organs and hence its very important to diagnose bowel cancer through the symptoms. This will help to cure this cancer with surgery and control its spread to other body organs as well.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer:

The symptom depends on the location in the bowel. Symptoms and signs for this cancer are divided into:

  1. Local symptoms

    : This is more likely if the tumor is near anus region. Others signs are:

    • Change in bowel habits
    • Incomplete defecation
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding in lower region
    • Passage of bright red color blood in stool
    • Increased presence of mucus in stool
    • Black stool with tarry appearance, If tumor is at the beginning of large bowel.
    • Large tumor which fills the entire lumen of bowel causes bowel obstruction, constipation, abdominal pain and distension along with vomiting.
  2. Metastatic

    symptoms are seen when the cancer has become large and can be felt in abdomen or can be noticed by doctors during physical examination. This when invades the other organs causes blood or air in urine or vaginal discharges.

  3. Constitutional Symptoms

    : When cancer affects the whole body constitutional symptoms are seen like:

    • Chronic bleeding
    • Iron deficiency and Anemia
    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Palpitation
    • Pale looking skin
    • Decreased appetite
    • Unexplained fever
    • Paraneoplastic syndromes like thrombosis

Risk Factors: Colorectal Cancer

In USA the risk of having this cancer is about 7% and this is due to the following risk factors:

  1. Age:

    This mostly happens in the age group of 60s and 70s. Before the age of 50s indicates family history of colon cancer.

  2. Polyps of colon


    These polyps may lead to colon cancer, but can be removed through colonoscopy.

  3. History of Cancer:

    People who have diagnosed with colon cancer earlier but have been treated successfully are at the risk of this cancer in future again.

  4. Heredity

    : Family history of this cancer specially in close relatives and before the age of 50 is mostly found. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) have shown 100% risk of having bowel cancer by the gae of 40,if left untreated.

These are the most highlighted risk factors leading to the above cancer.

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