Cancer Symptoms, Signs and Treatment
of cancer which originates in the colon or large intestine is generally referred to as bowel
cancer. Bowel cancer can also include the rectum as
well. Bowel cancer can affect a great many people and if left
undetected can be very serious and life threatening. So it is
very important to understand and be aware of the important bowel cancer symptoms and signs.
Bowel cancer is a
progressive disease which can affect both men and women. It tends
to be more common in people who are over 50. In addition those who
eat a low fiber diet, have chronic illnesses of the colon, and an inactive lifestyle tends to be at greater risk
for developing this type of cancer.
So here are some important bowel cancer symptoms and
signs which people should be aware of and alerted to:
If cancer develops in the bowel and
grows to a larger tumor, it can interfere with the normal bowel movement. If you experience difficulty
is making regular bowel movements, this may be a sign of bowel cancer. And it may also be caused by
simple constipation. But it is better to be alerted to it rather than ignore persistent
An incomplete bowel movement may
also be of concern. In this case the person feels like they have not been able to evacuate their bowels
completely. This may also be due to the growth of a tumor in the bowels which restrict the movement of
waste material out of the body.
Diarrhea is another symptom and
warning sign of bowel cancer. Difficulties in having regular bowel movements may contribute to the
incidence of diarrhea. This problem is not as common as constipation but it should nevertheless be
Blood in the stool is of concern. If
a tumor grows in the bowel, it can eventually rupture and bleed. So be aware of the presence of dark
red or bright red stools. This should definitely be checked out further.
The shape of the stool can also
change with the onset of bowel cancer. It can become very thin and pencil like.
Be alert to changes which can cause
indigestion, bloating or stomach cramps.
Jaundice or yellowed skin can be a
typical symptom of bowel cancer. This tends to occur if the cancer has spread to other organs such as
the liver. This is a very serious situation so get it checked out immediately.
Anemia is another problem. If the
tumor bleeds excessively, the loss of blood can create anemia. So the person may tire easily and feel
Unexplained weight loss. If a person
is eating regularly but losing weight for no good reason, this is indicative of a bigger problem. It
may not be directly related to bowel cancer but possibly another form of cancer. Either way it may be
serious and should be further investigated.
A persistent fever which does not
abate may indicate the presence of some type of cancer.
If any of these symptoms
cause concern, they should be checked out further. Doctors can perform several tests to diagnose and confirm the
presence of this type of cancer. If it has developed and remained localized, very effective and noninvasive
surgical treatments can be used to remove the tumor and eliminate the cancerous cells and tissues.
If the cancer has become
more widespread than more invasive surgical techniques may be necessary combined with other treatments such as
chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This can help to eliminate as
much of the cancerous cells and tissues as possible. If the cancer
has spread to other organs, effective treatment is much more difficult. The emphasis will be on controlling the spread of cancer and provide the
patient with the best quality of life for the longest period possible.