The amount of people diagnosed with colon cancer continues to rise, being the third most common type of cancer in the US. About 140,000 people were estimated to have colon or rectal cancer in 2016. Usually the manifestation of this cruel disease is noticed when the it’s in its advanced stage.
Top 5 overlooked symptoms of colon cancer
Abdominal cramps are sign of numerous ailments, but they are still one of the most commonly overlooked colorectal cancer symptoms.
Do not worry if you are dealing with stomachache, but if your cramps last for too long, you may be having a serious disease like colorectal cancer.
Many people deal with fatigue, and it may be more common than insomnia.
However, constant fatigue is something you should never ignore. If you eat healthy and sleep well, and you still deal with fatigue, you have a good reason to consult your doctor. Patients with colon cancer deal with fatigue because it either uses the body’s energy or causes loss of blood.
- Sudden weight loss
Cancer in general causes sudden and unexplained weight loss. This applies to colon cancer, too. Unexplained weight loss is the loss of 5 percent of total body weight within half a year.
So, if you weigh 150 pounds and you lose 7 and a half pounds within 6 months, your weight loss can be considered as sudden and unexplained.
This happens because the cancer uses body’s energy, and the immune system has to works hard to prevent diseases. The patient loses weight because of the energy expenditure.
In cases of colon cancer, the tumor may block the colon, which affects the bowel movement and causes unexplained weight loss.
- Irregular bowel movement
Most people do not pay much attention to their bowel movement. What you do not know is that the timing, appearance, and consistency can tell pretty much about your health, including the development of colon cancer.
Colon polyps are small cells which affect the intestines when cancerous. The large intestine is mostly affected, and the patient experiences changes in the stool.
If the changes are not caused by other ailments, diarrhea, constipation, watery and loose stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer.
- Bloody stool
This is a rather worrying symptom, but people do not really talk about their condition.
If you notice blood in your stool or the water in the toilet is red, do the necessary tests immediately.
Reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
You can introduce a few changes in your lifestyle to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Here are a few of them:
- Eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains
Eating healthy will help you reduce the risk of colon cancer. Avoid red and processed meats.
- Exercise regularly
Regular workout also reduces the risk of colon cancer, so make sure you are physically active more often.
- Quit smoking
Smoking causes several types of cancers, which includes colon cancer as well.
- Limit your alcohol intake
Experts from the American Cancer Society say that excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of cancer. Limit your alcohol intake to two drinks a day.
- Control your weight
Obese people have a poor immune system, and they are more prone to developing numerous diseases, including colon cancer. This also increases the number of death cases caused by cancer, because an overweight body cannot respond properly and fight back.