Each year, thousands of people in the United States die as a result of colorectal cancer. These deaths could have been prevented with proper screening. According to the American Cancer Society, all adults over the age of 50 should be receiving screenings on a regular basis. For those that are in a high risk category, such as those with family histories of colon or other cancers, screenings should be started earlier and may need to be performed with greater frequency.
It is important to understand the early warning signs of colorectal cancer so that you can be prepared to undertake the proper screenings. Colorectal cancer does not have to be fatal and it is easily treatable when it is discovered in the early stages. Regular colorectal cancer screenings are a vital step in the prevention and early diagnosis of colon cancer.
The early symptoms for colorectal cancer include:
– Most people go through periods of constipation due to diet or exercise changes, but those suffering from frequent bouts of chronic constipation may be experiencing some of the first warning signs that their colon may be experiencing some changes. If a patient is constipated for more than three days out of the week, a colorectal cancer screening can help rule out the reasons why this is occurring.
Blood in the Stool
– This is usually referred to as “occult blood,” due to its dark appearance. This should not be mistaken for the red blood that is a common side effect of anal fissures. The presence of occult blood in the stool can be very serious and it is vital to schedule a screening as soon as possible.
Chronic Nausea and Vomiting
– Although many sicknesses can have this symptom, patients that experience frequent nausea and vomiting should seek screening for cancer. While it may be attributed to something harmless, it is important to rule out colon cancer as the cause.
Sense of Fullness
– If you feel constantly full, this may be your body’s way of informing you that there is something blocking your colon. There are a few other medical conditions that share this symptom, but a colorectal cancer screening can help rule out the underlying issue.
Unfortunately, many symptoms of colon cancer go unnoticed. In order to increase your chances of successful treatment and survival, it is important to get regular colorectal cancer screenings.