There are some common signs and symptoms of colon cancer. And … then there are the not-so obvious. Especially when you’re dealing with colon and rectal cancer in young adults. Here are the common signs and symptoms of CRC:
- NO SYMPTOM AT ALL
- Diarrhea (that will not stop) that lasts for more than a few days
- Constipation (you can’t “go” to save your life) that lasts for more than a few days
- Unintended or unexplained weight loss (or weight gain)
- Narrow stools – poo looks pencil-thin
- Change in stools – poo just looks different, smells different
- Gas, bloating and cramps
- Weakness and fatigue – no energy at ALL
- Feeling like you need to go poo – and still feeling like you need to poo once you’ve gone
- Killer abdominal pain and discomfort
- Blood in stool (although not always visible.) Blood can be rectal bleeding, dark stools or blood on the stool, although the stool will look normal.
- Passing a large amount of blood
Please note: This is NOT to be taken as medical advice. Most of these symptoms are NOT colorectal cancer and are caused by other conditions like IBD, hemorrhoids, infection, etc.
But, know your body. If you’re seeing ANY of the following signs or symptoms, see a physician.
And if you get the run-around where they say you’re too young for a colonoscopy … show them a Colondar and DEMAND to be seen.
You’re Sure It’s Not Colon Cancer?
Although the symptoms of colon cancer can indicate other diseases, sometimes they’re pointing exactly to the cause –cancer. If you’ve been treated and symptoms still persist, make sure to keep looking for the culprit.
Over the years, here are some of the assumed diagnoses our Colondar models received before doctors discovered their colorectal cancer.
- Pregnancy pains
- Colitis or Crohn’s Disease
- Depression and psychiatric help
- Spastic colon
- Spiritual problems
- Gall bladder problems
- Low fiber or poor diet
- Working out too hard or too much
- “Female” problems
- Anal fissure
- “Just a tear”
- Food allergies
- Lactose intolerance
CRC in Young Adults
Colon and rectal cancer CAN happen to you if you’re under 50 years old. We’ve got at least 10 years of proof.
In fact, it can occur when you’re age 20. Or 32. Or 46. Or 13.
Although around only 10% of colorectal cancers occur in those under 50, the “under 50” crowd is the fast-growing demographic for new colon and rectal cancer cases; especially rectal cases.
You are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer if you have a few of these conditions:
If you’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease or other “gut stuff,” you could be at an increased risk for colon or rectal cancer.
FAP – Super Polyp Producers
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a genetic disorder that causes hundreds to thousands of polyps. The majority of those with FAP inherited the disorder from mom or dad.
Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC)
Patients with Lynch Syndrome carry a genetic mutation in the “spell check” genes that create a high risk for developing colorectal cancer (80%) within their lifetime, among other cancers.
Know your Family History
If you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer, you might be at an increased risk. Screening needs to begin five years earlier from the age of your family member’s diagnosis.
Family history typically involves first-degree relatives like moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. However, do not dismiss second-degree relatives’ history when examining cancer occurrence in your family.