What are the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Most colorectal cancers begin as a polyp (say: "pohl-ip"). At first, a polyp is a small, harmless growth in the wall of the colon. However, as a polyp gets larger, it can develop into a cancer that grows and spreads.
See your doctor if you have any of the following warning signs:
- Bleeding from your rectum
- Blood in your stool or in the toilet after you have a bowel movement
- A change in the shape or consistency of your stool (such as diarrhea or constipation lasting several weeks)
- Cramping pain in your lower stomach
- A feeling of discomfort or an urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need to have one
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Other conditions can cause these same symptoms. You should see your doctor to find what is causing your symptoms.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff