Advanced Colon Cancer Symptoms
Overall, fewer than half of those polled identified shortness of breath as a warning sign of lung cancer, and only 39 percent a cough. Some respondents correctly identified more specific symptoms of concern, such as cough that gets worse or coughing up blood. The survey was conducted in 21 countries by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC). The findings are frightening, given that the disease kills nearly 160,000 Americans a year. Patients are often diagnosed at a very late stage when treatment is no longer an option, says Matthew Peters, MD, chair of GLCC, in the press release. If we can get patients diagnosed earlier, we can treat them and save lives. That is why being aware of the symptoms is so important. Lung Cancer Basics: What You Need to Know Warning Signs: When to See a Doctor Its tragically common for patients to ignore warnings of other types of cancer, adds Dale Shepard, MD, PhD, a cancer specialist in the department of solid tumor oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. Cancer can almost always be cured if its caught early, but all too often, people wait so long to see a doctor that the disease has spread to the point that its no longer curable. If you notice any of the following unexplained warning signs, dont delaymake the time to consult a doctor promptly. Unexplained weight loss. While most people would be happy to drop pounds without dieting, unexplained weight loss (of 10 or more pounds) or sudden loss of appetite are among the most common warning signs of cancer, says Dr. Shepard. This symptom is most likely to occur with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus or lung, reports the American Cancer Society (ACS). It may turn out not to be cancerthere are a number of other serious health conditions that may cause this symptom , including an overactive thyroid, diabetes, liver disease, and depression.
Changes in Bowel Habits Changes in bowel habits are the most common symptoms in both early and advanced colon cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Constipation with less than three bowel movements a week, diarrhea with loose bowel movements three times a day lasting more than three days, or constipation alternating with diarrhea are common advanced colon cancer symptoms. Diarrhea may also lead to dehydration when too much fluid is lost in the body. Pain and discomfort may accompany both constipation and diarrhea. If bowel habits do not become regular after over-the-counter treatments, increased fluids and increased fiber, contact the doctor. You Might Also Like Bowel Polyps Symptoms Bowel Obstruction According to the National Cancer Institute, colon cancer is a common cause of bowel obstruction that occurs when the tumor grows large enough to block the passage of waste materials. Motility, or the ability of the colon to push wastes out, may be limited if the tumor grows large enough to interfere with nerves. Not having a bowel movement or having very small bowel movements for a period of weeks, pain in the lower part of the abdomen, a swollen or distended abdomen, and vomiting may all indicate a bowel obstruction according to the National Cancer Institute. Pencil sized or ribbon like bowel movements may develop when the growing tumor mechanically blocks the colon and reshapes the stool. Bowel obstructions may be life threatening if not treated promptly. Bleeding and Anemia Colon cancer can cause bleeding that is bright or dark red, according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Bright red blood indicates current bleeding and dark red is usually seen with old blood that has been in the colon for a while.