3. Dont Die of Embarrassment There may be blood in stool, a change in bowel habits, diarrhea or a change in weight, experts from the NIH noted. Experts from Dana Farber added, A month or more narrowing of the stools, straining, change in stool shape are all symptoms of bowel problems. As many of our tweeters noted, people often ignore these symptoms or are too embarrassed to talk to the doctor about them. Here again, our chatters said to get over it. Get your butt to the doctor, Couric tweeted this comment was retweeted more than a dozen times. As Besser pointed out, however, other than polyps there may be no other symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Thats why its so important to have regular check-ups and get screened on a schedule set by you and your doctor. 4. Know the Risks Age is an important risk factor. Colon and rectal cancers most often strike people over the age of 50, but the disease can strike at any age. Although anyone can get colorectal cancer, its deadliest for minorities, because theyre less likely to get tested or seek treatment, the experts from the Colon Cancer Alliance said. If someone in your family has had colon cancer, this increases your risk too.