Each year, approximately 136,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States (excluding skin cancers). Fortunately, colon cancer is one of the most treatable and often curable types of cancer—if it is diagnosed and treated early. It is important to get regular screenings so your physician can diagnose and remove any colorectal polyps (growths) before they have a chance to turn cancerous.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, occurs when a malignant tumor develops in your large intestine. It starts as a small growth or polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Thankfully, most polyps do not become cancer, but it is important to get regular colon health screenings to avoid a possible diagnosis of cancer.
Common colon cancer symptoms
Infections, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease may all mimic early colon cancer symptoms. Despite this, you should still seek medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms and are unsure of the root cause:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unintentional weight loss
- Abdominal bloating, cramping or pain
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- A feeling that your bowel is not emptying completely
- Dark stools (usually indicates blood in the stool)
- Narrow stools
- Rectal bleeding
It’s important to note that, in some cases, colon cancer may not present any noticeable symptoms until it has spread to nearby tissues and organs. It’s vital to get regular screenings that allow your doctor to detect any abnormal growths and remove them. This will help reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer in the future.
For skilled colon cancer treatment in East Texas, contact HOPE Cancer Center of East Texas at 903-617-5293. Our experienced cancer specialists are dedicated to providing the highest quality care for those suffering from cancer and blood disorders in a compassionate and individualized environment.