Colorectal cancer | Signs and symptoms

Young woman doctor visiting older Black male patient at home

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer

The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, and symptoms are not always visible early on. This is why regular screenings with your healthcare provider are important.

Most cases begin in polyps, which are small growths inside the colon or rectum. Colon polyps are very common. Some polyps can turn into cancer. But if they are found early, usually through routine screening tests, they can be removed before they do.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually doesn't cause any symptoms. Symptoms occur later, when the cancer may be harder to treat. The most common symptoms include:

  • Blood in your stool or very dark stools.
  • A change in your bowel habits, such as having more frequent bowel movements or a feeling that your bowels aren't emptying completely.
  • Low energy (fatigue).
  • Pain in the belly or rectal pain.

Source: Healthwise