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Most people with early colon cancer don't have symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may develop some of these signs or symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrow stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that doesn't go away after doing so
  • Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool (often, though, the stool will look normal)
  • Cramping or stomach pain
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia) on a lab test

Most of these problems are more often caused by something other than colorectal cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it's important to see a doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Last Medical Review: 10/15/2014
Last Revised: 02/26/2016