Colorectal Cancer Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer

Most people with early colon cancer don't have symptoms. The symptoms listed below are more often seen with more advanced disease:

  • 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 that you did not expect

Most of these symptoms 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: 08/15/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014