Arild Nesbakken MD
Recently updated 26.04.2012
Oslo University Hospital
Symptoms of colon and rectum cancer
- Blood in the stools. This is always an alarming symptom and must be immediately examined.
- Fresh red, externally on the feces (low source of the bleeding)
- Darker red mixed with the stools (source of bleeding in the colon)
- Occult (often from the oral part of the colon)
- Bleeding anaemia
- Change of bowel habits. Changing constipation/ loose stools is frequent in cancer of colon. In 15-20% complete obstruction is due to narrowing of the bowel lumen. In rectal cancer frequent, loose stools and imperative defecation is typical for cancer of a certain size.
- Pains, often colicy with exacerbation after meal is often seen when the bowel lumen is much reduced. This is most frequently seen in cancers located close to the small/large bowel transition zone.
- Palpable tumor in the abdomen may be identified in slim patients.
- Weight reduction, reduced general condition can be seen in advanced cases, especially in metastatic disease.
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