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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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