When you are 50 or over, there are some medical procedures that you need to do, including colon cancer screening. While colon cancer is not uncommon among people over 50, many people tend to skip this part until it is too late. This can be because people do not want to go through the procedure (which some thing as embarrassing), or because colon cancer signs are something that many can pass as regular bowel conditions.
Colon Cancer Signs and Symptoms to Know
Early signs of colon cancer may get confused with harmless bowel irregularities. However, if you are already 50 or more, having family member who suffers from the same disease, or having a condition called Familial Adenomatus Polyposis, you should be aware of signs like these:
- Changes in bowel habits. If you suddenly experience many irregularities in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, you should be aware of your colon condition, especially if they do not go even after you do healthy diet or consume medicine.
- Bloating and gas almost in daily basis. You may experience it after consuming quite heavy meal or gassy foods/drinks such as milk, beans and soda, but if the condition happens almost every day even if you do not eat too much, be aware.
- Bloody, sometimes ribbon-like stool. Bloody stool can indicate many things, not just colon cancer. However, if it is accompanied by long, ribbon-like stool, this may indicate that there is tumor growth in your colon, which obstructs the passage for the stool and creates the shape.
- Stomach pain. While it is not always a sign of colon cancer, unusual stomach pain can indicate serious problem. If this happens often, you may want to take note of the location, the feeling, and intensity, so the doctor can make better diagnosis.
- Nausea, tiredness, and vomiting. These are ambiguous colon cancer symptoms, since they can be associated with many conditions. However, when they occur together with many or all the conditions previously mentioned, you may want to discuss it with the doctor.
As you can see, most of the early colon cancer signs are ambiguous, but you must be aware and go see the doctor if they happen frequently and at the same time.
Reason to Have Colon Cancer Screening
If you have all or some of those conditions, you need to consider colonoscopy. The benefit of this screening is that you can understand your colon’s condition before it grows into cancer. You can go through simpler treatment procedure to get your colon back into its healthy condition, instead of waiting until it grows into cancer. Also, most of insurance companies nowadays cover preventive medical procedures, including colonoscopy, so there is no reason why you should skip this screening test.
Colon cancer can present ambiguous signs and symptoms when it is at early stage, but with early screening, you can prevent your condition to grow into cancer. Even if you do not have colon cancer, you can feel at ease, knowing that your condition is great.