What Are The Possible
Colon Cancer Symptoms

It is no surprise perhaps that people sometimes wonder if they may have colon cancer symptoms and need to know more about this variant of cancer that continues to affect more and more people every year.

Colon cancer symptoms indicating likely diagnosis of what is more generally referred to as colorectal cancer, because it may affect the colon and or the rectal areas, is the third most common form of cancer in developed countries such as the US and Canada. It is also the third leading cause of cancer-related death. Figures indicate that there are approximately three times as many colon cancer cases as there are incidences of cancer of the rectum.

In real terms, taking the United States as an example, more people will be suffering colon cancer symptoms with about 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer being diagnosed in the last year (2008 at the time of writing) and about 50,000 will have died from the disease during the same time period.Well on the way to US$300 million will be being poured into colon cancer and rectal cancer research this coming year. Yet, as with so many 'traditionally researched' medical topics it is commonly reported that 'no one really understands the causes of the disease'.

Of course there are plenty of theories about what may trigger the development of colon cancer and consequently cause colon cancer symptoms, and there is some useful advice that everyone should consider following to reduce the risk of becoming a colorectal cancer statistic. But for many people around the globe, their progress towards suffering the symptoms of colon cancer or rectal cancer will already be to advanced to stop them from receiving the damning diagnosis in this coming year.

Terrible though this diagnosis will be, or may have recently been for you, as any news that you have any kind of cancer is a traumatic event in itself and takes time to 'get your head around' and realize that in most cases there are many vital things you can and should do to preserve and remedy your health as quickly as possible (some useful resources also available at the bottom of this page).

Internal Environment & Colon Cancer Symptoms

Colon cancer symptoms may emerge quite slowly because the beginnings of a colorectal cancer tumor may start long before any noticeable symptoms occur. This is wy it is recommended that you seek regular screening particularly when you are over 50 years old. The age after which most diagnoses of colorectal cancers occur. This in itself indicates that colon cancer symptoms may be the indications that finally alert you to the damage that your system has suffered after some long-term, and perhaps unwitting abuse.

There is a growing body of opinion that the growth of cancer cells of any kind is the physical and biological reaction that ultimately takes place when the 'environment' has become inhospitable for normal cell growth. In effect when we make our bodies so 'toxic' that cells can no longer grow normally then one reaction that the biological system may have is to begin to exhibit aberrant behaviors such as developing tumors.

Some of these ideas may be challenging, and controversial, but it seems intuitively reasonable to suggest that if you maintain a polluted internal environment for long enough then your system is either simply going to 'stop functioning' (I.e. die) or to try to continue to exist by making its own changes. Sometimes the very changes become lethal to the rest of the body – in other words the formation of cancerous growths and the emergence of consequent colon cancer symptoms.

One area that human beings are prone to abuse terribly, without much thought, on a day to day basis is their digestive system. We tend to eat without consideration, a multitude of chemically adulterated foods and beverages. We consume a variety of synthetic ingredients that nature has never been an ally to and we expect our systems to bear it all and remain healthy.

We can in fact go on labouring under the impression that we are 'notionally healthy' for years, but all the while our internal environment is like a polluted minefield that is just simmering with bad bacteria, fermenting food waste, and chemical toxins. Eventually the much abused cellular structures begin to instigate their own defences. One way that a cell can begin to protect itself, say within an environment starved of oxygen and nutrients, it to begin to operate 'anaerobically' – or 'without oxygen'. Cells that begin to function this way may be 'interpreted' as being pre-cancerous and when a 'bunch' of such cells proliferates we have the foundations of a cancer tumour.

Naturally the way that colon cancer symptoms could be avoided, or at least the risk of suffering them could be reduced, is by doing all we can to refresh and reinvigorate our internal environment. This would require that we make conscious changes to a number of lifestyle and dietary habits, some of which are outlined elsewhere on this website.

Summary of Colon Cancer Symptoms

Here are some of the sorts of physical occurrences that COULD be indicative of colon cancer symptoms. What is important is to recognize that they may much more commonly be related to simpler and less serious conditions. But nonetheless all of these symptoms are 'signals' from your body that you need to find ways remedy the dysfunctional situation in order to try and re-establish better general health:

  • Constipation: It is a terribly common condition in today's developed world in particular and is almost entirely due to dietary imbalance and stress. You should at least be passing a decent fecal deposit a minimum of three times a week and daily would be better. In fact there is a simple argument to say that foe every meal there should be an equal need to pass faeces, so it would not be unreasonable for an efficient digestive system to require that you defecate after every meal (more or less!).

    Most people actually are far less 'regular' than this and the consistency and color of their stools caries enormously. Stools should be well formed moderately firm 'sausages' with good round cross section and a firm, fairly homogeneous, fibrous consistency. This would indicate a good level of hydration, proper digestive processes, and proper utilization or uptake of nutritional benefits of the food. Of course the food types consumed may cause day to day variations in color and consistency but a typical stool should be mid to chestnut brown.

    Small, hard balls or pellets, probably fairly dark brown in color and possible noticeable mucus are all signs of constipation. Constipation also tend to encourage 'forcing' or straining, which can lead to the development of piles, or hemorrhoids; the strangulated veins near, on or just inside the exit of the anus.

    Constipation can eventually also one of the colon cancer symptoms. Although foods leave the stomach as quite a sloppy mass, the liquids and nutrients are (hopefully) absorbed as it transits through the bowel, via the clever system of finger like structures called villi that coat the walls of the intestines. They also contribute to the 'peristaltic motion' that should gently cause food to move along the digestive tract. As it reaches the later part of the colon, the feces should have become quite solid and firm. When you are dehydrated it is possible that stools become too firm and become harder to move. But if a blockage – such as a tumor has begun to grow in the colon, or the rectal passage, it will also obstruct the movement of even less hard fecal masses and will then likely cause constipation.

    It is important to try and take action to overcome constipation if you are a sufferer, come what may, and usually the condition will respond to diligent healthful dietary modifications. But sometimes constipation will turn out to be a symptom of colorectal cancer.

  • Extruded Stools: Typically, as mentioned above feces, or stools should look quite firm and sausage shaped ion exit from the body. But if they are extruded or 'thin' and stringy looking they may have had to squeeze past an obstruction nearer the end of the bowel or in the rectum. This can therefore be one of the signs to look out for amongst the others that can be one of the rectal cancer or colon cancer symptoms. Whilst most folks probably do not study their own body waste too closely it can in fact be a good indicator that all is not well with the internal system, so should not be overlooked when assessing a possible health problem.

  • Pain and Cramps in the Stomach: When a tumour causes a blockage in the bwoel this can hold up feces, and gasses and these blockages can cause cramps or pain. In worst cases of such colon cancer symptoms a tumor may actually perforate the bowel which would cause considerable pain and require immediate hospitalization for treatment.

  • Blood in the Stool (Haematochexia): A tumor will occasionally bleed and this can lead to the evidence of blood being seen in the feces. When a tumour is further back in the colon the blood may be so little that it has dried out and become unnoticeable. A quantity of blood from as fa back as the stomach – if affected by digestive acids will appear black. But any blood from a tumor nearer to the rectum will still be more fluid and fresh and appear as a more typical red. Red blood in the stools can also come from bleeding piles - a burst haemorrhoid – either way this is one symptom that is best talked over with your doctor at an early opportunity.

  • Rapid or Unexplained Weight Loss: Whilst it may seem a blessing if you are overweight to suddenly begin to lose some girth, if there is no reason for this to be happening (I.e. you have not deliberately restricted your calories, or increase activity level) then it can be one of the symptoms of colon cancer. Sometimes a tumor may release chemicals that stimulate the metabolism which cause the body to burn calories faster leading to weight loss. This symptom can also, like other examples be indicative of other problems, so you should refer to your medical practitioner as soon as possible for advice.

  • Feeling Full or 'Needing to Go': If a tumor occurs towards the later part of the bowel or within the rectal area then it can be 'felt' internally like a stool might be felt and give a sense of having a the need to defecate. If the feeling of needing to go persist even though you may not pass anything (constipation aside!) it could be a sign or symptom of a colorectal tumor.

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Another of the colon cancer symptoms that can also be due to many far more likely and less worrying reasons. You may well be aware when a car-ride, or air-fligt has made you nauseous, or perhaps when something you ate or drank has upset you. But sometimes unexplained feeling of nausea and actual vomiting can, once again, be one of the symptoms of colon cancer.

  • Stomach Gas and Gaseous Bloating: If a tumor is developing in the colon or rectal passage it may not be especially large but could still temporarily obstruct faecal deposits which could sit there for a while and hold back gases making you feel bloated and ultimately 'windy'. Again such a symptom of colon cancer is the same kind of problem that could be stimulated by certain food or dietary changes so once more caution is advised in jumping to conclusions. If you have persistent gas and bloated feeling it is yet another thing to discuss with your doctor at an early opportunity.

  • Feeling Tired and Lacking Energy: The fact that tumours can bleed can contribute to gradual development of an anaemic condition. Loss of iron through blood looss can leave you feeling lethargic, listless and lacking in energy. This is one of the colon cancer symptoms that can easily go unnoticed, or put down to other issues. Today's lifestyle and stress leaves many people feeling tired and run-down and this again is exacerbated when diet is poor or based on too much processed food. But as tumors can take a long time to develop they can be bleeding steadily for some time so the symptoms of anemia can begin to affect a sufferer.

    But it must be Repeated:

    Almost all these symptoms are far more likely to be the result of far more common, and less serious causes rather than being symptoms of colon cancer. So it is imperative NOT to make yourself stressed or worried if you recognize one, two or more of these symptoms. Indeed your most important task, rather than attempting self diagnosis, is to see your medical adviser, explain your symptoms and ask about the possibility of relevant tests to be arranged as appropriate.

    And remember that PREVENTION is far more preferable than cure. The current state of medical knowledge and allopathic forms of treatments for colon cancer symptoms are crude and not always successful. They consist of the slash, poison and burn regimes of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and all of these can lead to numerous further side-effects and additional future health problems.

    If you can keep healthy and avoid the development of a pre-cancerous environment within your internal system it would be highly favourable. If you are still in a position to make these types of changes then you should check out the advice on our additional pages about healthy diet and lifetyle strategies.

    If you are seeking alternative approaches to dealing with colon cancer symptoms you should see this resource for comprehensive information: Natural cancer treatments that work.

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