Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer sometimes develops and provides no clues or signs that it is present until it has progressed far outside of the colon. Thankfully, however, colon cancer sometimes does give us “early warning clues” or signs indicating that a colon cancer is present. There are approximately 6 key symptoms and/or developments which may suggest to us that a person may have colon cancer. These symptoms or findings are as follows:
1. FATIGUE: Patients with colon cancer can sometimes lose a small amount of blood a little at a time over a long period of time and not realize it. The only symptom that that person may feel is a marked sense of fatigue and tiredness. The reason for the fatigue is because the ongoing chronic blood loss will result in a severe anemia which in turn results in a marked sense of fatigue and sometimes shortness of breath.
2. BLACK, TARRY STOOLS: Very dark stools – so dark that they remind us of tar or coffee grounds – may indicate that a person may have colon cancer. The reason for the dark colored stools is because there is blood hidden in the stool (see above).
3. THIN, SKINNY STOOLS:A third possible clue to suggest that someone may have colon/rectal cancer is the development of thin, skinny stools. These thin stools are sometimes described as “ribbon-like” stools. This clue is actually more related to a possible rectal cancer than a cancer higher up in the colon proper.
4. ABDOMINAL PAIN. Another important clue that may indicate that a colon cancer is present is the development of abdominal pain or lower rectal pain. This may be even more significant if that person reports that he or she strains very strongly in order to move his or her bowels.
5. MASS IN THE ABDOMEN: A fifth clue to suggest that someone may have colon cancer is if we find that a person has discovered a mass in his or her abdomen. They may come to us and mention that they have discovered this “lump” in their abdomen. If this happens, we need to consider this a possible sign of a colon cancer.
6. WEIGHT LOSS. A sixth clue is weight loss for no apparent reason. Someone may say to us that he or she has been “eating regularly but cannot seem to hold on to the weight”. This is an important clue to various possible forms of cancer, but it may be a particularly strong clue to the possible presence of a colon cancer.
All of the above findings and clues which may suggest the finding of a colon cancer are covered in clear and easy to understand language in the Colon Cancer audio CD available on

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Perpetual Inventory