One of the reasons that prognosis of bowel cancer is not too good is due to the fact that most people hardly have any symptoms in the initial stages. They usually go for a check up when some bowel cancer symptoms occur and by then the cancer is so far advanced that the chances of recovery are not too good.
Bowel cancer can affects any part of the colon or rectum, but it has been noticed that frequently occurs in the lower part of the colon or rectum. The cancer begins as a polyp on the lining of colon or rectal wall. Occasionally bowel cancer can also develop inside the colon or rectal wall and then work its way outwards. As the cancer cells grow in number, the polyp turns into a tumor. Cells from the tumor sometimes break off and start circulation in the blood or the lymph node channels and this causes the cancer to spread to other areas, mostly the lungs and liver.
Here are some common symptoms of bowel cancer that people experience which prompt them to go and visit a doctor:
- Blood in the feces. Sometimes the bleeding can be very severe leading the feces to turn into a very dark color but usually the bleeding from the tumor is small and mixed with the feces.
- Abdominal pain
- A feeling of not evacuating the rectum completely after going to the toilet
- Spells of diarrhea or constipation
- Passing mucus along with the feces
- Change in bowel habits. You can end up going for frequently to the toilet or less compared to what was the habit before.
The above mentioned symptoms are the first ones that a person notices. As the bowel cancer grows, the symptoms will get worse and may include even the following:
- Feeling tired and generally unwell
- Losing weight
- Severe abdominal pain due to blockage caused by the tumor. This can be accompanied by vomiting.
- Sometimes the tumor causes a hole in the colon or rectum wall and this can cause the feces to leak into the abdomen causing severe pain.
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