What are some of the symptoms of colorectal cancer that you should consider?
Some of the symptoms* that may appear are:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark
- Cramping or abdominal (stomach) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
Please keep in mind that colorectal cancer does not always present symptoms. If you are 50 years old (45 for African-Americans) and due for colorectal cancer screening, don't wait! Talk to your doctor about what screening options are available for you.
Know your medical history. Am I at a higher risk for colorectal cancer?
- Do you have Type 2 Diabetes?
- Have you been diagnosed with Lynch Disease?
- Do you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
- Have you had a previous diagnosis of colorectal cancer or do you have a history of adenomatous polyps?
At what age should I start getting screened?
Most physicians recommend screening start at age 50. If you have a 1st degree relative that has been diagnosed with CRC, speak to your doctor about your potential need to be screened before age 50.
Be your own advocate!
One of the most important things to remember is to be your own advocate. You know your body best. If something feels wrong, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor!