March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. As many of you know, colon cancer has hit close to home with us. Check out our post tomorrow to find out more about Don’s cancer diagnosis. We will be celebrating 5 years cancer free in May! For today’s list, I thought I’d share 10 Signs of Colon Cancer. And, because this is me… I am just putting it out there in normal terms.
- Diarrhea that is non-stop and lasts more than a few days
- Constipation that lasts more than a few days
- Any changes in your poop… think thinner, narrow poop (called “pencil” poop)
- Any changes in poop that lasts more than a few days
- Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding.
- Abnormal and/or continuous stomach problems – such as cramps, gas or pains.
- A feeling that you still need to go, after you go.
- Weakness or fatigue that is unexplained.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- History of early onset colon cancer or Lynch cancers (genetic cancers) in your family.
- No signs or symptoms (this is why testing is vital!)
Okay, so that was more than ten. But, as you can see early diagnosis is vital to ensure a complete recovery. Especially if you have a family history of colon cancer, and/or Lynch disease.
Most colon cancer begins as benign (non-cancerous) polyps in the large intestine. This is why it is vital for you to follow your doctor’s advice for testing. If they are found during a normal colonscopy, they can be removed before they become cancerous.
Doctors normally want colon cancer screenings to begin by age 50, but if you have family history these can begin sooner. Ask at your next appointment and find out what he/she recommends in your specific situation.
If you want more information on colon cancer, head over to the Mayo Clinic’s colon cancer area or Cancer.org.