Colon Cancer: Stool, Bowel Movements, and Other Symptoms

Even in its early stages, colon cancer may not show any outward signs; nonetheless, it can cause peculiar symptoms such as blood in the stool and changes in bowel habits.

When cancerous cells proliferate in your large intestine, also referred to as your colon, it results in colon cancer. Colon cancer is another name for colorectal cancers, which can affect both the colon and the rectum.

Here are some common symptoms of colon cancer, along with information on when to see a doctor about them.

What’s the difference between colorectal cancer and anal cancer?

The name of a cancer comes from the part of the body in which it first appears.

Malignancies of the colon and rectum are known as colorectal cancers. The anus, the lowest portion of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is affected by anal cancer. To put things in perspective, the area that connects your colon and anus is called your rectum.

Twenty percent of patients with anal cancer may not exhibit any symptoms. If symptoms do arise, however, they can differ slightly from those associated with colorectal cancer. Although anal bleeding is a possibility, constipation, anal soreness or itching, and swelling of the lymph nodes close to the groyne are other typical symptoms.

What does colon cancer poop look and feel like?

Your faeces may change as a result of colon cancer, particularly in terms of appearance. It could be more difficult for you to pass the stool and you might notice that it is narrower than usual.

The presence of blood in your stool is another potential sign of colon cancer. This may give the faeces a dark brown or black appearance. You can notice discolouration all over your passed stool instead of blood on the exterior.

When does colon cancer start to bleed?

A blood clot in your digestive tract is the cause of bloody stool from colon cancer. You can start to experience anaemia from blood loss, and you might see darker faeces that contains blood. Red blood cell deficiency is known as anaemia.

Bleeding may not occur initially in colon cancer cases. On the other hand, bright red blood after a bowel movement and blood covering the outside of your stool could indicate that the cancer has progressed to your rectum.

How does colon cancer affect bowel movements?

Additionally, colon cancer may alter your bowel movements and habits. You might alternatively have such alterations that persist for more than a few days in place of the occasional loose or firm stool.

For instance, you could encounter:
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • the capacity to fully evacuate your bowels

Other gastrointestinal symptoms of colorectal cancer

Additional GI signs of colon cancer could be:
  • abdominal pain or cramps
  • unintentional weight loss
  • bloating
  • gas
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
Colon cancer may spread to your liver in its later stages. If this is the case, you can get jaundice symptoms, such yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes.

Who is likely to get colon cancer?

One prevalent risk factor for colon cancer is age. Beyond the age of fifty, the likelihood increases. Because of this, a physician might advise a colon cancer screening beginning at age 45.

On the other hand, if you have additional risk factors for colon cancer, then early examinations can be necessary. These consist of a past, either personal or familial, of:
  • cancers of the breast, endometrium, or ovaries
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • colorectal cancer
  • benign colon polyps
  • overweight or obesity
Additionally, a few lifestyle choices may raise your risk of developing colon cancer, such as:
  • consuming a diet heavy in lipids but poor in fibre
  • inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • living a sedentary lifestyle
  • drinking alcohol
  • smoking

When to contact a doctor

When doctors find them early, up to 90% of colorectal cancers are treatable. In fact, a routine screening test may allow a doctor to identify colon cancer even before symptoms appear.

That being said, if any of the aforementioned symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it's crucial to see a physician for a diagnosis. While these may be associated with other gastrointestinal disorders, like IBD, a physician should rule out colon cancer.

Even if you've previously been diagnosed with colon cancer, it's crucial to see a physician if any of the symptoms listed above appear or worsen. Once the cancer has spread, symptoms of colorectal cancer typically appear.

How are the gastrointestinal symptoms of colon cancer treated?

The goal of treatment for gastrointestinal symptoms linked to colon cancer is to attack the malignancy directly.

The size of the cancer and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes, the rectum, or other parts of the body will determine the specific course of treatment.

Among the potential course of treatment are:
  • radiation therapy
  • targeted therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • cryosurgery
  • The most popular treatment for all stages of colon cancer is surgery.


How to clean your colon?

Increasing your water and fibre consumption is the greatest approach to cleanse your colon. To enhance the gut microbiome, you can also add foods like yoghurt and beverages like Keifer in your diet. You should also schedule regular exercise sessions.

Can ulcers in the colon be cancerous?

Large ulcerated lesions like the ones in the patient's descending colon can be a sign of colon cancer, however few cases have several synchronous lesions like this one.

Which foods cleanse the colon?

Because of their high fibre content, whole grains can aid in colon cleansing. Brown rice, quinoa, muesli and oats are excellent sources. Aim to include three to five servings in each of your meals each day. The majority of leafy greens, including broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, are high in fibre and always a good choice.


Your large intestine is where colon cancer begins. It frequently doesn't show symptoms until it spreads to neighbouring regions, such the rectum.

Should you notice any strange symptoms, such as changes in your bowel movements or blood in your stool, it's crucial to see a doctor to rule out colon cancer. The prognosis for colon cancer is often better the earlier a doctor starts treating it.

Screenings on a regular basis are crucial for identifying potential colon cancer.

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