Beyond Bleeding: Other Signs You Should Get Screened For Colon Cancer

Most people are aware that if they repeatedly see blood in their stool, they should get screened for colon cancer. However, blood in the stool is not the only early sign of colon cancer. If you notice any of the following symptoms, then you should schedule a colon cancer screening appointment soon.

Thin Stools 

Have you noticed that your stools have become thinner over time? Maybe they used to be about as big around as a quarter, and now they are closer to the diameter of a nickel. This can sometimes be a sign of colon cancer. A growth in the rectum or colon can cause the space to narrow, which means that your stool has less space to pass through. You may have a growth that is not cancerous, but you'll need to have a colon cancer screening session to find out.

Feeling Like Your Bowel Won't Empty

You feel like you have to defecate, and so you do. But the feeling of having to defecate does not go away. You try to go more, but you can't. If you're experiencing this feeling, which people often describe as a constant feeling of having to poop, you may have colon cancer. The sensation can be caused by a growth that is pressing on the walls of your colon much in the same way that feces would press on your colon. Even after you defecate, the growth remains and continues "telling" your body that it should poop.

Persistent Pelvic Cramping

If you have cramping in your abdomen or pelvic region, and that cramping is rather persistent, this could be a sign of colon cancer. The growth could be pressing on nerves, which can lead to discomfort and cramping. It could also be interfering with muscle contractions, in which case, you will often notice the cramping the most after you defecate.

Chronic Constipation

If you are often constipated, the most likely explanation is that you're not consuming enough water or fiber. Work on increasing your water and fiber intake over a period of several weeks. If this does not work, then you should be screened for colon cancer as it is another possible cause of chronic constipation.

Bleeding is not the only sign of colon cancer. If you are struggling with any of these other problems, then it's time to call the doctor. They'll tell you which screening protocol is best suited to your needs.