Signs and symptoms of colon cancer in women and men

Before you find out the symptoms of colon cancer, you should know what the colon exactly is. The colon and rectum are the final portions of the tube which extends from the human mouth to the anus. The colon is about 4 feet in length. It has 3 major functions:

  • Digesting and then absorbing the nutrients taken from food
  • Concentrating fecal material by absorbing fluid
  • Storing and controlling evacuation of fecal material

It is estimated that 1 in 17 people will develop colorectal cancer in the US. When it comes to symptoms of colon cancer in men and women, there are some common ones and also the not-so obvious, particularly in those young adults. Because the colon cancer symptoms usually do not present themselves till the condition has progressed past the first stage, so regular screening is important, and should be a part of the regular health plan for any person over 50. In case you are under 50 and have one (some) family member with colon cancer, you had better talk with your doctor about when you should begin regular screening. [Read: symptoms of ovarian cancer]

What Are Common And Surprising Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer
Symptoms of colon cancer

Colon or rectum cancer could exhibit itself in some ways. When you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek instant medical help:

  • Changes in your bowel movements, containing persistent diarrhea, constipation
  • An urgency to move the bowels, rectal bleeding or rectal cramping
  • Abdominal bloating, cramps or discomfort
  • Unintended or unexplained weight loss (or even weight gain)
  • Narrow stools
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in stool. Blood could be dark stools, rectal bleeding or blood on the stool despite the stool tend to look rather normal.
  • Passing a large amount of blood
  • Pelvic pain happening at the later stages of the problem

Though symptoms of colon cancer could imply other diseases, sometimes they are indicating precisely to the cause – cancer. If you treated your problem but the symptoms still persist, then you need to look for the underlying cause. [Read: home remedies for bacterial vaginosis]

It is shown that over years, many people have been diagnosed with some specific conditions before their doctors discovered their colon cancer. Those conditions are:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pregnancy pains
  • Parasite
  • Crohn’s disease or colitis
  • Spastic colon
  • Appendicitis
  • Hernia
  • Gall bladder problems
  • Poor diet or low fiber
  • “female” problems
  • Food allergies
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Gas
  • IBS
  • Stress
  • Depression along with psychiatric help

Studies showed that the average duration of colon cancer symptoms (from the early stage to diagnosis) is about 14 weeks.

[Read: home remedies for hemorrhoids]

So When To See Your Doctor?

You need to seek medical care if you notice any of the symptoms below:

  • Copious bleeding from the rectum
  • Severe pain in the pelvis or belly which is unexplained
  • Inability to keep the fluids down and vomiting
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Abnormal low energy condition

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

There are some common factors contributing to colon cancer, which are:

  • People over 50
  • African Americans have higher risk of colon cancer
  • People with obesity or excessive pounds
  • People with family history of colon cancer
  • People with inherited syndromes
  • People following diets high in processed and red meats
  • People using grilling, frying, broiling or other high-temperature cooking methods
  • People with inactive lifestyle
  • People smoking or using alcohol excessively
  • People with type II diabetes

[Read: cancer symptoms in women]


  1. On the 7th day after my surgery, I visited my doctor’s office and they removed the right side drain bag.
    Once I was forced to give up my career and started looking for ways to help others with cancer, I started discovering some pretty big facts.

    Alternative drugs have been found to kill tumor cells based on clinical trials.