A: Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 140,000 colorectal cancer cases and about 50,000 deaths from colorectal cancer occur each year. The number of deaths due to colorectal cancer has decreased, which is attributed to increased screening and polyp removal and to improvements in cancer treatment.
People who are older than 50 or have a personal or family history of the disease are recommended to get a screening done. The following are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
A change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days, rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool, cramping or gnawing stomach pain, decreased appetite, vomiting, unintended weight loss, weakness and fatigue or feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so.
The symptoms of colorectal cancer may resemble other conditions, such as infections, hemorrhoids and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also possible to have colon cancer and not have any symptoms. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Information provided by Medicap Pharmacy, www.medicap.com.