Colon cancer is the most popular type of gastrointestinal cancer. It is more common than stomach cancer and esophageal cancer, and there are genetic but also inflammatory and dietary factors associated with the formation of these tumors. One of the features of colon cancer is how silent it tends to be and how patients are often diagnosed very late in the disease. That is because most of the signs and symptoms caused by colon cancer are mistaken with many other gastrointestinal diseases, and late diagnosis might result in poor prognosis.
Diagnosing colon cancer can be quite difficult. Even after suspecting the disease with clinical findings, your doctor might require a complete blood count, liver function tests, and certain blood tests specific for colon cancer, such as serum carcinoembryonic antigen. Another way to diagnose colon cancer is through radiography, tomography, ultrasonography, and colonoscopy. In most cases, it should be confirmed with a biopsy, so not even finding a visible tumor is the same as cancer.
If see yourself reflected in the list of signs and symptoms we will give you next, talk to your doctor as soon as possible to get a proper assessment of your individual health risks.
Pain is a common early sign in many different gastrointestinal problems, and it is often difficult to differentiate. It may range from a mild abdominal discomfort as a result of bloating to a dull and sustained pain as the tumor grows larger and starts compressing nerves as they do, to severe and sudden pain that may result from an intestinal obstruction. It also depends on whether or not cancer has started to spread to other tissues, which is why abdominal pain should be taken as an important sign to look over in any patient, especially when it is acute and severe.