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Colon Cancer Symptoms

 image of a person holding an anatomical model of the digestive tract

Colon cancer occurs in the last two parts of the digestive system:  the colon (large intestine) or rectum (connects the colon and the anus). Most of them are begin as small abnormal growths of tissue called polyps that form in these areas of the digestive system. A polyp is not cancer, but it can change over time into cancer.

By knowing the symptoms and taking preventative steps through screening colon cancer is beatable when caught early.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea, constipation, or the feeling that the bowel has not emptied
  • Unusually narrow stools
  • A bloody stool
  • Bloating, cramping, fullness, and/or frequent gas pains
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Vomiting

If you experience symptoms for more than two weeks, see your doctor. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it's important to consult with your MedStar Health doctor to determine whether they are connected to colon cancer or some other condition.

Individuals with colon polyps or cancer may have no symptoms at all, especially at first. By the time most symptoms appear, the cancer is already growing, making it harder to treat. It is important to get screened, pay attention to your body and be on the lookout for anything that is not normal.




MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

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