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Rectal Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms are similar to colon cancer symptoms. In fact, the two kinds of cancer are often grouped together and called “colorectal cancer”. However, the location of the cancer is different. Rectal cancer often develops from a small, abnormal growth in the rectum called a polyp.

Polyps are so small that it’s impossible to feel them. Even as they become cancerous, many people are unaware that they have this disease.

Most People Don’t Have Symptoms

Most people with early-stage colon cancer don’t experience any symptoms. By the time signs of rectal cancer appear, it’s already progressing to a more advanced stage. And when cancer is advancing, that means it’s spreading and is harder to treat.

View treatment options.

If You Notice These Symptoms, Talk to Your Doctor

Many symptoms could be related to other health conditions, including colon cancer. However, if the following symptoms continue for more than two weeks, be sure to check-in with your doctor to rule out cancer.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bloating, cramping, and/or frequent gas pains
  • Bloody stool
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Unexplained, sudden weight loss
  • Vomiting

Ready to Schedule A Colonoscopy?


A Colonoscopy Can Help Prevent Rectal Cancer—or Find it Early When It’s Treatable

You shouldn’t wait for symptoms to appear before seeing a doctor. Getting regular colonoscopies is the best prevention because your doctor can remove polyps in the rectum before they turn into cancer.

Schedule Your Colonoscopy


Our Locations

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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