Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

Previously published in Examiner
Part 3 of the colon cancer series

The second most prominent form of cancer in Canada today is colon cancer. The colon actually is the end of the large intestine leading to the anus. Montrealers must pay particular attention to colon cancer; it is not just an old man’s disease.

Montreal on the world stage for cancer research

Not only will the The UICC World Cancer Congress be held for the first time in Canada, in August 2012, it will be held at the Palais du Congres in Montreal. The Canadian Local Host Committee (LHC) includes the Fondation québécoise du cancer, McGill University, and Université de Montréal. Click here for more information of about this event.

Symptoms of colon cancer that Montrealers must look out for – continued

At first bleeding from the polyps will cause anemia and lead to iron deficiencies. It is important for Montrealers who already suffer from anemia, and for Montreal postmenopausal women to see their doctor should these symptoms appear. People suffering from anemia may develop a pale skin color and experience fatigue.

When the malignant polyps are in the lower colon, they can prevent normal bowel movement resulting in constipation.

The stools may change in constituency and become pencil thin. There may be cramping and discomfort.

The inner lining of the colon wall can become inflamed due to some tearing causing a condition known as peritonitis. This condition will also cause pain and discomfort.

Montreal sufferers may also have a feeling that the bowel has not emptied even after elimination.

Sufferers may lose weight.

Unfortunately if the cancer should present itself in the upper colon, there may not be any symptoms to indicate the onset of the disease.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

The doctor will insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for polyps. The doctor may ask for a stools sample to check for blood and take a tissue biopsy when the growths are detected.

Other tests ordered could include:

A barium enema that will show any changes in the colon

A flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is a tube with a camera that goes in the anus is used to reveal any growths.